Employment & Careers Advice
Where can I work?
Careers that started in Science is a publication profiling the careers of UQ Science graduates - see where the various programs and majors can lead.
Graduate Careers Australia conducts a Graduate Destination Survey annually. It asks recent graduates if they are working, seeking work or studying. For those working, information about job title and employer is collected. For the five years up to 2014 (latest available data), it showed that the most common relevant Australian employers of UQ SCMB graduates were:
- Biochemistry & Cell Biology – CSIRO; Australian, Queensland and local governments; QIMR Berghofer; Conservation Volunteers Australia; Eco Networks; UQ and other unis
- Chemical Sciences – Alphapharm; Dyesol (solar energy); Fawk and Sullivan Australia; Coim Group Pty Ltd; KPMG; Queensland and Australian Governments; mining companies; unis
- Genetics – Nephrocare; Core Research Group Pty Ltd; Australian and Queensland governments; QIMR Berghofer; law firms; unis
- Microbiology – CSIRO; Glaxo Smith Kline; Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology; QML Pathology; QIMR Berghofer; JBS Australia; ELISA Systems Pty Ltd; Australian, Queensland and local governments; unis
- Food Science & Biotechnology (grouped together) – Queensland Health; various food production companies; universities and research/medical institutes.
A 2016 analysis of UQ's CareerHub online jobs board found that roles offered to 'biological and chemical sciences' graduates in recent years were with numerous employers, including:
- Australain Genome Research Facility
- Australian Government (several departments and agencies, including CSIRO)
- Biotest Laboratories Pty Ltd
- Business consultancies and banks
- Coca-Cola Amatil
- Education/research sector (secondary and tertiary)
- Garvan Institute of Medical Research
- Mars Australia
- Max Biocare
- Palantir Technology
- Proctor and Gamble
- QIMR Berghofer medical research institute
- Shell and BP
- State Government departments and agencies
- Shell and BP
- Wineaway Pty Ltd
- Woodside Energy
Graduate Careers Australia (GCA) notes that growth areas for science graduates are:
- chemical/pharmaceutical/food processing industries
- environmental protection and resource management
The first two of these directly involve jobs as chemists, biochemists, geneticists, molecular biologists and microbiologists. Additionally, we at SCMB are aware that there is a growing demand for bioinformatics graduates due to the increasing need for computational and visualisation skills in science, resulting from developments such as the genome sequencing project.
GCA has also found that science graduates are nearly as likely to pursue non-scientific professional roles as they are research or industrial roles in the scientific industries. Surveys show that 40% of science graduates use the skills and process they learn while studying science (rather than their knowledge of science) to undertake roles in a wide range of areas. One such area is school teaching, where commencing salaries are relatively high. Students take a dual BSc/BEd degrees program over four years.
What can I earn?
Graduate Careers Australia’s web pages give the following median starting salary outcomes for Science graduates in Australia, based on their surveys of graduates (2014 – latest available):
- Physical Sciences (including Chemistry) bachelor’s graduates - $55K, but up to $59K in the Government sector
- Biological (Life) Sciences (including biochemistry, cell biology, microbiology) bachelor’s graduates - $48K, but up to $57K in the Government sector
A GCA survey of those who graduated in 2010 found that those in the group ‘Natural & Physical Sciences’ were earning on average $66K by 2014 (salary growth of 27% over the three years since graduation, compared to consumer price inflation of 8.1% over this period.)
Bachelor's graduates can go ton to qualify as a school teacher. The average 2014 salary for teachers who graduated in 2010 was $66K.
- Chemistry - $83,720
- Microbiologist - $78,000
- Biotechnologist - $78,000
- Life Sciences - $78,000
Who can help?
Industry placements - eligible second and third year, honours and masters students have the opportunity to undertake projects with UQ industry partners. These can be for credit or as vacation or study break options. For more information, go to the SCMB Study page and click on the program of interest.
Future Scientists Program - second and third year and Honours students have the opportunity to obtain vacation, sandwich semester, or ongoing part-time work experience, particularly in Chemistry, via the Future Scientists program, run by Kelly Scientific, the world's largest scientific staffing firm.
AusBiotech - Australia's Biotechnology Industry Association - offers a student association for Biotechnology students with access to employers, career events and more.
You can also see some actual job advertisements in real time by accessing online employment websites like jobbydoo.com.au, seek.com.au and careerone.com.au and searching with keywords such as Science, Chemistry, etc. You can also subscribe to some of these sites (eg, JobMail on SEEK) and be emailed job ads based on specific keywords you enter.
To help narrow personal career options, UQ student admissions recommends www.myfuture.edu.au - an interactive site that asks users questions and suggests careers.
The Australian Government's Job Outlook website is a careers and labour market research site that gives information on prospects and earnings based on keyword occupation search.