Chemical engineering is in many ways the archetypal science job, even involving the traditional white coat and laboratory work. However, it is also a very stimulating field in general, Samantha Tyson of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) having described it in The Guardian 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 having found that starting wages are in the region of £29,500.

More experienced chartered chemical engineers can expect to earn as much as £70,000, with work in certain industries such as oil and contracting potentially commanding even higher amounts. But how can you 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, you will need to have strong mathematical ability. Maths, physics and chemistry are the most common A-levels taken by chemical engineering students, according to Tyson.  

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

Graduates seeking these particular science 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 shouldn’t normally be able to secure a chemical engineer role 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 GCSEs graded between A and C, as well as two A-levels including maths and a 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 Masters 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 chances.  

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, which according to the National Careers Service, include progressing to a senior process or design engineer, 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. Simply click through to learn more about our in-depth expertise in this area


Bioinformatics is far from the best-known field of science jobs, but it is a steadily emerging and increasingly important one. It has been described in various ways, including – by the Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University – as “the application of computational techniques to analyse the information associated with biomolecules on a large-scale”.

A perhaps simpler way to understand it is as an amalgamation of biology, IT and computer science into a single subject. With ‘big data’ now ubiquitous across a wide range of industries, including life sciences research, scientists with computer science know-how are well-placed to take advantage of the ever-increasing breadth of career opportunities in the burgeoning bioinformatics sector.

What do bioinformaticists do?

Another way to describe the chief task of a bioinformaticist is as the logging, coding and/or retrieval of all biological information – especially proteins, DNA and mRNA – in an easily accessible format.

At the most basic level, a bioinformaticist is responsible for creating and maintaining databases of biological information. The majority of such databases consist of nucleic acid sequences and the protein sequences derived from them.

However, the most challenging bioinformatics tasks involve the analysis of sequence information, encompassing not only the discovery of the genes in DNA sequences but also the development of methods to predict the structure and/or function of newly found proteins and structural RNA sequences.

Such duties as the clustering of protein sequences into families, the alignment of similar proteins and the generation of phylogenetic trees are also central to the work of the best-qualified bioinformatics professionals.

Why is bioinformatics becoming so relevant?

It seems that there has never been a greater amount of biological data being generated than there is now, with the point at which biology, statistics and computer science cross bringing an abundance of new and exciting opportunities. Sure enough, professionals with experience of identifying, compiling, analysing and visualising huge amounts of biological and healthcare information have also never been in greater demand.

The flowering of bioinformatics as its own field has been attributed in part to a change in how industry and academia perceive it. As one bioinformatics professor, Wim Van Criekinge, has observed in an article by Science magazine: “Scientists and companies used to look at bioinformatics as a tool... but the subject has evolved from a service, like histology, to its own research arena... bioinformaticists are now the motor of the innovation.”

What are the main bioinformatics employers?

Those seeking rewarding bioinformatics roles are well-advised to look towards Cambridge, where several of the big research institutes in this field, including the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the European Bioinformatics Institute, can be found.

However, candidates with bioinformatics skills are also regularly recruited by big pharmaceutical companies such as AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline. Finally, there are also various smaller firms making use of bioinformatics, including those involved in personal care products, industrial organisms and agricultural applications.

Whatever the bioinformatics role to which you aspire may be – perhaps as a bioinformatician, biostatistician, head of bioinformatics or any of a broad range of other jobs – we can help you to find and secure it here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions.

Learn more about the depth of specialist expertise that we can offer to bioinformatics candidates, as well as the relevant available jobs for which you can apply right now. 

Continual development and innovation in medical devices is crucial to ensuring quality of life in the UK and across the world. The term ‘medical devices’ is naturally an extremely broad one, encompassing such items as syringes, wheelchairs, pacemakers, X-ray machines, orthopaedic devices, coronary artery stents and many more.

Regardless, there can be little doubt about the field’s great importance in safeguarding the wellbeing of our increasingly health-aware population.

It is thanks to medical devices that diseases can be detected earlier and diagnoses, treatment and patient monitoring relentlessly improved. Breakthroughs and refinements in medical device technology have also been crucial for reducing the costs of healthcare at a time when health services around the world – not least the NHS – seem to be under greater financial pressure than ever.

What is the state of the UK medical device industry today?

A quick glance at the key statistics relating to the UK’s present medical device industry should serve to further underline its importance. According to the Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI), the UK medical technology sector was made up of more than 2,000 companies as of 2009, with four-fifths of those being small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Emergo has said that the UK medical device market was valued at $9.9 billion in 2008, making it the third largest in Europe behind Germany and France. About 50,000 people are said to be employed in the sector, which is also trade positive in the UK, exporting more than it imports. It is a key part of a wider life sciences industry that has been hailed as one of the key contributors to the UK economy. 

However, ABHI has also said that “action is needed if the UK is to continue to thrive in this area and patients are to realise the full benefits of medical technology”. Furthermore, it’s clear that with many of the most exciting and lucrative science jobs today being in medical devices, science recruitment agencies like Hyper Recruitment Solutions have a crucial role to play in helping to match the right talent to the right medical device industry vacancies and employers.  

What you need to know if you are interested in a medical devices career

Although medical devices tend to be based on mechanical, electrical and/or materials engineering, which will place those with qualifications in any of these fields at a distinct advantage, prospective entrants to the sector are also expected to have a strong biological and biological sciences background.

