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Science that works for life
Interested in science and how you could use science in a job? Then think about a career in Life Science.
Life Science is the part of science that studies anything that is living, such as people, animals, plants, and microorganisms.
In a life sciences job you might be developing a cure for cancer, inventing new technology to save people’s lives, or researching an antidote to an infectious disease. You could even be working in space, or on projects to develop life support systems so that humans can live beyond earth.
Wales is at the cutting edge of life sciences research and development. The Welsh Government has invested £100 million pounds to grow Life Sciences within Wales (Life Sciences Hub Wales, 2015). So although the life science industry is small in Wales at the moment, it is likely to continue to make an impact in Wales and around the world.
new workers may be
needed in Life Sciences
in the UK by 2020
(Cogent Skills, 2013)
of workers in Life Sciences
are over 50, so there will
be a demand for new recruits
(Welsh Government, 2015)
of all university students in Wales are studying Life Sciences.
(Welsh Government, 2014)
is the amount the Welsh Government is investing in growing Life Sciences in Wales
Hub Wales, 2015)
Where you could work in a life sciences job:
Source: Cogent Skills, 2013
Wales needs more...
Quality Assurance Professionals
Biochemists, Chemical Scientists ,
Laboratory Technicians, Biological Scientists,
Programmers and Software Developers,
Pharmacists, Medical Radiographers,
Science and Engineering Technicians, Ophthalmic Opticians,
What jobs can I do?
Some of the life science jobs you could do:
The total number of life science jobs in Wales is 12,900.
These are the areas that have higher numbers of jobs in Wales:
Source: Welsh Government, 2015
17% of life science jobs in Wales are in Wrexham. These include working in pharmaceutical companies
(Welsh Government, 2015)
Meet the employers
These are some of the life sciences employers in Wales:
Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics,
Hay on Wye.
Ortho Clinical Diagnostics,
Tredegar and Flintshire.
What can I earn?
Salaries can vary depending on your experience, the employer and where you live. Higher salaries can be awarded for more senior positions. Salaries also vary for self-employed workers.
Source: CASCAiD, 2015
To get into a career in Life Sciences you would usually need GCSE’s, including science subjects.
Examples of the training you could do on the job or as an apprentice are:
- NVQ/QCF Diploma Level 2 and 3 in Clinical Healthcare Support
- NVQ/QCF Diploma Level 3 in Laboratory Science
To find an apprenticeship or job that might lead to an apprenticeship, you can start by looking at NHS jobs.
There are life sciences companies all over Wales too! These companies often recruit on their own websites. To find them you can search online or use local business directories. You might like to contact the companies in our Meet the employers section.
(Cogent Skills, 2013)
(Cogent Skills, 2014)
Entry requirements to a life science degree usually include good A levels at least 2 in science subjects and a range of GCSE’s at A-C grade.
The types of degrees you would be likely to need to get into Life Sciences include:
- BSc (Hons) Healthcare Science
- BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science
- BSc Optometry
- PGCert Biomedical Research
- MPharm Pharmacy
- MSc/MRes Life Science and Healthcare Enterprise
- PhD Integrative Neuroscience
- PhD Biological Sciences
There are 5 main areas of healthcare science degrees leading you to become
a healthcare scientist:
- Cardiovascular, cardiac physiology respiratory and sleep sciences
- Neurosensory sciences (audiology, neurophysiology, ophthalmic and vision science)
- Pathology sciences (blood sciences, infection sciences, cellular sciences, genetics science)
- Medical physics (radiotherapy physics, radiation physics, nuclear medicine)
Networking and word of mouth are particularly important in the life sciences sector. Get to know other people and businesses, face-to-face, and through social media.
Build your network of contacts to sell yourself and your ideas.
Get as much work experience as you can. Lack of general work experience is one of the top 3 reasons employers give for not employing someone.
Skills in demand
Skills in demand in Life Sciences include technical, professional and managerial qualifications and experience. Having the right qualifications is important.
Employers also want people to have good communication skills, team working, planning, and organisation skills. In Life Sciences attention to detail is also very important. Could this be you?
New in sector...
Technology is advancing rapidly and this means advances in medical research and technology in:
Do I need Welsh Language skills?
If you work in Wales, being able to speak and write in both Welsh and English can give you an advantage in the workplace, particularly
if you are working in Welsh speaking areas.
In the life sciences sector
What about the future?
The Welsh Government is investing in the growth of Life Sciences within Wales. Life sciences companies from abroad are investing in Wales and new jobs are being announced.
- The Life Sciences Hub opened in Cardiff in 2014 and showcases the Life Sciences sector in Wales.
- The Institute of Life Science at Swansea University is a medical research facility aimed to advance medical science.
Fastest growing Life Sciences jobs in Wales, shown in percentage of growth.
Source: Working Futures 2012-2022