Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers (NOC 4161)

About this job

Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers:

  • do research, prepare reports, give advice and manage programs in a variety of areas related to the natural and applied sciences
  • work for federal, provincial and municipal governments, computer and office furniture manufacturers, educational institutions, research organizations, consulting firms, environmental and conservation organizations
  • may be self-employed
Common job titles
  • adviser, environmental - (except engineer)
  • analyst, energy - wind / energy policy
  • analyst, environmental impact
  • hygienist, industrial - certified
  • hygienist, occupational - registered
  • lobbyist, agricultural / environmental
  • adviser, environmental - (except engineer)
  • analyst, energy - wind / energy policy
  • analyst, environmental impact
  • analyst, transportation - safety
  • auditor, work site
  • consultant, environmental education


Annual provincial median salary


Source: 2016 Job Bank Wage data

Note:Estimated median employment income based on 2016 Job Bank median hourly wage rate (median annual salary = hourly wage rate x 40 (hours per week) x 52.14 (weeks per year))

Provincial hourly rate

  • High
  • Median
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Source: 2016 Job Bank Wage Report


Ergonomists or human factors specialists:

  • do research, advise on and get involved in the physical, social and psychological relationships between people, their equipment and working or living environments
  • make sure that the design, set up and use of equipment, procedures and environmental conditions make the most of 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 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
  • do patent searches
  • prepare patent applications
  • represent clients before the patent office

Science policy and program officers:

  • do research and advise on policies or develop or run programs related to transportation, communications, natural resources, agriculture, the environment, energy, land use, recycling and other scientific fields
  • promote public awareness and education on issues such as the use of natural resources, the environment, and reprocessing and reduction of waste

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
  • ensure the protection of intellectual property of researchers and developers.

Work environment

Key aspects of the work in this occupation:

  • Work takes place in a conventional indoor office setting

Job requirements

Education, training & qualifications

  • A bachelor's degree or college diploma in a related scientific or technical discipline is usually required for occupations in this unit 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 or le Conseil d'accréditation en hygiène industrielle du Québec.
  • 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.
  • Occupations 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.


  • General Learning Ability
  • Detail-Oriented
  • Clerical Ability
  • Directive
  • Manual Dexterity
View skills definitions

Education programs in B.C.

The following program areas are related to this occupation:
  • Aquaculture/Fisheries
  • Environmental Studies Related (Arts)
  • Environmental Studies Related (Science)
  • Environmental Studies/Science
  • Forestry Related
  • Forestry/Resource Management Related
  • Geography/Earth Sciences Related
  • Kinesiology/Physical Education/Sport
  • Physics Related

For more information about programs offered specifically for this career, visit EducationPlannerBC.

Select a region to view regional outlook
Vancouver Island / Coast Mainland / Southwest Thompson-Okanagan Kootenay Cariboo Northeast North Coast & Nechako
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Mainland / Southwest
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North Coast & Nechako
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Vancouver Island / Coast
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N/A - Data not available

Source: B.C. Labour Market Outlook

Career paths and resources

Career paths

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

Certification of ergonomists through the Canadian Ergonomics Certification Board leading to the designation "Certified Ergonomist" (C.Ergo) is available.

Additional resources

Additional resources are not currently available for this career.