The skill-set that you will require to succeed in the medical device sector will depend largely on the specific job in which you are interested. While, for example, a research and development role may place an emphasis on strong engineering skills, if you are to be tasked with the management of a team of people on a project, ‘softer’ skills like communication and team leadership will be crucial.

Meanwhile, ‘people skills’ and a willingness to travel are prerequisites for those working in the sales side of the sector, as is a high level of knowledge in – and enthusiasm for – the devices that they are to be responsible for selling. 

When seeking your next big role in the medical devices industry – whether it will be your first or the latest of many – you shouldn’t hesitate to draw upon our considerable sector-specific expertise here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, including in such sub-areas as quality assurance, quality control, regulatory affairs, manufacturing, validation, clinical trials or any of a wide range of others.  



The fact that 47% of UK workers would like to change career, according to the London School of Business and Finance (LSBF), should serve as a powerful reminder to employers using science recruitment agencies that many of those applying for their latest advertised entry-level vacancies will be older career switchers, rather than necessarily fresh-out-of-university 20-somethings. 

Indeed, you may be one of them. So, whether you are established in one science field and would like to switch to another one, or you have never been employed in a science role before, what steps will you require to make your dream career change work?

Assess your present situation

People approach the idea of changing to a new scientific career from many different angles, so you need to carefully consider your exact motivations. Why are you looking to switch career at all? What makes you unhappy in your current role? What do you dream of doing instead?

By asking yourself these questions, you may quickly realise that it is your co-workers or company culture, rather than your actual job duties, that leave you discontent. Such a drastic change in your life as a whole new career should be very carefully considered before you take the plunge.

Research the science jobs that interest you

If it becomes clear that your job itself is the problem, take the time to identify your passions, strengths, skills and abilities, and then start looking at career sites and job descriptions to get a sense of whether that long yearned-for science role really would suit you.

You may possess certain qualifications already that enable you to take a certain step, or you may find that there are much greater obstacles to switching to a certain science field like pharmacology, immunology or energy.

Also, what do the science jobs that most interest you actually involve on a daily basis? The last thing that you will want to do is invest significant time and money into changing to a career that dissatisfies you just as much as your last one, as can happen if you don't do the necessary research at this still relatively early stage.

Get networking!

Once you have come up with a more specific idea of what your dream science job would look like, it's time to start talking to professionals in that industry about their own job and its day-to-day responsibilities. They will be able to give you a sense of whether this new science career really could be the right one for you.

Another benefit of networking is that if the job does sound like the right one, the contacts that you gain could be instrumental in landing you an interview or that first entry-level role.

Investigate training opportunities

This is when things start getting truly serious - investigating the training opportunities for the kind of science jobs that you would like to pursue.

Remember that the entry requirements, qualifications and certifications relevant to different science sectors can be hugely varied, and that while some of them will merely give you one more advantage when you come to apply for jobs, others may be mandatory if you wish to have any career in that field at all. The right qualifications can also help to make adjusting to the demands of a new and unfamiliar role much quicker and easier.

Start job hunting!

This is the stage at which we can be of greatest assistance here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, thanks to our extensive services for candidates including - but not limited to - CV tips, interview advice and of course, advertisements of job vacancies. 

As one of the most renowned science recruitment agencies active today, we appreciate that it may have been a while since you last looked for work, and that the task of seeking your dream initial science role can be overwhelming.

So, allow us to be your guide when you are looking to make that big career change to the rewarding science job that you may have always craved. Good luck!


You might think that you know what you're getting into with science and technology - fields like biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and engineering have existed seemingly since the year dot, so it can be easy for those contemplating science jobs to forget the truly 'living and breathing', continually evolving nature of science and technology.

For a reminder of just how exciting it can be to get picked by a science recruitment agency for a sought-after and important role, just consider the latest frontiers to which you could make an active contribution.

The effects on food crops of climate change

Climate change isn't just about the prospect of higher temperatures and us all ending up underwater - it's also about the very sustainability of our planet's food supply. Become a plant scientist, and you could play an instrumental role in the development of drought-resistant crop strains.

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation

Whereas the replacement of heart valves has traditionally been done by surgically opening the chest cavity, if the process is done by chest catheter, only a small incision is required. Since this was achieved by a French doctor in 2002, it has gained popularity across dozens of countries when faulty aortic valves need to be treated.

The acidification of the ocean

As the atmosphere of our planet becomes ever-more concentrated with carbon dioxide, so the amount of carbonic acid in our oceans is also increasing, decreasing the pH and even dissolving the shells or skeletons of some organisms. Scientists are still grappling to properly understand the evolving chemical composition of our oceans - but who is to say that you won't contribute to the next big breakthrough in this area?

Galileon cosmology

The universe has long held seemingly infinite mystery and fascination for scientists, who are still trying to explain not only why it is still getting bigger, but also doing so ever-quicker. Attempts to shed some light on the matter have included the modification of how we mathematically treat gravity's effects at greater distances, with the galileon scalar field enabling self-accelerating solutions.

Synthetic biology

This is one emerging scientific field that even many laypeople are familiar with already - after all, how could the design and construction of biological parts, systems and devices possibly not capture the wider imagination? Recent years have seen the creation of "synthetic life" - DNA that is digitally created before its printing and insertion into a living bacterium - and as a scientist in this field, you could be perfectly placed to direct and influence the next wave of developments.

Looking to change the world? Science jobs certainly allow you to do that, with those in the aforementioned fields offering some of the best possibilities of all. 

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