science career chemistry chemist pharmacist pharmacology agriculture agriculturist geology geologist microbiologist microbiology actuary

A cursory search of open science-related jobs at Jobstreet.com yields 705 results in the Philippines. That’s merely 1.3 percent of the 54,417 available jobs across all industries in the country.

There’s an apparent dearth of science jobs on Jobstreet’s database, but relatively low-key opportunities do exist for the few brave science practitioners in the country. 

In the annual salary report of popular online career platform JobStreet.com, jobs leaning towards the technical side of the industry consistently make it to the “Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs In The Philippines” list. Based on data from the website used by an estimated 23,000 employers offering 80,000 jobs a day to 6 million job seekers, engineers and IT practitioners (Junior Executives to Senior Managers), in particular, appear year after year on the list. Additionally, in recent years, science jobs, such as those in the fields of Pharmacy and Microbiology, have been making it to the list.

This list explores some of these rewarding science career options for Filipinos with training and background in either the natural sciences, technology, medical sciences, agricultural sciences, social sciences, or other related disciplines. (One could argue the case for both engineering and IT as science-related fields, but since JobStreet lists only the following specializations under Sciences — actuarial/statistics, agriculture, aviation, biotechnology, chemistry, food tech/nutrition, geology/geophysics, science and technology — and has separate categories for Engineering and IT, this list will not include careers in the two aforementioned fields.)

1. Agriculturist

Advising farmers on soil management, animal nutrition and health, crop protection, harvesting, and environmental sustainability is all in a day’s work for agriculturists. Employment opportunities abound in government agencies and private entities, especially food producers. Agriculturists may specialize in any of the following areas: crops, animals, farm management, and biotechnology.

**Average monthly salary: P15,000 (entry-level); P22,000 (highly trained and experienced)

2. Geologist

Highly trained in earth science, biology, chemistry, physics, math, environmental science, geography and mapping, geologists may find employment in government agencies, private firms, and non-profit and academic institutions. Oil, mining, construction, and real estate companies need geologists to locate and study natural resources, help plan and evaluate excavations, constructions sites, environmental projects, and natural disaster preparedness.

**Average monthly salary: P13,000-P36,000 (specialist to chief levels in government units); P25,000-P48,000  (in private companies, especially oil companies)

3. Microbiologist

Microbiologists study the growth, structure, development, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, algae, or fungi. Research on the relationship between organisms and diseases and the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms is particularly useful to private industries, universities, government laboratories.

Listed as one of the most in-demand occupations for the next five to ten years by the Department of Labor and Employment-Bureau of Local Employment, microbiologists may be employed at the research and development units of agencies involved in agriculture, forestry, fishing, public administration and defense, social security, health, and social work.

**Average monthly salary: P20,000-P35,000 (entry-level); P50,000 (highly trained and experienced)

4. Pharmacist

The scientific study of drugs and other related substances finds practical use in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases, managing pharmacies, and assisting patients in their health concerns. Manufacturers of medicinal drugs, cosmetics, and common household products as well as hospitals and pharmacies usually employ pharmacists. Licensed pharmacists could be clinical researchers, quality control analysts, product managers, food and drug regulation officers, and even forensic analysts.

*Average monthly salary: P14,000 (1-4 Years Experienced Employee); P20,000 (Supervisor / 5 Years & Up Experienced Employee)

5. Chemist

Studying about chemicals — their composition, properties and reactions — will never be boring. Knowledge of chemistry makes it possible to study and create useful products in the fields of medicine, food science, and even engineering. Chemists are particularly in high demand in pharmaceutical companies, cosmetics and beauty companies, medical laboratories, and manufacturing companies. They could be an analytical or a laboratory chemist, a quality assurance executive, a product specialist, or a research and development specialist.

*Average monthly salary: P15,000 (1-4 Years Experienced Employee); P22,000 (Supervisor / 5 Years & Up Experienced Employee)

SPECIAL MENTION: Actuary

We’ll include this as a science career option, even as the question still rages on: “Is actuarial science science?”  In the annual national job trends, salary, and bonuses report released by JobStreet in February 2017, actuarial science/statistics jobs — listed under Sciences on the website — continue to be one of the ten highest paying in the Philippines in the junior executive (#5), supervisory (#2), and managerial levels (#3).

Actuarial science is the discipline that involves assessing risks and solving problems in insurance, government, commerce, finance, and other industries using mathematics, statistics and financial theory. Actuarial science supports the management of financial security systems. Essentially, actuaries help businesses and clients develop policies that minimize the cost of risks. The work of actuaries is crucial to the insurance industry. There are actuaries specializing in one of the following: health, life, property and casualty, pension and retirement, and enterprise risk.

*Average monthly salary:  P27,064 (1-4 Years Experienced Employee) , P65,741 (Supervisor / 5 Years & Up Experienced Employee),  P81,799 (Managers) –MF

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*Salary information sampled from the average monthly salaries (excluding bonus and other compensation) of JobStreet.com’s database of jobseekers in the Philippines.
**Salary information from the Department of Labor and Employment-Bureau of Local Employment’s (DOLE-BLE) Career Guide.

Author: Faye de Jesus

Faye de Jesus is a freelance writer and communications specialist with over 15 years of experience in corporate messaging and branding, PR, media and stakeholder relations. She volunteers for education- and learning-centered projects and likes sharing her love for books, reading, and learning with children.