Natural sciences managers work closely with a team of scientists or research professionals to meet deadlines in the industries of product development and scientific research. They are in charge of hiring subordinates to work in laboratories, industrial plants, and other workplaces where research professionals are required. Managers have strong backgrounds and degrees in life sciences and possess high levels of integrity and experience in their chosen fields.
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Natural science managers supervise the research and activities of scientists and technicians. They are also responsible for overseeing support staff. Managers decide that goals of the scientists and technicians within the expectations of the company executives for whom they work. These goals could be in relation to research or product development.
Natural science managers make plans scientists and researchers need to meet their research or development goals. These plans could be detailed descriptions of how to invent a new product or how to improve an existing product. They could also be plans that detail the issues with a project that is underway and explain the appropriate route to correct these problems.
Natural science managers are also responsible for hiring the employees, the scientists, and researcher professionals that work underneath them. They are responsible for carefully supervising those that they hire. Other administrative duties, such as handling the budget and overall project supervision, are other responsibilities a reliable natural science manager will take on. Managers must check the work of their subordinates for accuracy and make sure that how the results were obtained is compliant with the policies of the company.
Communication plays a large part in the role of a natural science manager. Managers must communicate with members of their own team as well as members of other teams and companies. They must also communicate with their superiors regarding the marketing of their products and the status of their products and research findings, check financial standings, and check on the status of necessary materials and supplies for the job.
Most natural sciences managers will play a large role in developments in geology, agricultural sciences, biology, physics, or the world of medicine. They should expect to oversee testing and expect to make sure the quality of the research and product development is up to par with the high standards of the scientific community. Many natural sciences managers choose to take on their own projects as well as those of the people working underneath them; this includes individual research projects.
The education of natural sciences managers is not very different from that of the scientists that work below them. Many research professionals and scientists carry hard-earned PhDs in their field of specialty, but a bachelor’s degree in a scientific area is the minimum requirement.
Biology degrees as well as degrees in physics, geology, agriculture, mathematics, chemistry, and other life science fields are very common. For natural sciences managers that want to work in a more technical field, they may have a master’s degree or PhD in a natural or life science with an additional focus in business or business management.
It is expected that professionals that work in the areas of scientific research and product development continue their education regularly even after achieving their highest academic degrees possible. This can be done through workshops and other learning opportunities to keep their knowledge fresh and keep up with the scientific times. New and exciting discoveries are made every day. Keeping up with education ensures that the natural sciences managers know the latest technology and facts they can use to better their research and products.
An ideal candidate for this position would be a strong leader with excellent communication skills, lots of energy, a strong ability to listen and comprehend, and an interest in the sciences. He or she would be able to take charge in tough situations and work in a timely manner to meet deadlines.
Laboratories and offices are the two places that natural sciences managers are most likely going to spend their working hours. If the manager works in a lab, it will most likely be similar to the workplace of research scientists. If managers work in offices, they most likely work for a company focusing mainly on product development, writing reports and supervising their subordinates.
Natural sciences managers work full time, with a schedule of at least 40 hours per week. Depending on the deadlines of their various projects, workweeks may be much longer. This is a workplace that often carries quite a bit of pressure from higher management to meet deadlines. These deadlines can occur after a very short period of time depending on the budget for each individual project or company, and the quality of work is expected to be very high.
The workplace of a natural science manager is one that runs very well with a good team. This team is very much like a well-oiled machine, with each person filling a valuable position. Managers are a crucial part of this process, and when their jobs are done correctly they will feel a great amount of appreciation within their office or lab.
Natural sciences managers earn an average of $114,770 per year in North America.