9 surprising careers in science

Surprising science careers

When it comes to careers in science, there are so many extreme and unexpected paths you can walk! From chasing storms to milking snakes, there’s never a dull moment in this field…

1. Cave diver

If diving is your passion, just add a little science and you’ve found your dream STEM career! Cave diving might just be one of the most extreme science professions. A cave diver works with a scientific research team and heads underwater to photograph or collect things like fish, vegetation or minerals. It’s a risky job, and besides a science degree you’ll also needs loads of diving experience and training.

2. Fireworks designer

Ever thought about how those incredible fireworks light up the night sky on New Year’s Eve? A fireworks designer (or a pyrotechnician) and a whole lot of science is responsible for those displays of colour. They work with explosives and chemicals to create these experiences, and have a solid understanding of chemistry and physics. A fireworks designer is also responsible for planning the event (including working out the choreography), surveying the site, assembling the fireworks, and firing them off.

3. Snake milker

If you love reptiles, you might be up for the challenge of this job. A snake milker is a type of zoologist who safely extracts venom from snakes. Researchers then study the venom to create drugs that treat everything from blood clots to heart attacks. Venom is also used to make anti-venom, which is the antidote to snake bites. A good knowledge of biology is helpful here!

4. Crocodile physiologist

A crocodile physiologist is basically a croc expert! They study everything from their organ structure to their environment, and also conduct controlled experiments on crocodiles to see if certain factors are impacting their health. To work with crocs in this way, you’ll need a degree in animal science, plus all the bravery you can muster.

RELATED: Working with animals… What kinds of jobs can I get?

5. Space psychologist

Yep, this is an actual job. And it’s an important one too! These STEM peeps are psychologists who work with astronauts to understand the demands and mental challenges of living in space – like conflict and isolation. A space psychologist also conducts psychological examinations and comes up with training programs to improve teamwork and communication amongst astronauts so their mission is a success.

Surprising science careers - space psychologist
NASA astronaut Anne McClain is shown onboard the International Space Station performing the Time Perception in Microgravity investigation. The goal of the Time Perception in Microgravity experiment is to investigate the perception of time to crew members aboard the station. Image: NASA

6. Cosmetic scientist

These guys test and develop perfume and makeup, as well as skincare, hair and toiletry products. This STEM job involves stacks of chemistry. A cosmetic scientist can work in a few different areas, like product development, research, product testing and lab supervision. This is the perfect way to combine your STEM + X (where STEM = your skills, and X = your passion). If you’re interested in cosmetics and want a STEM career, this could be an awesome path for you.

7. Storm chaser

This one sounds exciting, doesn’t it? A storm chaser carries out meteorological research on the field, and reports on cyclones, hurricanes and other extreme weather events and conditions. These deets help weather bureaus (like the Bureau of Meteorology) to put out accurate forecasts and warnings. For this job, you’ll need to be good at spotting patterns and analysing data.

RELATED: Quiz – What’s your science career?

8. Scientific events manager

Another fun way to flex your STEM + X! If you can’t decide between science and communications, pair ’em up and become a scientific events manager. They are in charge of planning, marketing and coordinating…you guessed it…scientific events. These include conferences, hackathons and festivals for businesses or students. Your comms skills are key here, especially when you need to share or present scientific info with the general public.

9. Science publisher

A science publisher is all about commissioning, reviewing and publishing scientific content. This could be for books and journals or even magazines and websites. They need to keep up to date with scientific developments in order to publish content that reflects this, while keeping in mind their target audience and the areas they are interested in.

Looking for more amazing science careers? We’ve profiled so many cool scientists! Just head to our careers in science hub to find out more about what they do and how you can score a STEM job just like theirs!

Louise Meers

Author: Louise Meers

Louise is the production editor for Careers with STEM. She has a journalism degree from the University of Technology, Sydney and has spent over a decade writing for youth. She is passionate about inspiring young people to achieve their biggest goals and build a better future.


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