Toxicology is the study of toxic substances and how they affect humans, animals, and the environment. Toxicology studies may involve soil contamination, water quality, and environmental damage because of poisonous infiltrations.
Toxicologists conduct research, collect and analyze data, and present their findings regarding radiation and toxins such as asbestos, lead, cadmium, and mercury; they may work for the government, regulatory agencies, universities, or private organizations as they strive to protect the environment and people from the harmful effects of hazardous materials.
An aspiring toxicologist should have an aptitude for science and math and also have excellent communication skills; toxicologists must write up their findings in a clear, concise manner and also often deliver conclusions in oral presentations as well.
According to the Society of Toxicologists (SOT), entry-level positions for candidates who hold doctorate degrees offer salaries between $35,000 and $60,000; earnings for those with bachelor’s or master’s degrees tend to be less but still around the same amounts as those in entry-level positions in other science professions.
The SOT also notes that career advancement often happens quickly. Those with a doctorate degree and 10 years of experience can earn between $70,000 and $100,000 per year while those in executive toxicology positions tend to earn the most, between $100,000 and $200,000 annually.
The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that employment prospects for medical scientists are expected to grow much faster than average with the best opportunities for those who have a doctorate degree.