Work Tasks

TOXICOLOGISTS research or study the effects of toxic substances and materials on physiological functions of humans, animals, and plants, for consumer protection and industrial safety programs. Toxicologists collect and prepare samples of toxic substances and materials for analysis or examination. They test and analyze blood samples for the presence of toxic conditions. Toxicologists also analyze samples of toxic compounds, in order to identify poisonous elements present in materials and help develop treatments. Toxicologists evaluate the results of studies, and advise governmental and industrial personnel on degree of hazard of toxic materials, and on precautionary labeling.

Salary, Size & Growth

Entry Requirements

A master's degree in toxicology is sufficient for some jobs in applied research. However, a Ph.D. degree is preferred and is usually necessary for independent research and for advancement to administrative positions. Computer courses are essential, as employers increasingly prefer job applicants who are able to apply computer skills to modeling and simulation tasks, and operate computerized laboratory equipment. No special licensing or certification is required for TOXICOLOGISTS.