Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers (NOC 4161)

View all job titles

Please read this note before you continue

Hide note
Changes have been made to the method for estimating job prospects per occupation. To better reflect the reality of the job market and the new method of estimation, the prospect diagnostics have been modified. Thus, the possible diagnostics are now excellent, good, limited and not published. For more information about the meaning of each diagnostic, see the glossary.

Nature of work

Natural and applied science policy researchers, consultants and program officers conduct research, prepare reports, provide consultation and advice and administer programs in a variety of areas related to the natural and applied sciences. They are employed by federal, provincial and municipal governments, computer and office furniture manufacturers, educational institutions, research organizations, consulting firms, environmental and conservation organizations, or they may be self-employed.

Main duties

  • The following is a summary of main duties for some occupations in this unit group:
  • - Ergonomists or human factors specialists conduct research and advise on, and intervene in the physical, social and psychological interrelationships between persons, their equipment and working or living environments to ensure that the design, configuration and use of equipment, procedures and environmental conditions maximize safety, productivity and comfort.
  • - Occupational or industrial hygienists study, evaluate and control physical, chemical and biological hazards and stresses in the workplace. They report and document investigations and conclusions, suggest changes to work environments and processes and provide information to workers and managers or employers on methods to reduce the risk of injury or illness from specific occupational hazards. They may also teach safe work procedures, participate in emergency response planning, testify at hearings and report findings at scientific conferences or in scientific journals.
  • - Patent agents advise clients on elements of patent law and on the patentability of inventions, conduct patent searches, prepare patent applications and represent clients before the patent office.
  • - Continued…
  • - Technology transfer officers are responsible for transferring and integrating new technologies, usually from university or government research and development environments, to commercial and industrial applications and ensure the protection of intellectual property of researchers and developers.
  • - Science policy and program officers conduct research and advise on policies or develop or administer programs related to transportation, emergency preparedness, communications, natural resources, agriculture, the environment, traditional and alternative energy technologies, land use, recycling and other scientific fields. They promote public awareness and education on such issues as utilization of natural resources, the environment, and reprocessing and reduction of waste.

Employment requirements

  • * A bachelor's degree or college diploma in a related scientific or technical discipline is usually required for occupations in this unit group.
  • * A master's degree in a related scientific discipline may be required.
  • * Certification through the Canadian College of Certified Professional Ergonomists is required to use the title "Canadian Certified Professional Ergonomist (CCPE)". Membership with the Association of Canadian Ergonomists may be required.
  • * Occupational hygienists may require certification by the Canadian Registration Board of Occupational Hygienists or le Conseil d'accréditation en hygiène industrielle du Québec.
  • * Patent agents require 12 months of work experience in the patent field and successful completion of examinations set by the Commissioner of Patents. They may also be required to be listed in the register of patent agents.
  • * Occupations in this group that are involved in green building design and technologies development may require the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification offered by the Canadian Green Building Council.

For full information about this occupation, click the links on the left under

Information on the occupation