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Medical Scientists

Medical Scientists
Quick Facts : Medical Scientists*
2010 Median Pay$76,700
Entry Level EducationDoctoral or professional degree
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 2012100,000
Job Outlook36% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change36,400

Medical scientists conduct research aimed at improving overall human health often using clinical trials and other investigative methods to reach their findings. They plan and direct studies to investigate human diseases, and methods to prevent and treat them.

What Medical Scientists Do

  • Plan and direct studies to investigate human diseases, preventive methods, and the treatment of disease
  • Develop methods, instruments, and procedures for medical applications and data analysis
  • Prepare and analyze medical samples to identify toxicity, bacteria, or microorganisms or to study cell structure
  • Standardize drug doses and immunization methods for manufacturing drugs and other medicinal compounds
  • Work with health departments, industry personnel, and physicians to develop programs that improve health safety standards

Work Environment

Medical scientists work in offices and laboratories. Most work full time.
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Job Outlook

Employment of medical scientists is expected to increase by 36 percent between 2010 and 2020, with most growth likely to be in the private industry.
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In May 2010 the average salary of medical scientists was $76,700.
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Medical Scientists*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Medical Scientists


Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.

Medical Scientists*
Percent Change in Employment

Medical Scientists


Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations


All Jobs in the U.S.


Becoming a Medical Scientists

Medical scientists typically need a Ph.D., usually in biology or a related life science, from an accredited postsecondary institution. Some medical scientists get a medical degree instead of a Ph.D. but prefer doing research to practicing as a physician. It is helpful for medical scientists to have both a Ph.D. and a medical degree.
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