Life and Chemical Sciences Careers

The Life and Chemical Sciences sector in Scotland plays a vital role in helping us address national and global challenges. The sector provide high quality jobs, and a vibrant environment which fosters opportunities for research & development and innovation.

Scotland has one of the biggest life sciences clusters in Europe, with our industries involved in many vital areas of activity, from tackling the COVID pandemic to having world-leading expertise in drug discovery and precision medicine, medical technologies and pharmaceutical services, advanced therapies, digital health and care, animal health and agritech.

There are opportunities at all levels in this sector including a healthy demand for non-graduate roles in laboratories within life and chemical sciences companies and in organisations like the NHS.

  • In 2022, productivity in the Life and Chemical Sciences sector was forecast to be £228,900 per job. This was higher than the Scottish average of £54,100 per job.
  • Between 2012 and 2022, the sector increased by 22.7 per cent. This compares to an increase of 12.8 per cent for Scotland overall.
  • The Life and Chemical Sciences workforce is distributed across Scotland, with the highest number of workers in Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian, Glasgow College Region and Lanarkshire.
  • Between 2022 and 2032, the employment for science and technology professionals is forecast to increase by 10% (40,000 to 44,000).
  • The chemical sciences sector is Scotland’s number two export earner, generating around £4.4bn per year.
  • The chemical sciences sector employs over 11, 000 people in direct jobs across 240 companies and a further 70,000 indirect jobs.
  • The chemical sciences sector makes 25% of the total industrial investments in Research and Development in Scotland.