Steps to Become a Toxicologist

Become a Toxicologist…

Related Toxicologist Resources…

There are many jobs in the toxicology field, but the best ones require a number of years of education. Here are some tips to get you started.

  1. Take college prep or advanced placement courses in high school. Biology and chemistry are very important, but so are communications and writing. The Society of Toxicology (SOT) notes that foreign language is also important for information exchange in the modern world.

    Participate in science enrichment activities. Get to know the SOT site. They have links to toxicology themed science activities around the web. Begin exploring whether you are interested in general/ research toxicology or forensic toxicology.

  2. Earn competitive scores on college placement exams.

  3. Make a college plan. You can earn an undergraduate degree in toxicology, but if this is the highest degree you earn, you’ll be limited in the type of jobs you can compete for. If you plan to go on to graduate school, your undergraduate program can be in toxicology, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. A strong biology or chemistry program can give you the prerequisites you need. Other prerequisites may include calculus and physics. Do look up schools that you are interested in early in the process.

  4. Enroll in a bachelor of science degree program. You’ll want to put in some work outside class to make yourself a strong candidate for grad school. Try to do some research during your undergraduate years. You might, for example, do an honors thesis. Also contact the SOT about internship opportunities.

  5. Score well on the GRE.

  6. Select a graduate program and fulfill admission requirements. Begin coursework.

  7. Becoming a teaching assistant or research assistant can help you support yourself during graduate school. It will also build your professional credibility.

  8. Look for employment opportunities. By the time you complete your education, you will have made a lot of contacts out in the field, and you’ll have some research experience to put on your curriculum vitae. The SOT has a job bank and other career development resources.

Personality Traits: Employers ask for superior critical thinking, data analysis, and written and oral communication skills.