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 are employed by 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 Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 85 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2016

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

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 4880 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

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 large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Natural and Applied Science Policy Researchers, Consultants, and Program Officers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions.

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

$20.51

Minimum

$38.46

Median

$50.26

Maximum

Annual Pay

$11,560

Minimum

$56,218

Median

$107,255

Maximum

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

Hourly Pay

$14.00

Minimum

$26.88

Median

$46.15

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 are employed by 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

The following is a summary of main duties for some jobs in this group:

  • Ergonomists or human factors specialists conduct research and advise on, and intervene in the physical, social and psychological interrelationships between persons, their equipment and working or living environments to ensure 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. They report and document investigations and conclusions, suggest changes to work environments and processes and provide information to workers and managers or employers on methods to reduce the risk of injury or illness from specific occupational hazards. They may also 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 and represent clients before the patent office.
  • Technology transfer officers are responsible for transferring and integrating 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 conduct 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. They promote public awareness and education on such issues as utilization of natural resources, the environment, and reprocessing and reduction of waste.

Sample job titles

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

Skills

To work in these fields, 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

625

employed in 2016

90.5%

employed full-time

17.6%

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

79.3%

employed full-time

6.5%

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%

Northern

7.7%

Southern

7.7%

Annapolis Valley

7.0%

Cape Breton

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

44.0%

Public Administration

21.6%

Other Professional Services

6.4%

Other Services

6.4%

Management, Admin & Other Support

4.8%

Professional Business Services

What is the age of Employment?

26.3%

45-54

23.8%

35-44

22.5%

55-64

18.8%

25-34

7.5%

15-24

3.8%

65+

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

36.6%

35-44

29.3%

45-54

24.4%

55-64

4.9%

25-34

4.9%

65+

Top levels of education

32.8%

Bachelor's degree

$54,566 median annual income
27.7%

Doctorate

$56,938 median annual income
15.3%

College certificate or diploma

$46,037 median annual income
8.8%

Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry

N/A
8.0%

High school

$17,853 median annual income

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

29.2%

Bachelor's degree

$43,533 median annual income
21.5%

College certificate or diploma

$28,183 median annual income
17.2%

Master's degree

$35,978 median annual income
14.3%

High school

$25,801 median annual income
4.6%

Doctorate

$60,991 median annual income

Education & training

Bioethics/medical ethics

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the application of ethics, religion, jurisprudence, and the social sciences to the analysis of health care issues, clinical decision making, and research procedures. These programs 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

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Biology/biological sciences - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises 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

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

PO Box 550

Truro, NS B2N 5E3

(902) 893-6600

Crisis/emergency/disaster management

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program focusing on the application of the incident command system model to formulating and implementing effective response to natural and man-made disasters. These programs 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

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Environmental science

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the application of biological, chemical, and physical principles to the study of the physical environment and the solution of environmental problems, including subjects such as abating or controlling environmental pollution and degradation; the interaction between human society and the natural environment; and natural resources management. These programs include courses in biology, chemistry, physics, geosciences, climatology, statistics, and mathematical modelling.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

PO Box 550

Truro, NS B2N 5E3

(902) 893-6600

Environmental studies

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on environment-related issues using scientific, social scientific, and/or humanistic approaches. These programs 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

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Informatics

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses 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. These programs 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

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Land use planning and management/development

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on how public and/or private land and associated resources can be preserved, developed, and used for maximum social, economic, and environmental benefit. These programs 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

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Natural resources management and policy - General

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to plan, develop, manage, and evaluate programs to protect and regulate natural habitats and renewable natural resources. These programs 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

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

PO Box 550

Truro, NS B2N 5E3

(902) 893-6600

Occupational therapy/therapist

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to assist 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. These programs 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

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Water, wetlands and marine resources management

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to 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. These programs include courses in subjects such as wetlands, riverine, lacustrian, 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

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Public Service Commission of Canada - Atlantic
1505 Barrington Street, Suite 1525, Maritime Centre
Halifax, NS B3J 3Y6
Tel: (877) 998-7979
Fax: (888) 457-5333
Institute of Public Administration of Canada
1075 Bay Street, Suite 401
Toronto, ON M5S 2B1
Tel: (416) 924-8787
Fax: (416) 924-4992
Canadian Intellectual Property Office
Place du Portage I 50 Victoria Street, Room C-229
Gatineau, QC K1A 0C9
Tel: (866) 997-1936
Fax: (819) 953-2476
Canadian Registration Board of Occupational Hygienists
P.O. Box 324
Carleton Place, ON K7C 3P4 
Association of Canadian Ergonomists
Suite 202 - 720 Spadina Ave
Toronto, ON M5S 2T9
Tel: (888) 432-2223
Fax: (416) 929-5256

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

Job postings

There are currently no job postings for this occupation.