Toxicologists are employed by drug developers and other consumer-product companies dealing with chemicals or cosmetics to assess the safety of new products and drugs. Government agencies, on the other hand, employ toxicologists to regulate and review chemicals and drugs. According to various reports, the demand for toxicologists is on the rise at the moment due to a variety of factors. Data collected by SOT concludes that the toxicology workforce is graying and a labor shortage is inevitable.
Toxicology graduates are having an easy time finding jobs when compared to most other science graduates. Most toxicology graduate students get jobs several months before completing their course according to several university directors.
In today’s gruelling job market, getting an opportunity to secure employment before you even finish your studies is a rare thing to find. Also during conferences, several companies send scouts to try and hire them under the table, which shows just how in demand there is in the market.
There are several openings in universities, medical institutions, companies, and the federal government where toxicologists are needed. According to observers, there are two factors which have caused this abundance of opportunities for young toxicologists: the growing public interest in the toxic effects of different chemicals in the environment and the improved biological tools that have made the study of interactions between human cells and chemicals very efficient and accurate. A toxicologist at one given moment can have three to five different job offers according to Walt Piper, director of the University of Michigan School of Public Health.
With all these employment opportunities, you have to be asking yourself, “how much money does a toxicologist make?“. Well, the amount varies depending on many factors, but an average graduate will get approximately $55,000 per year while doctorate holders should get about $100,000 per year. This is a very significant amount considering several private companies offer more than average.
The industry sector pays more, and this has led to toxicologists leaving academic and government jobs to pursue industry-related positions. Academic toxicologists are therefore very few, and most directors are concerned that they may be completely depleted in the near future. According to Arthur Home, a professor at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, only a quarter of his students take academic positions while the rest join the industry field.
Toxicologists predicts that they will always be in demand primarily due to the fact that only a few hundred of the 70,000 commercial chemicals currently in use have been tested. The increased public interest due to the effects of chemical exposure is also a huge cause for the need of toxicologists.
There is a massive gap in the toxicology labor market, and young aspiring scientists need to take advantage of it. But, to become a toxicologist, students need to be disciplined and have a genuine passion for the field to succeed. However, a career in toxicology can be highly rewarding and worth the sacrifice.