Career and Education Opportunities for Scientists in San Diego, California
If you want to be a scientist, the San Diego, California area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 4,500 people are currently employed as scientists in California. By 2016, this is expected to grow 24% to 5,600 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for scientists, which sees this job pool growing by about 37.4% over the next eight years. Scientists generally study the chemical composition and physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena.
The income of a scientist is about $43 per hour or $89,850 annually on average in California. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $39 per hour or $82,840 per year on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Life Sciences, people working as scientists in California earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Life Sciences nationally. People working as scientists can fill a number of jobs, such as: analytical research chemist, research scientist, and genetic engineer.
There are sixty schools of higher education in the San Diego area, including four within twenty-five miles of San Diego where you can get a degree to start your career as a scientist. The most common level of education for scientists is a post-Baccalaureate certificate. You can expect to spend a short time training to become a scientist if you already have a Bachelor's degree, or little over four years starting with a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Scientist
In general, scientists study the chemical composition and physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. They also may conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, and heredity.
Scientists ready reports and recommendations based upon research outcomes. Finally, scientists share research findings by writing scientific articles and by making presentations at scientific conferences.
Every day, scientists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they write clearly and communicate well.
It is important for scientists to oversee laboratory teams, and monitor the quality of a team's work. They are often called upon to design new methods to study the mechanisms of biological processes. They also design and execute tests to uncover diseases or other abnormalities. They are sometimes expected to research how characteristics of plants and animals are carried through successive generations. Somewhat less frequently, scientists are also expected to share research findings by writing scientific articles and by making presentations at scientific conferences.
Scientists sometimes are asked to layout and build laboratory equipment needed for special research projects. And finally, they sometimes have to research transformations of substances in cells, using atomic isotopes.
Like many other jobs, scientists must be persistant in the face of problems and impediments and believe in innovation and creative thought.
Similar jobs with educational opportunities in San Diego include:
- Biological Sciences Technician. Assist biological and medical scientists in laboratories. Set up, operate, and maintain laboratory instruments and equipment, monitor experiments, and calculate and record results. May analyze organic substances, such as blood, food, and drugs.
- Biologist. Research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, and functions.
- Environmental Health and Safety Specialist. Conduct research or perform investigation for the purpose of identifying, abating, or eliminating sources of pollutants or hazards that affect either the environment or the health of the population. Utilizing knowledge of various scientific disciplines may collect, synthesize, and take action based on data derived from measurements or observations of air, food, and other sources.
- Epidemiologist. Investigate and describe the determinants and distribution of disease, disability, and other health outcomes and develop the means for prevention and control.
- Geological Specialist. Study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the earth. May use geological, physics, and mathematics knowledge in exploration for oil, gas, or underground water; or in waste disposal, land reclamation, or other environmental problems. May study the earth's internal composition, atmospheres, and its magnetic, electrical, and gravitational forces. Includes mineralogists, crystallographers, and seismologists.
- Medical Scientist. Conduct research dealing with the understanding of human diseases and the improvement of human health. Engage in clinical investigation or other research, production, or related activities.
- Microbiologist. Investigate the growth, structure, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, algae, or fungi. Includes medical microbiologists who study the relationship between organisms and disease or the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.
- Zoologist. Study the origins, behavior, and life processes of animals and wildlife. May specialize in wildlife research and management, including the collection and analysis of biological data to determine the environmental effects of present and potential use of land and water areas.
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Scientist Training
University of California-San Diego - La Jolla, CA
University of California-San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr, La Jolla, CA 92093. University of California-San Diego is a large university located in La Jolla, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 27,469 students and an admission rate of 42%. University of California-San Diego has 2 areas of study related to Scientist. They are:
- Biochemistry, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
- Biophysics, bachelor's degree and doctor's degree which graduated three and one students respectively in 2008.
University of San Diego - San Diego, CA
University of San Diego, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110-2492. University of San Diego is a medium sized university located in San Diego, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,832 students and an admission rate of 52%. University of San Diego has a bachelor's degree program in Biochemistry which graduated sixteen students in 2008.
Point Loma Nazarene University - San Diego, CA
Point Loma Nazarene University, 3900 Lomaland Dr, San Diego, CA 92106-2899. Point Loma Nazarene University is a small university located in San Diego, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,681 students and an admission rate of 78%. Point Loma Nazarene University has a bachelor's degree program in Biochemistry.
California State University-San Marcos - San Marcos, CA
California State University-San Marcos, 333 S Twin Oaks Valley Rd, San Marcos, CA 92096-0001. California State University-San Marcos is a medium sized university located in San Marcos, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,165 students and an admission rate of 72%. California State University-San Marcos has a bachelor's degree program in Biochemistry which graduated six students in 2008.
Registered Environmental Laboratory Technologist: RELT -- Registered Environmental Laboratory Technologist is a special registration/certification for persons engaged in the laboratory management and/or analysis of environmental samples.
For more information, see the National Registry of Environmental Professionals website.
LOCATION INFORMATION: San Diego, California
San Diego is situated in San Diego County, California. It has a population of over 1,279,329, which has grown by 4.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in San Diego, 141, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Diego are valued at $323,700 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, six hundred forty-one new homes were constructed in San Diego, down from seven hundred forty-eight the previous year.
The three big industries for women in San Diego are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 35.0% of San Diego residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 13.4%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in San Diego is 10.5%, which is less than California's average of 12.3%.
The percentage of San Diego residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 43.7%, is less than both the national and state average. Penasquitos Nazarene Church, Peace Lutheran Church and Paul E Kidd African Methodist Episcopal Church are some of the churches located in San Diego. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.
San Diego is home to the Zlac Rowing Club and the Rancho Los Penasquitos Golf Course as well as Adobe Bluffs Park and John F Kennedy Park. Shopping malls in the area include San Diego Factory Outlet Shopping Center, San Carlos Shopping Center and Montgomery Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to San Diego can choose from Best Western Posada at the Yac, Beachfront San Diego and Banana Bungalow Hostel San Diego for temporary stays in the area.