Careerapedia: The A-Z STEM careers list
From astrophysicists to zoologists, we hunt down the coolest science roles in the job-verse. And nope, they don’t require a lab coat.
A is for astrophysicist
These folk use physics and chemistry to
test their theories about space.
Perk alert: Travelling the world to present at conferences becomes part of the gig!
B is for biotechnologist
Generally lab-bound, biotechnologists work on modifying things like living organisms to develop new products and improved systems.
Career crush: Kastoori Hingorani, with a PhD from ANU, is working on recreating the way plants harness the Sun’s energy, which would potentially replace fossil fuels!
C is for conservationist
Daily to-do lists include, managing natural habitats, introducing new ways to protect environments and advising farmers on land-based issues such as erosion control.
Study up: Look out for degrees in conservation biology, natural resource management and biomedical science.
D is for dietician
Dieticians help people understand the relationship between their health and food, providing nutritional advice to those with nutritional concerns.
Salary spill: $60,000 on average.
E is for ecologist
Like conservationists, ecologists are also concerned with preserving ecosystems, balancing the needs of landowners and environmental priorities.
Perk alert: You can start on-the-job training now by volunteering for your local eco not-for-profit.
F is for food technologist
Setting and improving the standards for the production of food is all in a day’s job. And the non-glamourous part? Studying food deterioration – yep, smelly.
Career crush: Laura Welch! As a technologist at food and beverage company Lion, she develops flavours and runs new product trials.
G is for geoscientist
Geoscientists study the Earth’s history and are often hired to hunt down gems, oils and other hidden resources.
Study up: Employees look favourably on honours degrees in science, engineering, maths and statistics. Check out the government-run Geoscience Australia Graduate Program, too.
H is for hydro metallurgist
Into chemistry? Why not manipulate metals and figure out how to turn them into higher value products.
Salary spill: Metallurgist salaries can get up to $158,000.
I is for immunologist
These specialist physicians manage the treatment of patients with diseases compromising the immunise system.
Perk alert: Due to an increase in the prevalence of allergies, there’s currently a shortage of immunologists in Australia and New Zealand, which means job opportunities galore.
J is for journalist
Specialised writing for mags, newspapers and online.
Career crush: Alice Klein! As the Australasian correspondent for New Scientist, climbing a dormant volcano – and writing about it – is all in a day’s work.
K is for kindergarten science teacher
Kindergarten teachers introduce STEM concepts to the next gen of talented scientists. Warning: experiments can get, er, seriously messy.
Study up: A teaching degree is a must, choose science-related electives.
L is for lab technician
Technicians head up the maintenance of lab tools and equipment, capture and sort data and ensure efficiency and accuracy.
Salary spill: Up to $78,000 a year, depending on the field.
M is for marine biologist
From blue whales to plankton, marine biologists study all things underwater. Bonus: you get to wear a wetsuit to the office!
Perk alert: Each day is different! You could be diving to collect data one morning and buried under research the next.
N is for neonatologist
These hospital-based specialists deal primarily with sick or preterm babies.
Career crush: Dr Adrienne Gordon! With a medical and public health degree in the bag, she’s currently leading the BABY1000 project – a ground-breaking developmental study of a baby’s first 1000 days.
O is for oceanographer
Oceanographers use biology, chemistry, geology and physics to conserve, manage, harvest and protect our oceans.
Study up: A degree in marine science is usually a minimum requirement.
P is for physiologist
With detailed knowledge of the human body, physiologists spend their time treating serious medical conditions through targeted exercise programs.
Salary spill: It depends on whether you work in a practice, gym or hospital, but you can expect around $65,000.
Q is for quantum physicist
Quantum physicists manipulate atoms, electrons and photons to stretch the boundaries of physics.
Perk alert: Studying forces that shape the world? Sign. Us. Up.
R is for roboticist
Fluent in computer science and human-computer interaction design, roboticists conceptualise, build and program robotic systems, contributing to a variety of industries.
Career crush: Associate professor, Denny Oetomo! The deputy head of Monash University’s engineering department has devoted his career to developing medical robots that assist clinical professionals in providing better patient care.
S is for solar scientist
Solar scientists advise companies, corporates and governments on cutting-edge systems.
Study up: Start with a Bachelor of Science; you can specialise from there.
T is for telecommunications technician
These peeps help telcos to install, create, repair and monitor their networks.
Salary spill: Advertised gigs can go up to $83,000.
U is for urban statistician
Statisticians live for data. They play with numbers and stats to aid decision making in science, technology, medicine and government fields.
Perk alert: You’re basically solving problems all day.
V is for volcanologist
Apart from frothing over volcanoes, these specialised geoscientists study their formation and activity to help predict future eruptions.
Career crush: Macquarie University’s associate professor in volcanology and geochemistry, Heather Handley! She’s smashed a Bachelor of Science in geology, completed a PhD on the geochemistry of Indonesian volcanoes and now takes on eruption prediction projects.
W is for weather forecaster
Using specialised scientific techniques to understand what’s up with the weather,
is all in a day’s work.
Study up: Look out for applied science and engineering degrees.
X is for X-ray expert
Medical imaging professionals operate X-ray and imaging equipment to diagnose, monitor and treat patients.
Salary spill: Average pay is around $86,000 mark.
Y is for you tell US
Seriously, are there any STEM jobs that start with the letter Y? Yuckologist? School us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re stumped!
Z is for zoologist
These guys study the origin, development, behaviours and habitats of different living species.
Perk alert: Um, they have animals for co-workers!
– Cassie Steel
Author: Cassie Steel
Cassie Steel is a Sydney-based journalist who specialises in health, beauty, lifestyle, tech and entertainment content.