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

High opportunity occupation

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.

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Natural science policy program manager

People in these careers may be self-employed or work for:

  • federal, provincial and municipal governments
  • computer and office furniture manufacturers
  • educational institutions
  • research organizations
  • consulting firms
  • environmental and conservation organizations
Common job titles
  • adviser, environmental - (except engineer)
  • analyst, energy - wind / energy policy
  • analyst, environmental impact
  • analyst, transportation - safety
  • auditor, work site
  • consultant, environmental education


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

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.