California Occupational Guides

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Summary Guide for

   Natural Sciences Managers in California

May also be called: Agricultural Research Directors; Biology Project Managers; Environmental Managers; Laboratory Managers; Natural Resources Managers; Research and Development Directors; Research Science Managers; and Resource Agency Managers

Specialties within this occupation include: Clinical Research Coordinators; and Water Resource Specialists

What Would I Do?

Natural Sciences Managers may oversee the work activities of scientists by coordinating production, quality control, or testing. Their job may also involve administrative and supervisory procedures. Some Natural Sciences Managers who work in research and development plan, design, assist, and manage projects.

Green Economy: Natural Sciences Managers will play an important role in the emerging green economy. They will be involved in activities related to environmental protection, such as advancing scientific research, developing new products, and improving manufacturing and production processes.

Natural Sciences Managers work in office buildings; however, some may spend time in laboratories or in the natural environment overseeing projects. Most Natural Sciences Managers work a standard 40-hour week.

Will This Job Fit Me?

The job of Natural Sciences Manager may appeal to those who enjoy starting up and carrying out projects either alone or as part of a team. This occupation may also interest those who have good oral and written communication abilities, as well as decision-making skills.

What Wages and Benefits Can I Expect?

The median wage in 2016 for Natural Sciences Managers in California is $147,373 annually, or $70.86 hourly. The median is the point at which half of the workers earn more and half earn less.

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Annual Wages for 2016Low
(25th percentile)
(50th percentile)
(75th percentile)
Source: EDD/LMID Occupational Employment Statistics Survey, 2016 Wages do not reflect self-employment.
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Natural Sciences Managers typically receive benefit packages, including health and life insurance, vacation, sick leave, and retirement plans.

What is the Job Outlook?

With the increased focus on the environment, additional opportunities are expected for Natural Sciences Managers. California leads the nation in terms of its support of environmental practices, thus creating a strong market for Natural Sciences Managers. However, during economic downturns, the number of job openings may decline.

How Do I Qualify?

A bachelor's degree in the natural sciences such as biological science, chemistry, geology, physics, and mathematics or a related field is generally the minimum educational level that employers will consider for a position as a Natural Sciences Manager. Advanced computer skills are also vital to the Natural Sciences Manager.

Finding a Job

Direct application to employers remains one of the most effective job search methods. College placement offices, company recruiting events, job fairs, and online job search sites are also good places to look. Career associations sometimes offer job openings on their websites. Online job opening systems include JobCentral at and CalJOBSSM at

To find your nearest One-Stop Career Center, go to Service Locator. View the helpful job search tips for more resources. (requires Adobe Reader).

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