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.
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.
A typical Salary Range for this career is $36,524 - $120,411 annually.
The Median Income for this career is about $88,570 annually.
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:
The Biotechnology Institute
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
The American Chemical Society
The National Nanotechnology Initiative
The Center for Responsible Nanotechnology
** More than a minimum degree may be required for some careers.