STEM workers

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. These disciplines are often referred to collectively, especially in government policies, education / employment statistics, and news articles - you've probably seen a lot of headlines like these:

STEM jobs were hardest to fill in 2016

Women still under-represented in STEM industries, report finds

New STEM education programme rolled out in selected schools

As you'll know if you've ever read any of the stories attached to those headlines, STEM as a whole has a lot of problems at the moment. Many organisations have great difficulty finding qualified workers to fill demanding science jobs, and in addition to the much-publicised lack of diversity in STEM fields, there simply aren't enough young people participating and pursuing a future in STEM, which means that the problems faced by these industries will likely get worse as time goes on.

But is that an issue for everyone else? Just how important is STEM to the world at large?

Why STEM should be important to everyone

The answer, of course, is that STEM is very, very important for the whole planet, and crucial to the continued prosperity of the human race. It hopefully goes without saying that modern society as we know it relies heavily on STEM industries and the talented workers within those industries. Here are just three examples:

  • Computers - The modern world relies on computers to an extent that would have been virtually unimaginable just a few decades ago. We use computers to talk to friends, do the shopping, listen to music, and learn about everything from the history of the world to the correct method for laying a floor. Computers tell us where to go and what's happening there. You probably use computers in any number of different ways over the course of an average day, and it's all because of skilled people in STEM roles who worked hard to make this possible.

  • Medicine - While it's unlikely that mankind will ever eradicate all diseases, it cannot be understated how much safer we all are today thanks to modern medicine. In the last century alone, talented STEM workers saved countless lives by curing smallpox and developing vaccines for polio, measles, diphtheria, and countless other illnesses. One expert has predicted that we will see a "sudden surge" in effective cancer treatments within the next five to ten years. At this very moment, countless people are living and breathing and going about their lives because of the medical advances made by STEM workers.

  • Transport - It's easy to take modern transportation systems for granted. Cars allow you to travel miles in minutes; railways keep entire countries connected; aeroplanes take thousands of people from one side of the world to the other every day. Once again, all of this is thanks to STEM visionaries who never stop working to bring the world closer together and create more and more efficient ways to get from A to B.

Image courtesy of pixabay.com.



If the term ‘research scientist’ sounds quite broad, that’s because it is – indeed, research scientists are active in almost every area of science. Nonetheless, whether you are interested in a career in geosciences, meteorology, pharmacology or something different altogether, it’s helpful to know something about what life as a research scientist generally involves.

Working in a lab is more exciting than it sounds

Before we go any further – yes, life as a research scientist very much lives up to the stereotype of being based almost entirely in a laboratory, although of course, that may be music to your ears rather than something to dread!

In any case, the range of employers of research scientists is extremely diverse, encompassing the likes of government laboratories, utilities providers, environmental agencies, pharmaceuticals companies, public funded research councils and specialist research organisations and consultancies.

Much the same can be said of the many responsibilities – as a research scientist, you could find yourself taking on tasks ranging from the planning and conducting of experiments and recording and analysing data, to the carrying out of fieldwork and the presentation of results to senior or other research staff.

What other aspects of the job do you need to know about?

If you are thinking of aiming for a career as a research scientist, it’s helpful to know what personal qualities and professional qualifications will serve you best in your quest. It should go without saying that research and analytical skills are vital, but you will also need to possess excellent communication and presentation skills and an ability to teach.

As for more formal qualifications, as outlined by the National Careers Service, a 2:1 degree in a relevant science subject is usually expected for entry. In practice, you will almost certainly need a relevant postgraduate qualification as well, such as a PhD or research-based MSc, particularly for permanent roles. Experience of working in a research setting could also aid your search for such science jobs.

Your life as a research scientist, i.e, working patterns, hours and environment will depend on the kind of employer for which you are employed as a research scientist. Those working in a university research department can usually expect a 35-hour, 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday working week. If you work in industry, however, there may be a greater expectation that you fit in with shift patterns, such as in the evening, at the weekend or on public holidays.

Research scientists can look forward to good progression opportunities

There’s a good level of scope for career advancement as a research scientist. While salaries start at an average of about £14,000 a year, they can go up to as much as £60,000, such as if you progress from a scientist with research councils and institutes to senior research or laboratory management positions.

Research scientists in academic roles who are more experienced and have published original research often rise to the status of senior research fellow or professor, leading their own teams.

