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Career and Education Opportunities for Scientists in Columbia, Maryland

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for scientists in the Columbia, Maryland area. There are currently 290 jobs for scientists in Maryland and this is projected to grow by 16% to about 340 jobs by 2016. 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. In general, scientists 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 $27 hourly or $56,600 annually on average in Maryland. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $39 per hour or $82,840 per year on average. Incomes for scientists are not quite as good as in the overall category of Life Sciences in Maryland, and better than the overall Life Sciences category nationally. Jobs in this field include: pharmaceutical scientist, associate professor, and research associate.

The Columbia area is home to 109 schools of higher education, including eleven within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree as a scientist. Given that the most common education level for scientists is a post-Baccalaureate certificate, it will take a short time to learn to be a scientist if you already have a Bachelor's degree, or little over four years starting with a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Scientist

Scientist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

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 Columbia 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.
  • Food Science Technician. Perform standardized qualitative and quantitative tests to determine physical or chemical properties of food or beverage products.
  • Food Technologist. Use chemistry, microbiology, and other sciences to study the principles underlying the processing and deterioration of foods; analyze food content to determine levels of vitamins, fat, and protein; discover new food sources; research ways to make processed foods safe, palatable, and healthful; and apply food science knowledge to determine best ways to process, package, and distribute food.
  • Forester. Manage forested lands for economic, recreational, and conservation purposes. May inventory the type, amount, and location of standing timber, appraise the timber's worth, negotiate the purchase, and draw up contracts for procurement. May determine how to conserve wildlife habitats, creek beds, and soil stability, and how best to comply with environmental regulations. May devise plans for planting and growing new trees, monitor trees for healthy growth, and determine the best time for harvesting. Develop forest management plans for public and privately-owned forested lands.
  • 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.
  • Natural Resource Manager. Research or study range land management practices to provide sustained production of forage, livestock, and wildlife.
  • Park Ranger. Plan, develop, and conduct programs to inform public of historical, natural, and scientific features of national, state, or local park.
  • Soil Conservation Technician. Plan and develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil and water conservation, and sound land use.
  • Soil Scientist. Conduct research in breeding, physiology, and management of crops and agricultural plants, their growth in soils, and control of pests; or study the chemical, physical, and mineralogical composition of soils as they relate to plant or crop growth. May classify and map soils and investigate effects of alternative practices on soil and crop productivity.
  • 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

Howard University - Washington, DC

Howard University, 2400 Sixth St NW, Washington, DC 20059-0001. Howard University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,696 students and an admission rate of 49%. Howard University has a master's degree and a doctor's degree program in Biochemistry which graduated three and zero students respectively in 2008.

Columbia Union College - Takoma Park, MD

Columbia Union College, 7600 Flower Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912. Columbia Union College is a small college located in Takoma Park, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 974 students. Columbia Union College has a bachelor's degree program in Biochemistry which graduated one student in 2008.

University of Maryland-Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

University of Maryland-Baltimore County, 1000 Hilltop Circle, Baltimore, MD 21250. University of Maryland-Baltimore County is a large university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,268 students and an admission rate of 72%. University of Maryland-Baltimore County has 2 areas of study related to Scientist. They are:

  • Biochemistry, doctor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Biochemistry/Biophysics and Molecular Biology, bachelor's degree which graduated 51 students in 2008.

University of the District of Columbia - Washington, DC

University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008. University of the District of Columbia is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,339 students. University of the District of Columbia has a master's degree program in Cell/Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences, Other Specialties which graduated three students in 2008.

Georgetown University - Washington, DC

Georgetown University, 37th and O St NW, Washington, DC 20057. Georgetown University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,318 students and an admission rate of 19%. Georgetown University has 2 areas of study related to Scientist. They are:

  • Biochemistry, bachelor's degree which graduated 11 students in 2008.
  • Biochemistry/Biophysics and Molecular Biology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated fifteen and three students respectively in 2008.

George Washington University - Washington, DC

George Washington University, 2121 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052. George Washington University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,027 students and an admission rate of 37%. George Washington University has 3 areas of study related to Scientist. They are:

  • Biochemistry, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated six and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Biophysics, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Cell/Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences, Other Specialties, doctor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.

Johns Hopkins University - Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N Charles St, Mason Hall, Baltimore, MD 21218-2688. Johns Hopkins University is a large university located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,049 students and an admission rate of 26%. Johns Hopkins University has 3 areas of study related to Scientist. They are:

  • Biochemistry, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated forty-nine and sixteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Biophysics, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated nine, two, and nine students respectively in 2008.
  • Cell/Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated three and fourteen students respectively in 2008.

Catholic University of America - Washington, DC

Catholic University of America, 620 Michigan Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20064. Catholic University of America is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,705 students and an admission rate of 81%. Catholic University of America has a bachelor's degree program in Biochemistry which graduated six students in 2008.

University of Maryland-College Park - College Park, MD

University of Maryland-College Park, , College Park, MD 20742. University of Maryland-College Park is a large university located in College Park, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,000 students and an admission rate of 39%. University of Maryland-College Park has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Biochemistry which graduated two, one, and two students respectively in 2008.

American University - Washington, DC

American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016-8001. American University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,684 students and an admission rate of 53%. American University has a bachelor's degree program in Biochemistry which graduated six students in 2008.

Trinity Washington University - Washington, DC

Trinity Washington University, 125 Michigan Ave NE, Washington, DC 20017-1094. Trinity Washington University is a small university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,734 students and an admission rate of 74%. Trinity Washington University has a bachelor's degree program in Biochemistry which graduated one student in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.