Major Nanotechnology Career Areas

According to the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network, opportunities for careers in these fields are expanding rapidly. A major challenge for the field is the education and training of a new generation of skilled workers.

Nanotechnology job projections are estimated to be nearly 2 million workers worldwide by 2015. Most of thejobs will be in the United States, Japan, and several European countries. In addition, nanotechnology will create another 5 to 7 million jobs worldwide in support fields and other industries.

The education levels of this workforce will include skilled workers who have backgrounds in technical programs, have Associates degree (2years), Bachelors degree (4years), Masters degree (6years), and Doctorate (8 years). Note: Not everyone working in the field of nanotech-nology will require a doctorate degree. The major career opportunities for these workers will exist in areas such as:

• Electronics/semiconductor industry

• Materials science including textiles, polymers, and packaging

• Automotive and aerospace industries

• Sports equipment

• Pharmaceuticals

• Biotechnology

• Medical fields

• Environmental monitoring and control

• Food science including quality control and packaging

• Forensics—applied sciences used for legal investigations

• University and federal lab research

• National security

However, the nanotechnology fields that will grow most rapidly in the next decade will include:

• Medicine: diagnostics and therapeutics (e.g., drug delivery)

• Energy: fuel cells and batteries

• Robotics, many kinds

• Manufacturing: self-assembly

• Commerce: Radio Frequency Identification

• Space exploration

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