There’s a lot to learn about what life as a research scientist is like, as well as about how we can help you to effectively compete for science jobs. Get in touch with Hyper Recruitment Solutions today about the work that we do to assist talented graduates and professionals into rewarding science roles, or explore the National Careers Service’s guides to some of the most exciting related jobs in science and research
Chemical Engineer

Chemical engineering is in many ways the archetypal science job, right down to the traditional white lab coat. It is also a very stimulating field of work; writing in the Guardian, Samantha Tyson of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) described chemical engineering as “all about turning raw materials into useful, everyday products”.

Qualified chemical engineers can also look forward to decent remuneration - a recent IChemE salary survey found that starting wages average somewhere in the region of £29,500 per year. More experienced chartered chemical engineers can expect to earn as much as £70,000, or even higher in certain industries (such as oil and contracting).

But how does one become a chemical engineer in the first place?

As with other science jobs, you need the right characteristics.

Don't be fooled too much by the 'chemical' bit of this particular job title - if you wish to become a chemical engineer, strong mathematical abilities are just as important as a firm grasp of chemistry. According to Tyson, maths, physics and chemistry are the most common A-levels taken by chemical engineering students.

But you will also need many other, often more general skills and attributes to secure a job in chemical engineering. These range from project and resource management skills and oral and written communication skills to analytical skills, problem solving, and the ability to work as part of a team.

Graduates seeking chemical engineering jobs will also be expected to possess strong IT skills, commercial and business awareness and the capacity to motivate and lead a team.

What qualifications will you require?

You won't normally be able to secure a role as a chemical engineer unless you have a BEng degree or a BTEC HNC or HND in chemical or process engineering. Admission to a chemical engineering degree course generally depends on you having at least five A*-C GCSEs, as well as two A-levels (including maths and at least one science subject).

If you lack maths and science qualifications, some universities offer a foundation year to help get you up to speed. As always, you should double-check the exact entry requirements with individual colleges.

It can be advantageous for those wishing to build an especially lucrative career in chemical engineering to also possess a master's degree (MEng) in addition to a first degree in chemical engineering. Those with a degree in a different branch of engineering (or a related subject such as chemistry or polymer science) may opt to take an MSc postgraduate degree in chemical or process engineering to boost their career prospects.

Chemical engineering is an extremely diverse field of work.

It's difficult to sum up everything that chemical engineers do in just a few lines. Depending on the exact role and sector in which you work, you may find yourself...

  • Designing plant and equipment configuration
  • Setting up scale-up and scale-down processes
  • Assessing options for plant expansion
  • Applying new technologies and researching new products
...among an incredibly wide range of other potential duties.

There are plenty of opportunities for progression, too. According to the National Careers Service, these include becoming a senior process or design engineer; progressing into a research and development manager role; or becoming a plant manager or overall operations manager. Consultancy work is another option.

Remember that Hyper Recruitment Solutions is a leading science recruitment agency serving those on the lookout for all manner of engineering roles, including process or chemical engineering. Click through to learn more about our in-depth expertise in this area.

Clinical Research Associate Career

With NHS trusts nationwide supporting opportunities for people to actively participate in clinical research, it’s not surprising that the field also offers many exciting science jobs for those in possession of a nursing, life sciences or medical sciences degree.

Clinical research associates are responsible for the coordination of clinical trials for new or current drugs, so that the benefits and risks of their use can be assessed. They are usually employed by pharmaceutical firms or contract research organisations (CROs) working on behalf of pharmaceutical companies.

If you're considering pursuing a career as a clinical research associate, here are a few things you should know:

What are a clinical research associate’s day-to-day duties?


The exact tasks that one may be expected to perform in this role depend on the employer, but typically range from the writing of drug trial methodologies (procedures) and the identification and briefing of appropriate trial investigators (clinicians) to monitoring the progress of a trial and writing reports.

Clinical research associates also often need to present trial protocols to a steering committee, identify and assess which facilities are suitable for use as clinical trial sites, ensure that all unused trial supplies are accounted for and close down trial sites on the completion of a trial, among many other possible responsibilities.  

As stated by Rebecca, one clinical research associate profiled in a case study on the website of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry: “No two days are the same. Every compound and every study is different, so each one has unique areas you need to look at.”

What qualities are required for this role?  


