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Nanotechnology is the study of structures on the scale just larger than single atoms, a level on which materials behave differently and can be manipulated in surprising new ways. Methods made possible on this scale lead to innovative medical applications that advance drug delivery, implants, diagnostic devices, and the study of genomics and genetics.

Nanotechnologists working in this tiny realm develop devices that are compatible with living cells and tissues and can safely operate inside the body. They can tag DNA sequences, track changes in genetic material, and better understand the nature of genetic conditions of test subjects. By doing so, nanotechnologists help develop medical breakthroughs in the treatment of genetic diseases.

Career Outlook

Employment in research and development is expected to increase in the next decade, slowly but certainly.

Working Conditions & Context

Nanotechnologists typically work in laboratories, though specific demands of various research projects will vary. They are often part of a research team, sometimes as leaders and sometimes as assistants.

Documentation of research, including the presentation of papers and findings, is a routine aspect of nanotechnology.

Salary Information

A typical Salary Range for this career is $36,524 - $120,411 annually.

The Median Income for this career is about $88,570 annually.

Education Information


Nanotechnologists must hold at least a Bachelor's degree, and many opt to pursue graduate degrees. As team members, nanotechnologies working on biomedical problems may be trained in biology, chemistry, engineering, physics, and other fields.

Nanotechnologists must keep up with new developments in both their field and related fields.Professionals in nanotechnology often attend seminars, conferences, and forums, and most are members of professional organizations. Continuing education is a key element of careers in nanotechnology.

Certification & Licensing:


Other Resources

Related Careers

Biomedical Engineer, Genetic Engineer, Proteomicist

More Information

The Biotechnology Institute

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

The American Chemical Society

The National Nanotechnology Initiative

O*Net Online

The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology

* Information regarding income is cited from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
** More than a minimum degree may be required for some careers.