Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Medical Scientists in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for medical scientists in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area. Currently, 8,750 people work as medical scientists in Pennsylvania. This is expected to grow 18% to about 10,300 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for medical scientists are expected to grow by about 40.4%. In general, medical scientists conduct research dealing with the understanding of human diseases and the improvement of human health.

Medical scientists earn about $44 hourly or $91,670 annually on average in Pennsylvania and about $34 hourly or $72,590 annually on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Life Sciences, people working as medical scientists in Pennsylvania earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Life Sciences nationally. Jobs in this field include: physical scientist, clinical research scientist, and medical research scientist.

There are six schools within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh where you can study to be a medical scientist, among eighty-three schools of higher education total in the Pittsburgh area. Given that the most common education level for medical scientists is a Doctoral degree, you can expect to spend four or five years training to become a medical scientist if you already have a Bachelor's degree, or eight to ten years starting with a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Medical Scientist

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

In general, medical scientists conduct research dealing with the understanding of human diseases and the improvement of human health. They also engage in clinical investigation or other research, production, or related activities.

Medical scientists formulate and direct studies to investigate human or animal disease, preventive methods, and treatments for disease. Finally, medical scientists conduct research to evolve methodologies, instrumentation and processes for medical application, analyzing data and presenting findings.

Every day, medical scientists are expected to be able to piece together evidence to, in some sense, diagnose what is going on in a situation. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they read and understand documents and reports.

It is important for medical scientists to evaluate effects of drugs and microorganisms at various levels. They are often called upon to follow strict safety procedures when handling toxic materials to avoid contamination. They also teach principles of medicine and medical and laboratory procedures to physicians and technicians. They are sometimes expected to confer with and advise physicians, educators and others regarding medical applications of physics and chemistry. Somewhat less frequently, medical scientists are also expected to ready and analyze organ, tissue, and cell samples to pinpoint toxicity or microorganisms or to study cell structure.

Medical scientists sometimes are asked to investigate cause or mode of transmission of diseases or parasites. They also have to be able to use equipment such as atomic absorption spectrometers and chromatography systems And finally, they sometimes have to talk with health departments and others to evolve health safety standards and public health improvement programs.

Like many other jobs, medical scientists must have exceptional integrity and be persistant in the face of problems and impediments.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Pittsburgh include:

  • Biologist. Research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, and functions.
  • Epidemiologist. Investigate and describe the determinants and distribution of disease, disability, and other health outcomes and develop the means for prevention and control.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Scientist. Study the chemical composition and physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.
  • Soil Conservation Technician. Plan and develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil and water conservation, and sound land use.
  • 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: Medical Scientist Training

Chatham University - Pittsburgh, PA

Chatham University, Woodland Rd, Pittsburgh, PA 15232. Chatham University is a small university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,133 students and an admission rate of 71%. Chatham University has a bachelor's degree program in Biochemistry which graduated five students in 2008.

Duquesne University - Pittsburgh, PA

Duquesne University, Administration Bldg 600 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15282. Duquesne University is a large university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,106 students and an admission rate of 76%. Duquesne University has 2 areas of study related to Medical Scientist. They are:

  • Biochemistry, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree.
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated three and zero students respectively in 2008.

Seton Hill University - Greensburg, PA

Seton Hill University, Seton Hill Dr, Greensburg, PA 15601. Seton Hill University is a small university located in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,010 students and an admission rate of 63%. Seton Hill University has a bachelor's degree program in Biochemistry which graduated two students in 2008.

Carnegie Mellon University - Pittsburgh, PA

Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890. Carnegie Mellon University is a large university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,646 students and an admission rate of 29%. Carnegie Mellon University has a bachelor's degree program in Biophysics which graduated one student in 2008.

Washington & Jefferson College - Washington, PA

Washington & Jefferson College, 60 S Lincoln St, Washington, PA 15301. Washington & Jefferson College is a small college located in Washington, Pennsylvania. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,519 students and an admission rate of 38%. Washington & Jefferson College has 2 areas of study related to Medical Scientist. They are:

  • Biochemistry, bachelor's degree.
  • Biophysics, bachelor's degree.

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus - Pittsburgh, PA

University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus, 4200 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15260. University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus is a large university located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 27,562 students and an admission rate of 56%. University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus has 11 areas of study related to Medical Scientist. They are:

  • Biochemistry, doctor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Molecular Biology, bachelor's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Cell/Cellular Biology and Histology, doctor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Medical Microbiology and Bacteriology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated seven and fourteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Immunology, doctor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Neurobiology and Neurophysiology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated one and six students respectively in 2008.
  • Pathology/Experimental Pathology, doctor's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Molecular Pharmacology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated one and four students respectively in 2008.
  • Biostatistics, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated nine and five students respectively in 2008.
  • Epidemiology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated twenty-two and fifteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Medical Scientist, postbaccalaureate certificate and master's degree which graduated two and eighteen students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.