Natural and Applied Science Policy Researchers, Consultants, and Program Officers

(NOC 4161)

in All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants, and program officers conduct research, prepare reports, provide consultation and advice, and administer programs in a variety of areas related to the natural and applied sciences. They work for federal, provincial, and municipal governments, computer and office furniture manufacturers, educational institutions, research organizations, consulting firms, environmental and conservation organizations, or they may be self-employed.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 210 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

  • Estimate 770 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 4115 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a moderate percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to contribute somewhat to employment opportunities over the coming years. Natural and Applied Science Policy Researchers, Consultants, and Program Officers most commonly work full-time hours. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 61% of Natural and Applied Science Policy Researchers, Consultants, and Program Officers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $72,975. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$19.23

Minimum

$36.00

Median

$46.15

Maximum

Annual Pay

$11,560

Minimum

$56,218

Median

$107,255

Maximum

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

Hourly Pay

$14.74

Minimum

$33.28

Median

$46.76

Maximum

Annual Pay

$5,616

Minimum

$44,335

Median

$92,599

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants, and program officers conduct research, prepare reports, provide consultation and advice, and administer programs in a variety of areas related to the natural and applied sciences. They work for federal, provincial, and municipal governments, computer and office furniture manufacturers, educational institutions, research organizations, consulting firms, environmental and conservation organizations, or they may be self-employed.

Job duties

Ergonomists or human factors specialists:

  • Research, advise on, and intervene in the physical, social and psychological interrelationships between persons, their equipment and working or living environments to make sure that the design, configuration and use of equipment, procedures and environmental conditions maximize safety, productivity and comfort.

Occupational or industrial hygienists:

  • Study, evaluate, and control physical, chemical, and biological hazards and stresses in the workplace.
  • Report and document investigations and conclusions.
  • Suggest changes to work environments and processes.
  • Provide information to workers and managers or employers on methods to reduce the risk of injury or illness from specific occupational hazards.
  • May teach safe work procedures, participate in emergency response planning, testify at hearings, and report findings at scientific conferences or in scientific journals.

Patent agents:

  • Advise clients on elements of patent law and on the patentability of inventions.
  • Conduct patent searches.
  • Prepare patent applications.
  • Represent clients before the patent office.

Technology transfer officers:

  • Transfer and integrate new technologies, usually from university or government research and development environments, to commercial and industrial applications and ensure the protection of intellectual property of researchers and developers.

Science policy and program officers:

  • Research and advise on policies or develop or administer programs related to transportation, emergency preparedness, communications, natural resources, agriculture, the environment, traditional and alternative energy technologies, land use, recycling, and other scientific fields.
  • Promote public awareness and education on issues like natural resources use, the environment, and reprocessing and reduction of waste.

Sample job titles

  • emergency preparedness planner
  • environmental consultant (except engineer)
  • environmental program coordinator
  • ergonomist
  • municipal recycling program coordinator
  • natural resources policy analyst
  • patent agent
  • waste management program coordinator
  • waste reduction and recycling officer
  • work site auditor

Skills

You should be organized, resourceful, and able to co-operate with others in a team. You must be able to communicate clearly, both orally and in writing. You will need an interest in research and familiarity with computers. Advanced computer and technical skills for data manipulation and statistical analysis may be required in some positions.

Job requirements

  • A bachelor's degree or college diploma in a related scientific or technical discipline is usually required for jobs in this group.
  • A master's degree in a related scientific discipline may be required.
  • Certification through the Canadian College of Certified Professional Ergonomists is required to use the title Canadian Certified Professional Ergonomist (CCPE). Membership with the Association of Canadian Ergonomists may be required.
  • Occupational hygienists may require certification by the Canadian Registration Board of Occupational Hygienists.
  • Patent agents require 12 months of work experience in the patent field and successful completion of examinations set by the Commissioner of Patents. They may also be required to be listed in the register of patent agents.
  • Jobs in this group that are involved in green building design and technologies development may require the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification offered by the Canadian Green Building Council.

Other considerations

Progression to supervisory or managerial positions in these fields is possible with experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

715

employed in 2016

88.8%

employed full-time

18.2%

self employed

44.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
55.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
44

median age

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

55,420

employed in 2016

76.4%

employed full-time

6.6%

self employed

64.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
36%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
43.5

median age

Where will I likely work?

61.5%

Halifax

16.1%

North Shore

7.7%

Annapolis Valley

7.7%

Southern

7.0%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

44.0%

Public administration

25.6%

Professional, scientific and technical services

6.4%

Other services (except public administration)

5.6%

Administrative and support, waste management and remediation services

3.2%

Wholesale trade

What is the age of Employment?