There are a variety of attributes that tend to lend themselves well to a clinical research associate career, including:

  • A confident, outgoing personality
  • The ability to work independently and take initiative
  • Good teamwork abilities, tact, and attention to detail
  • Strong organisational / time management skills.
Great written and oral communication skills are also a must for building effective relationships with trial centre staff and colleagues, as is an enjoyment of travel, since clinical research associates can expect to spend a lot of time out of the office visiting trials.

What qualifications are needed?


To secure a role as a clinical research associate, you will almost certainly need to have a degree or postgraduate qualification in nursing, life sciences or medical sciences. This covers such subjects as anatomy, biochemistry, chemistry, immunology, pharmacology or physiology.

Those who lack a degree or who only possess an HND are unlikely to be able to break into this field. It may occasionally be possible for them to start in an administrative role – as a clinical trials administrator or NHS study-site coordinator, for example. However, even in this instance, considerable experience – if not also additional qualifications – would be required to progress.

Is clinical research associate the right career for me?


If you have a suitable scientific background and you're looking for a role that involves a high level of interaction with people and plenty of travel – potentially internationally – you may well find a clinical research associate role highly rewarding.

However, this job does also have its negative aspects, including tight deadlines and a high degree of pressure, so it is important to consider whether you would thrive in this kind of environment – as well as whether you have the time management skills to look after what may be several trials simultaneously.

Finally, there is the matter of pay. A clinical research associate's salary starts around £22,000 to £28,000, rising to as much as £60,000 in some senior roles.

Contact Hyper Recruitment Solutions today to learn more about our specialist science recruitment services. We can be your partner on your journey to success in your new science career. 
Science Jobs

As a leading and highly compliant recruitment company, here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, we take pride in matching those seeking science jobs with the most rewarding roles, particularly the science careers in demand.

While science is naturally a field in which the range of roles is extremely varied - even jobs with the same or similar titles potentially carrying very different responsibilities and calling upon rather distinct skills - so, to help you out, we provide the main answers to 'what science jobs are in demand?'


Qualified Person (QP)

European regulations dictate that there be a Qualified Person (QP) to decide on batch releases of medicinal products. This is one of the main science jobs that are in demand, as each given batch cannot be certified for release until it has first been thoroughly verified that it was manufactured in accordance with relevant GMP (good manufacturing practice) regulations, which necessitates a wide range of responsibilities for the QP.


Regulatory affairs officer

Also known as a regulatory affairs specialist or manager, a person in this post bridges the gap between companies and regulatory authorities, ensuring the manufacture and distribution of products in line with relevant legislation. Duties typically range from the study of scientific and legal documents to the planning and undertaking of regulatory inspections and product trials.


Clinical research manager

Clinical research managers are given overall responsibility within pharmaceutical or medical fields for preparing protocols and case report forms, the approval of ethics committees and the management of clinical trials. They may also be expected to provide clinical trial materials and ensure that trials are smoothly monitored, through the identification and management of qualified staff and the establishment of suitable audit procedures.


Validation engineer

Validation engineers play a key role in the development and manufacturing process for products ranging from pharmaceuticals to cars, through their measurement, analysis and calibration of the equipment and processes necessary to ensure only the highest quality products.

This job role is a vastly in-demand science job as validation engineers are also required in such sectors as aerospace, biotechnology and computer software. Their duties include testing, the overseeing of other validation technicians' work and the establishment of validation standards.


Packaging Technologist

Another large science job in demand is a Packaging Technologist. This is ideal for those with plenty of design flair and a passion for technology, packaging technologists are involved in the design and development of product packaging. Working with manufacturers and other professionals, packaging technologists operate under time and budgetary constraints to deliver a finished packaging design.

Such goods as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, food and drink, toiletries and household cleaning products all need to be packaged, and a packaging technologist's duties typically include the production of sample packaging, the running of production trials and tests and the creation of artwork in conjunction with packaging designers.

Although the best jobs in these fields can be scarce and the level of competition extremely fierce, Hyper Recruitment Solutions can put job seekers in touch with the most advantageous opportunities for their burgeoning science careers, in keeping with its status as one of the principal science recruitment agencies. We aim to help you have an opportunity to get the most in-demand science jobs. 

Are you on the hunt for a new science job? Take a look at the wide range of science jobs we have available on our Science Job Search page by clicking below!

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