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Career as a ToxicologistBY: Amna Adnan | Category: Toxicology | Submitted: 2010-08-22 21:12:02
Article Summary: "Toxicology is the branch of science which deals with the chemicals, toxins and other poisonous substances. The job of a toxicologist can be in the research sector, pharmaceutical companies or government sectors..."
Toxicology is the branch of science which deals with the effects of poisons and chemicals on living organisms. It also deals with the treatments of these poisons. As the medical knowledge is increasing day by day, similarly the knowledge about the effects of toxins and poisons is also increasing rapidly. It is not necessary that chemicals are the only source of toxins and poisons but physical and biological toxins are also present. Chemical toxin includes cyanide which is a poison. Similarly snake venom and radiation are the biological and physical toxins respectively. When a body consumes a toxic substance, it affect differs. Sometimes the toxin affects some parts o organs of the body and in some cases all the cells and tissues get affected to that toxin. The person who studies all the effects of toxins on the body is called as a toxicologist.
To become a toxicologist, an individual must have master's degree in the fields of biological sciences, chemistry, biochemistry, and forensic science. It is the century of computer science and it is an important part of the offices for storing and analyzing different kind of data. Therefore, a toxicologist must be expert in computers and laboratory skills. An individual should be well informed about the practices, principles and applications of toxicology. He should also have the knowledge of chemical and physical equipment of the laboratory and materials used in it. He should be well versed about the principles of physics and physical testing practices and a college level mathematics is also the requirement of this job if anyone wants to be a toxicologist.
With the exposure to toxic and other hazardous or poisonous substances, it is also necessary that a toxicologist must have knowledge of applications of all the three sciences that are biology, physics and chemistry. He should be skillful in evaluating and analyzing the scientific data. Beside theoretical work, a toxicologist should be able to explain all the facts and should know how to interpret different situations. He must advise other individuals about the appropriate courses. He should also be able to solve problems either analytical or technical or scientific. When a toxicologist is working in the laboratory, he should have the practice of laboratory and should also have project management skills because a toxicologists report every result obtained from the experiment to the relevant parties. The environment in which the scientists work is sometimes hazardous and they also get exposure to physical elements.
Courses to become a Toxicologist:-
An individual should have the degree of biology and chemistry. He should do coursework in organic chemistry, mathematics, and physics. If the individual will study other higher courses like molecular biology, biochemistry and physiology then he will have better chances of getting a good job. The people who have specialization at Master's or Doctoral level are highly encouraged for this job.
The starting salary of a toxicologist is from 34,000$ to 74,000$. It depends on the post of the job that how much salary a toxicologist gets. If a toxicologist is a researcher or have a Doctoral level degree then his pay will range from $77,000 to $81,000.
Area of Work:-
The work of toxicologists vary, some of them work for governments. Their work in this sector is to make sure that the chemicals produced are used and disposed off with care and safety. Defense studies may also include in their job. They can work in educational institutes to teach others about the safe use of chemicals and give training to the people who want to become toxicologists is the future. There are some toxicologists who work in the laboratories and do research on chemicals and toxins. They also work in pharmaceutical companies.
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