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What Are the Different Types of Trainee Scientist Jobs?

By K. Kinsella
Updated Feb 11, 2024
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Scientists use a knowledge of chemistry, biology, physics or other topics to create new products, cure illnesses and make technological advancements. Many universities, government agencies and private companies employ large numbers of college graduates in trainee scientist jobs. Typically, these individuals combine classroom study with on-the-job training before transitioning into permanent scientific researcher roles. In many instances, those involved in trainee programs are postgraduate students whose major corresponds to the work they are involved in and permanent job offers are often contingent upon successful completion of the advanced degree course.

Hospitals and other medical facilities employ people in trainee scientist jobs that are centered on studying biological samples, viruses, bacteria and other substances. Typically, the trainees assist a department head or chief researcher who is tasked with identifying the cause of a pandemic or studying the effects of certain experimental drugs on patients. Pharmaceutical companies also employ people in trainee scientist jobs and like some hospital employees, they are tasked with finding cures for ailments and illnesses. Unlike researchers based in medical centers, pharmaceutical firm employees normally conduct the majority of their work in laboratories with tissue samples whereas their counterparts in the medical field often work with live patients.

Beyond the medical field, many people employed in trainee scientist jobs are employed by manufacturing firms and energy providers. Many of these professionals attempt to create new compounds and materials that can be used in commercial products while others attempt to discover new energy sources. Typically, the trainees work is theoretical rather than practical and an experienced scientist oversees their studies and research. Some theories may result in products and ideas that make it to the development stage but in most instances, the trainees’ only practical work is related to assisting experienced workers with ongoing projects.

Government entities employ college graduates in various trainee scientist jobs. Trainees employed by the military assist scientists with developing weapons, satellite systems and new technologies that may be deployed in the field. Trainees only have access to certain aspects of each project and much of this research is covert ; in this case, these individuals are not allowed to discuss the work with people who lack the appropriate security clearance. Other government trainee scientists assist experienced researchers with gathering information related to climate change, environmental studies and other subject matters that may be of interest to the general public. In many instances, scientists with many different areas of expertise such as biology, meteorology and chemistry may be involved in studying various types of data that is related to the same government study.

Many trainee scientists are employed by universities. These individuals are graduates with Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees in topics ranging from sociology to pharmacology. Trainees often work as associate or assistant professors and help experienced faulty members with preparing studies and reports.

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