27.0%

35-44

23.0%

55-64

20.0%

25-34

19.0%

45-54

6.0%

65+

5.0%

15-24

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

24.2%

35-44

22.7%

45-54

21.4%

25-34

17.2%

55-64

8.4%

15-24

Top levels of education

33.1%

Bachelor

$72,345 median annual income
28.2%

Master

$56,609 median annual income
15.5%

College Diploma

$43,423 median annual income
9.2%

High school

$23,576 median annual income
8.5%

Doctorate

$37,880 median annual income

Compared to: All Education, Law, Government, Social and Community Services

28.9%

Bachelor

$45,929 median annual income
21.2%

College Diploma

$35,398 median annual income
16.8%

Master

$71,043 median annual income
14.6%

High school

$29,055 median annual income
4.6%

Doctorate

$100,443 median annual income

Education & training

Bioethics/Medical Ethics

College or University Program

These programs focus on applying ethics, religion, jurisprudence, and the social sciences to the analysis of health care issues, clinical decision making, and research procedures. They include courses in philosophical ethics, moral value, medical sociology, theology, spirituality and health, policy analysis, decision theory, and applications to problems such as death and dying, therapeutic relationships, organ transplantation, human and animal subjects, reproduction and fertility, health care justice, cultural sensitivity, needs assessment, professionalism, conflict of interest, chaplaincy, and clinical or emergency procedures.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Biology/Biological Sciences

College or University Program

This includes any general program of biology at the introductory, basic level or a program in biology or the biological sciences that is undifferentiated as to title or content. These programs include courses in general biology and programs covering a variety of biological specializations.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Mount Saint Vincent University

Halifax, NS

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Crisis/Emergency/Disaster Management

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs focus on applying the incident command system model to formulating and implementing effective response to natural and man-made disasters. They include courses in contingency planning, hazard and risk assessment, joint operations, law and ethics, emergency response and recovery, event mitigation, emergency rescue and medical operations, incident command, terrorism and national security issues, law enforcement, relief administration, volunteer and citizen coordination, public relations and applications to specific types of incidents.

Institutions providing this program

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

Truro, NS

Environmental Science

College or University Program

These programs focus on applying biological, chemical, and physical principles to the study of the physical environment and the solution of environmental problems, including subjects like controlling environmental pollution and degradation, the interaction between human society and the natural environment, and natural resources management. They include courses in biology, chemistry, physics, geosciences, climatology, statistics, and mathematical modelling.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

Truro, NS

Environmental Studies

College or University Program

These programs focus on environment-related issues using scientific, social scientific, and/or humanistic approaches. They include courses in the basic principles of ecology and environmental science and related subjects such as policy, politics, law, economics, social aspects, planning, pollution control, natural resources, and the interactions of human beings and nature.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

Wolfville, NS

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Cape Breton University

Sydney, NS

Informatics

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs focus on computer systems from a user-centred perspective and studies the structure, behaviour and interactions of natural and artificial systems that store, process and communicate information. They include courses in information sciences, human computer interaction, information system analysis and design, telecommunications structure and information architecture and management.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

University of King's College

Halifax, NS

Saint Mary's University

Halifax, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

Halifax, NS

Land Use Planning and Management/Development

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs focus on how public and/or private land and associated resources can be preserved, developed, and used for maximum social, economic, and environmental benefit. They include courses in natural resources management, natural resource economics, public policy, regional and land use planning, environmental impact assessment, applicable laws and regulations, government and politics, principles of business and real estate land use, statistical and analytical tools, computer applications, mapping and report preparation, site analysis, cost analysis, and communications skills.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Natural Resources Management and Policy

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs prepare students to plan, develop, manage, and evaluate programs to protect and regulate natural habitats and renewable natural resources. They include courses in the principles of wildlife and conservation biology, environmental science, animal population surveying, natural resource economics, management techniques for various habitats, applicable law and policy, administrative and communications skills, and public relations.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

Truro, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

Bridgewater, NS

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

Port Hawkesbury, NS

Occupational Therapy

College or University Program

These programs prepare students to help patients limited by physical, cognitive, psychosocial, mental, developmental, and learning disabilities, as well as adverse environmental conditions, to maximize their independence and maintain optimum health through a planned mix of acquired skills, performance motivation, environmental adaptations, assistive technologies, and physical agents. They include courses in the basic medical sciences, psychology, sociology, patient assessment and evaluation, standardized and non-standardized tests and measurements, assistive and rehabilitative technologies, ergonomics, environmental health, special education, vocational counselling, health education and promotion, and professional standards and ethics.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

Water, Wetlands and Marine Resources Management

College, Trades, or University Program

These programs apply the principles of marine/aquatic biology, oceanography, natural resource economics, and natural resources management to the development, conservation, and management of freshwater and saltwater environments. They include courses in subjects like wetlands, river, lake, coastal and oceanic water resources, water conservation and use, flood control, pollution control, water supply logistics, wastewater management, aquatic and marine ecology, aquatic and marine life conservation, and the economic and recreational uses of water resources.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Halifax, NS

St. Francis Xavier University

Antigonish, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Public Service Commission of Canada - Atlantic
Dartmouth, NS
Institute of Public Administration of Canada
Toronto, ON
Canadian Intellectual Property Office
Gatineau, QC
Canadian Registration Board of Occupational Hygienists
Winnipeg, MB
Association of Canadian Ergonomists
Renfrew, ON

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.