5 Jobs in Applied Science

There are so many career paths you can enter for applied science, so here are 5 jobs you could consider.


If you’re looking for a role where no two days are the same, then a career in Applied Science might be for you.

You could be a Forensic Scientist where one day you’re taking evidence from a crime scene, to the next day extracting data from phones and computers. Or working as a Pathologist where one day you will be examining the results of blood tests, to assisting in the creation of vaccines for infectious diseases.

The number of individuals entering employment within the sciences in the public and private sectors is rising. There are a wide variety of industries that employ scientists, from the government, leading charities, research institution and more.

So, if you want to make a real difference, are a hands-on learner and want to have a clear pathway, here are some of the top careers within this field and how to get into them.

Forensic Scientist 

What is a Forensic Scientist?

They prepare traces of physical evidence for use in courts of law.

Do I need a degree?

Not necessarily. You can get into this job via a University degree but can also apply through an apprenticeships or by applying directly to forensic services providers if you have some lab experience and qualifications in science (especially if you have chemistry). If you’re going the University route, you’ll usually need 2 or 3 A Levels (or the equivalent which needs to include chemistry).

Relevant courses include:

What will I do?

A typical day for a Forensic Scientist could look like:

  • Analysing fluid and tissue samples for traces of things like drugs and poisons
  • Attending crime scenes
  • Analysing and examining splash patterns, handwriting, signatures, and ink
  • Recovering data from technology such as computers and mobiles
  • Giving impartial scientific evidence in a court

What sort of salary can I earn?

You can expect to start on a salary of £18,000 and once experienced can go up to £45,000


What is a Pathologist?

They work in hospitals and labs specialising in prevention, diagnosis, and treatments of diseases.

Do I need a degree? 

Yes, to become a Pathologist you will need a University degree. There are two routes you can take, and these are medical doctor or clinical scientist route.

For the medical doctor route, you will need:

  • 5-year degree in medicine
  • 2-year general training foundation course
  • 5- or 6-year specialist training programme in pathology

For the clinical scientist route, you will need:

  • 3 or 4 years for a degree or masters in a pure or applied science subject (such as biology, chemistry, clinical or biomedical science
  • 3-year work-based Scientist Training Programme
  • 5-year Higher Specialist Scientist Training following the pathology speciality.


Typical entry requirements for most degrees needed for this role would be 5 GCSEs at grades 9-4 (including English, Maths and Science). Then 3 A Levels (or equivalent), including biology and chemistry.

What will I do?

As a Pathologist you would be working in the NHS or private hospital, or even a laboratory. A typical day could look like:

  • Examining results of blood tests, smear tests and removal of tissue
  • Treating diseases and giving further medical advice
  • Working on developing vaccines against infectious diseases
  • Researching and developing new tests and ways of treating patients

What sort of salary can I earn?

As a Pathologist you can earn a starting wage of around £31,365 up to £91,004 when you are more experienced.

Road Traffic Accident Investigator

What is a road traffic accident investigator?

Their role is to carry out examinations to work out why an accident happened.

Do I need a degree?

A degree is one route to this role, but it isn’t the only one. A couple of options are:

  • A university course
    • For this route you can take a course through a professional body like AiTS. You can look at certificates, then after the foundation degree, you can top up to the BSc (Hons) Professional Studies in Forensic Road Collision Investigation. For this you will need 2 or 3 A Levels (including maths or science), or the UCPD in Forensic Road Collision Investigation.
  • Working towards this role
    • Another option is to join the police as an office, and specialise in road policing, while completing qualifications.

What will I do?

Within this role you would be working either on the road or in the office. A typical day could look like:

  • Examining vehicles and their parts
  • Looking at vehicle speeds and how much crush damage there is
  • Creating detailed plans of crash scenes and making studies on time and distance
  • Gaining technical information from vehicle manufacturers and checking tachograph information
  • Producing reports and acting as an expert witness

What sort of salary can I earn?

For this role, you can expect to start on around £20,000, moving up to £40,000 when more experienced.

Biomedical Scientist

What is a Biomedical Scientist?

They screen patient samples and help doctors with diagnosing and treating disease.

Do I need a degree? 

A degree is one route, but not the only one. You could also get into this career via an apprenticeship or working towards this role.

For a degree you can choose one that’s accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Science or train through the NHS Practitioner Training programme (and then complete a degree in healthcare science). For this you’ll usually need 5 GCSEs at grades 9-4 (including English, Maths and Science). Then 3 A Levels (or equivalent) including biology and chemistry.

You can also get into this role by completing a Healthcare science practitioner degree apprenticeship (typically around 36 months). You’ll typically need 4 or 5 GCSEs (grades 9-4) and A Levels, or equivalent.

The last route is via getting a trainee job. For this you’ll need at least 2 A Level sciences (or equivalent), for example a Level 3 Diploma in Applied Science. Places for this type of role are sponsored and you’ll find them advertised as ‘trainee biomedical scientist’. Then you’ll study for a degree while you work.

What will I do? 

Your working environment for this role could be anywhere from a university, at a research facility or even in a laboratory. Depending on where you choose you work your tasks could vary, but may look like:

  • Testing for diseases such as food poisoning or infectious diseases such as rubella or hepatitis.
  • Analysing blood work for diseases alongside supporting the blood transfusion team with blood grouping and matching.
  • Screening for abnormalities in the blood such as being anaemic or leukaemia.
  • Completing routine tests on tissue and fluid samples for example cervical smears.

What sort of salary can I earn? 

A typical salary for this role can start at £24,907 and when more experienced this will move up to £44,503


What is a Pharmacist?

The Pharmacist is the point of call for providing expert advice to patients on their medicines alongside dispensing them. 

Do I need a degree?

Yes, you will need a degree. You’ll need to complete a 4-year Master of Pharmacy (MPharm) degree which is approved by the General Pharmaceutical Council. This is then followed by a year of pre-registration training course in a pharmacy.

There is another route if you don’t have the qualifications for an MPharm degree, where you can complete a 2-year pharmacy foundation degree. You can have a job as a pharmacy assistant, and then apply for the MPharm degree in your second year.

To get onto your degree, you will need a least 1 A Level (or equivalent) for foundation degree, or 2 or 3 A Levels (or equivalent) including chemistry.

What will I do?

For a Pharmacist there are many options for where you could work. For example, you could be at a store, within the NHS, a private hospital or a care home. You could even join the armed forces as a Pharmacist. However, a typical day might look something like this:

  • Dispensing medications and giving healthcare advice
  • Advising patients on dosages for drugs and running screening programmes for conditions such as diabetes, cholesterol, or blood pressure
  • Ordering and controlling stock of medication, alongside supervising and training staff
  • Producing medicines if they aren’t available such as cancer treatments

What sort of salary can I earn? 

You can expect to start on a salary of £31,365 and once experienced can go up to £44,503


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