Nanomaterials scientists are employed by government agencies that conduct research in nanotechnology and nanoengineering (including federal agencies such as the Agricultural Research Service; Departments of Defense and Energy; Environmental Protection Agency; Food and Drug Administration; NASA; National Institutes of Health; and the National Science Foundation), colleges and universities (as professors and researchers), and the U.S. military. They also work in the private sector in many industries, including electronics/semiconductor, automotives, aerospace, materials science (including packaging, textiles, and polymers), biotechnology, sporting goods, medicine and pharmaceuticals, food science, renewable energy (and energy capture and storage), cosmetics, forensics, defense, retail, consumer goods, telecommunications, agriculture production/food processing, and environmental monitoring, control, and remediation.
There are many ways to learn about job opportunities in nanoscience. Many new graduates build their professional networks by using LinkedIn, where they can also apply for jobs, join industry groups, and “follow” potential employers. Some professional associations, such as the American Chemical Society (ACS, https://communities.acs.org) have their own social networks.
The ACS Web site (https://www.chemistry.org) is an excellent resource for job seekers. It provides job listings, tips on interviewing and resumes, and information on internships and the society’s mentorship program for members.
Other job-search strategies include attending on-campus job fairs, using employment Web sites, accessing the resources of college career services offices, and applying directly to employers. Information on jobs with government agencies can be found at https://www.usajobs.gov.
Advancement for nanomaterials scientists typically consists of pay raises, more-challenging job responsibilities, and the opportunity to work on highly prestigious products or for larger employers (such as moving from a state-level science agency to a federal agency). Some scientists become department managers and company executives, or they move into marketing and sales positions. Others become consultants or college professors.
Tips for Entry
Attend conferences such as the Nanotechnology Conference and Expo-Nanotech (https://www.nsti.org/about/events.html) to network, participate in continuing education opportunities, and to interview for jobs.
Read publications and other resources such as:
- IEEE Explorer Magazine (https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/Xplore/home.jsp)
- nanoHUB (https://nanohub.org)
- American Journal of Nanomaterials (http://www.sciepub.com/journal/AJN)
- Nature Nanotechnology (https://www.nature.com/nnano)
Visit the following Web sites for job listings:
Visit http://www.nsti.org/directory/companies for a list of nanotechnology companies in the United States and around the world.
Join professional associations such as the American Chemical Society and the International Association of Nanotechnology to access networking opportunities.