8 Types Of Research Jobs (With Duties And Average Salary)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 25 March 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Researchers help companies identify the preferences and requirements of their customers, stay updated with industry trends and develop new products or services accordingly. Many types of companies employ researchers, including environmental agencies, research institutes, food companies, universities, government laboratories and chemical companies. If you enjoy finding new information on a variety of topics, you may consider becoming a professional researcher. In this article, we outline eight types of research jobs, along with their primary duties and average salary.

8 popular types of research jobs

Here is a list of eight popular types of research jobs for you to explore:

1. Agricultural and food scientist

National average salary: ₹4,80,000 per year

Primary duties: Agricultural or food research scientists work to improve and protect agricultural establishments and products. They can work for companies or farms that produce food products to improve their quality and inspection standards. In the pharmaceutical industry, they use biotechnology to develop new medicines or research making fuel from agricultural products (biofuels), like ethanol from corn. At universities, they research ways of improving food quality by investigating and improving animal health, soil quality and nutrition levels in food products. They may also be responsible for writing grants to get their research funded.

Related: How To Become a Scientist In 4 Steps

2. Biological research scientist

National average salary: ₹7,50,000 per year

Primary duties: Biological researchers study the relationship of plants, animals and other living creatures to the environment. They use their in-depth understanding of life processes to develop new products. These researchers often work for private laboratories, government departments and universities. They may work in either basic or applied research. Their duties vary depending on their job title. Biochemists, for instance, investigate the chemical composition and activities within living things to understand the chemistry of growth, health, metabolism and reproduction. Ecologists study the effect of human activity, population, pollution and natural phenomenon like rain on the environment.

Related: How To Become A Microbiologist: A Complete Guide

3. Biomedical scientist

National average salary: ₹3,93,054 per year

Primary duties: Biomedical science researchers find ways to prevent, understand and heal human diseases. Daily tasks include testing the effectiveness of various treatments by studying cells, tissues, blood, cultures and DNA of patients. These researchers may work in a laboratory, running experiments and investigating samples using advanced scientific equipment. The findings of their research are often used to develop vaccines and new surgical technology.

4. Physical scientist

National average salary: ₹11,93,652 per year

Primary duties: Physical scientists focus on the world's physical systems, such as weather, volcanoes, earthquakes, rocks and outer space. They may specialise in physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology, nuclear chemistry, meteorology or materials science. Like other research professions, their daily tasks may include researching on projects, collecting and analysing data and publishing reports. In senior roles, physical scientists may be responsible for managing interns and training junior researchers. They can work in any of the following fields:

  • aerospace

  • mining

  • energy production

  • engineering

  • manufacturing

5. Research mathematician

National average salary: ₹69,120 per month

Primary duties: People with an aptitude for numbers can find work as research mathematicians. They work up to 40 hours each week, occasionally accommodating extra hours to meet deadlines. For businesses, they use statistical modelling, trend forecasting and quantitative reasoning to analyse and predict business trends and developments in the market. In the education sector, they use state-of-the-art equipment and advanced computing power to build mathematical models that solve complex problems. When a research mathematician publishes a certain amount of papers per year, they secure academic grants and other funding for research on topics like calculus, algebra and geometry.

Related: How To Become A Professor: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide

6. Research psychologist

National average salary: ₹8,19,659 per year

Primary duties: A research psychologist uses scientific techniques and theories to understand and explain human behaviour. They may specialise in areas like brain activity, genetics, perception, interpersonal relationships, physiology and clinical mental disorders. Research psychologists can focus on the ways that humans sense and perceive the world. Another option is contributing to the psychology community's understanding of clinical disorders like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and addiction. They typically present their findings in peer-reviewed journals, conference presentations, academic talks and lectures. The research psychologist role may also extend to education, clinical practice and consultation.

7. Economic research analyst

National average salary: ₹5,30,791 per year

Primary duties: Economic research analysts aim to solve economic issues related to the manufacture and distribution of goods and services. They collect and analyse data, conduct studies on economic issues, prepare results and provide consultation for clients. Analysts typically work 40-hour weeks in an office environment for public and private businesses. They may also work as an independent contractor or as part of an economic consultancy company. Research analysts with a few years of experience can become consultants and project managers. Eventually, companies may hire them as a chief executive officer (CEO), product marketing manager or project manager.

8. Program researcher

National average salary: ₹6,60,000 per year

Primary duties: Media program researchers work on TV shows, films, podcasts and radio talk shows. They coordinate with producers, presenters, directors, scriptwriters and casting directors. They primarily work in an office setting but may travel for conducting research. Their duties and responsibilities may include running fact-checks and data verification on scripts, presenting accurate information to a show's creators, who may be scriptwriters, producers and presenters, working with creative teams to conceptualise new show ideas and new content ideas for existing productions and scouting shooting locations and procuring the necessary equipment for shooting.

Skills for a researcher

Researchers can find work in a number of industries, and their responsibilities can vary accordingly. Certain skills are useful in all these jobs. If you are looking to build a career in research, work on the following skills:

1. Attention to detail

Researchers pay close attention to critical data points and other details when they work on any given project. Most companies or research institutes that hire researchers have procedural guidelines and policies on how to collect and analyse data. If you work in clinical research, for example, you may collect information directly from patients.

To improve your attention to detail, consider taking short breaks between a long work session. This helps to improve your ability to concentrate. It is also important to focus on one task at a time. Learn activities that build your focus, like maintaining a to-do list and memorising patterns.

2. Note-taking

Researchers often write down any critical information and maintain a written summary. This helps them recall any discussions, data points and other information that they might easily forget otherwise. That is why note-taking is important for a researcher, especially when they spend each day working on different projects, meeting new people and attending lectures and meetings. This is also useful when you conduct an interview.

3. Time management

Researchers are often in charge of multiple tasks. Each of these tasks plays a crucial role in the success of their project. To ensure timely delivery of each task, they often break down a project into multiple manageable parts. Having good time management skills help them make a detailed plan for each part so that they can meet all deadlines. Try to perform simple time-management techniques like:

  • setting goals

  • prioritising tasks

  • making strategic plans

  • managing multiple projects

  • delegating work to colleagues and people working under you

  • organising teams

Related: Time Management Skills: Definition And Examples

4. Problem-solving

Problem-solving skills refer to the ability to handle difficult situations and overcome complex business challenges. Problem-solving skills involve the ability to break a problem down into its parts, think critically about each element, analyse the information you find and use that information to form an effective solution. Having strong problem-solving skills helps make you a valuable asset to your company and can help you advance your career.

5. Communication

Communication skills refer to the ability to understand the information you receive and present that information in a manner others can understand. Communication skills involve active listening, reading, writing, observing and speaking. Researchers require good communication skills to present the results of their research. Strong communication skills are often one of the most important skills employers look for in candidates applying for research jobs.

Salary figures reflect data listed on the quoted websites at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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