Employment Prospects


Nanotechnologists are employed by local, state, and federal agencies that conduct research in nanotechnology and nanoengineering, including the following federal agencies:

  • Agricultural Research Service
  • Departments of Defense, Energy, Homeland Security, and Transportation
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Food and Drug Administration
  • NASA
  • National Cancer Institute
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Science Foundation

Additionally, nanotechnologists work 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 and consumer goods
  • telecommunications
  • agriculture production/food processing
  • environmental monitoring, control, and remediation

Finally, some nanotechnologists are employed as professors and researchers at colleges and universities; others work in the U.S. military.

Starting Out

Nanotechnologists often break into the field by working as laboratory assistants or interns during their college years. Others advance from the position of nanotechnician.

Popular job-search strategies include using the resources of your university’s career services office, attending career fairs, checking out job listings on employment Web sites, and networking in-person and on social networking sites such as LinkedIn. Additionally, visit for a list of nanotechnology companies and laboratories. Start researching these companies to learn about job openings and the industry as a whole.

Advancement Prospects

Skilled and experienced nanotechnologists advance by receiving increases in salary and by being assigned increasingly complex job duties. Some technologists become supervisors or department managers. Others continue their education in order to become nanosystems engineers, nanomaterials scientists, or college professors.

Tips for Entry

Read publications and other resources such as:

  • IEEE Explorer Magazine (
  • nanoHUB (
  • American Journal of Nanomaterials (
  • Nature Nanotechnology (

Visit the following Web sites for job listings:


Visit for a list of nanotechnology companies in the United States and around the world.

Use social media sites to network and learn more about the industry. One useful resource is Nanotation (, the American Chemical Society’s Facebook site for nanoscience and nanotechnology.

Join professional associations such as the International Association of Nanotechnology to network and learn more about the field.