Careers Service

Scientific Analysis and Investigation

What these roles have in common is the process of investigation. They may identify substances, carry out trials, or assess risk.

A relevant degree is necessary in most cases and a postgraduate degree can be helpful. Laboratory experience or related industrial experience is an advantage.


Follow the links below for profiles of common occupations in this sector:

Analytical chemist

Royal Society of Chemistry - information on careers in chemistry as well as details of education and awards.

Royal Society of Chemistry

Society of Chemical Industry - international association with details of scholarships and awards for students.

Society of Chemical Industry

Forensic scientist

Forensic Science Society - professional organisation for those working in forensic science, with some careers information. Lists of member organisations and labs are restricted access.

Forensic Science Society

Scottish Police Authority - provide forensic services to Police Scotland, details of which can be found on their website. Website also includes forensic vacancies.

Scottish Police Authority

Forensic Science Agency of Northern Ireland - information about career paths and a 'day in the life of a forensic scientist'.

Forensic Science Agency of Northern Ireland

Royal Society of Chemistry - Forensic Scientist Job Profile - interesting video interview exploring the career path of a Forensic Scientist working with the Scottish Police Authority forensic services team.

Royal Society of Chemistry - Forensic Scientist Job Profile

There are a number of specialist commercial companies who offer forensic services to the police and other public agencies. Three of the largest such companies, who advertise vacancies on their own websites, are Environmental Scientifics Group (ESG), LGC and Orchid Cellmark.

Environmental Scientifics Group (ESG)


Orchid Cellmark

Public analyst

Association of Public Analysts (APA) - association of the scientists specialising in analytical chemistry for UK's public protection enforcement service, with links to the public and private laboratories where this work is done.

Radiation protection officer

Association of University Radiation Protection Officers (AURPO) - professional organisation whose members train students in the fields of science, engineering and medicine.

Association of University Radiation Protection Officers (AURPO)

Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) - section dealing specifically with their work with radioactivity. The main SEPA site also has a vacancies section.

Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)

Society for Radiological Protection - concerned with safety aspects of ionising and non-ionising radiation in education, central and local government, industry, medicine and research. Includes a very useful careers section.

Society for Radiological Protection


British Toxicology Society - has good careers information, looking at different fields including government/regulatory toxicology, occupational toxicology and ecotoxicology.

Vacancy sources

NB vacancies may also be listed in many of the sites above.

Chemjobs - lists jobs and studentships throughout the world. Includes a searchable database of companies.