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SCIENTIST: Schooling, Patience, And Research

About this video 

The day-to-day functions of a scientist involve intensive research and experimenting, which means diligence and patience are necessary attributes for success in this field. Interfacing with other institutions and writing proposals to obtain funding for research are also essential functions. Therefore, communication skills are important. Becoming a scientist is challenging, rewarding and helps shape our world and economy.

Degree: Engineering - Materials Sciences
Job Title: Scientist : Material Science Engineering
Employer: National Group of Energy

Job Summary: Materials Scientists and Chemist

Job Description

Chemists and materials scientists work in basic and applied research. In basic research, chemists investigate the properties, composition, and structure of matter. They also experiment with the laws that govern the combination of elements and reactions of substances to each other.

On-the-Job Training

Fellowship

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$40,000 - $120,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
0 to 10 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Hospital / Clinic, Indoor, Office, Military
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Analytical skills, Mathematical skills, Problem solving skills, Teamwork, Verbal communication skills, Written communication skills, Detail oriented, Technical skills

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P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='794'>Hi,</span> <span m='1191'>I'm</span> <span m='1590'>Steven</span> <span m='1850'>Christensen.</span> <span m='2500'>I</span> <span m='3060'>am</span> <span m='3515'>a</span> <span m='3970'>postdoctoral</span> <span m='5550'>researcher</span> <span m='6280'>at</span> <span m='6380'>the</span> <span m='6460'>National</span> <span m='6880'>Renewable</span> <span m='7378'>Energy</span> <span m='7876'>Lab</span> <span m='8125'>in</span> <span m='8374'>Golden,</span> <span m='8872'>Colorado.</span> <span m='10870'>And</span> <span m='11335'>I'm</span> <span m='11800'>soon</span> <span m='12120'>to</span> <span m='12190'>be</span> <span m='12400'>converted</span> <span m='12930'>to</span> <span m='13310'>a</span> <span m='13783'>full</span> <span m='14019'>staff</span> <span m='14256'>scientist.</span> <span m='14729'>At least,</span> <span m='15202'>I</span> <span m='15675'>hope</span> <span m='16149'>so.</span> <span m='16460'>That's</span> <span m='16710'>what</span> <span m='16960'>they</span> <span m='17113'>tell</span> <span m='17266'>me.</span> <span m='18320'>And</span> <span m='18480'>it's</span> <span m='18760'>been</span> <span m='18990'>a</span> <span m='19200'>pretty</span> <span m='19810'>long</span> <span m='20110'>road</span> <span m='20430'>to</span> <span m='20530'>get</span> <span m='20710'>there</span> <span m='20950'>but</span> <span m='21140'>it's</span> <span m='21810'>very</span> <span m='22070'>rewarding</span> <span m='22660'>and</span> <span m='23070'>it's</span> <span m='23480'>exciting</span> <span m='23930'>work.</span> </p><p><span m='24200'>So</span> <span m='24390'>I</span> <span m='24520'>work</span> <span m='24830'>on</span> <span m='25080'>solar</span> <span m='25460'>cells</span> <span m='26030'>and</span> <span m='26470'>other</span> <span m='27100'>energy</span> <span m='27450'>related</span> <span m='27880'>materials.</span> <span m='28270'>I'm</span> <span m='28465'>a</span> <span m='28660'>researcher</span> <span m='28915'>in</span> <span m='29170'>that</span> <span m='29300'>field.</span> <span m='30520'>I've</span> <span m='30710'>worked</span> <span m='30980'>to</span> <span m='31470'>make</span> <span m='31980'>solar</span> <span m='33140'>more</span> <span m='33490'>affordable</span> <span m='34340'>for</span> <span m='34620'>the</span> <span m='34770'>general</span> <span m='35050'>public.</span> <span m='35570'>So</span> <span m='35740'>that</span> <span m='35910'>we</span> <span m='36124'>can</span> <span m='36338'>build</span> <span m='36766'>markets</span> <span m='37194'>in</span> <span m='38050'>that</span> <span m='38280'>area.</span> </p><p><span m='39290'>My</span> <span m='39320'>typical</span> <span m='39820'>day</span> <span m='41510'>involves</span> <span m='42290'>a</span> <span m='42370'>lot</span> <span m='42700'>of</span> <span m='44050'>laboratory</span> <span m='44600'>work</span> <span m='44960'>where</span> <span m='45220'>I</span> <span m='45320'>have</span> <span m='45670'>ongoing</span> <span m='45870'>experiments</span> <span m='47118'>that</span> <span m='47534'>I've</span> <span m='47950'>designed</span> <span m='48810'>and</span> <span m='49622'>am</span> <span m='50030'>trying</span> <span m='50260'>to</span> <span m='50330'>piece</span> <span m='50680'>together</span> <span m='51210'>or</span> <span m='51830'>understand</span> <span m='52470'>the</span> <span m='53460'>different</span> <span m='53770'>things</span> <span m='53980'>that</span> <span m='54080'>I'm</span> <span m='54170'>doing.</span> <span m='54540'>I'm</span> <span m='54770'>very</span> <span m='55090'>busy.</span> <span m='55550'>I</span> <span m='55676'>work</span> <span m='55803'>on</span> <span m='55930'>four</span> <span m='56120'>different</span> <span m='56310'>projects</span> <span m='56990'>that</span> <span m='57520'>span</span> <span m='59360'>all</span> <span m='59510'>different</span> <span m='59790'>aspects</span> <span m='60300'>of</span> <span m='60590'>solar</span> <span m='61025'>cells</span> <span m='63710'>and</span> <span m='63890'>some</span> <span m='64069'>other</span> <span m='64250'>things</span> <span m='64650'>as</span> <span m='64790'>well.</span> </p><p><span m='65640'>I</span> <span m='65750'>also</span> <span m='66010'>interface</span> <span m='66620'>a</span> <span m='66740'>lot</span> <span m='67070'>with</span> <span m='68670'>other</span> <span m='68940'>institutions</span> <span m='69650'>to</span> <span m='69780'>try</span> <span m='69980'>to</span> <span m='70060'>set</span> <span m='70240'>up</span> <span m='70420'>bigger</span> <span m='71650'>experiments</span> <span m='72510'>that</span> <span m='72680'>might</span> <span m='73080'>be</span> <span m='73460'>going</span> <span m='73650'>across</span> <span m='75130'>labs</span> <span m='75600'>and</span> <span m='75860'>other</span> <span m='76545'>universities</span> <span m='77040'>and</span> <span m='77287'>things</span> <span m='77535'>like</span> <span m='77782'>that.</span> </p><p><span m='80900'>Let's</span> <span m='81100'>see.</span> <span m='81230'>My</span> <span m='81940'>educational</span> <span m='82600'>path</span> <span m='83100'>was</span> <span m='83600'>to</span> <span m='84610'>go</span> <span m='84770'>to</span> <span m='84850'>college</span> <span m='85620'>and</span> <span m='85860'>then</span> <span m='86250'>go</span> <span m='86520'>to</span> <span m='86630'>graduate</span> <span m='87040'>school</span> <span m='87395'>and</span> <span m='87750'>get</span> <span m='88173'>a</span> <span m='90410'>Ph.D.</span> <span m='90785'>My</span> <span m='91160'>Ph.D.</span> <span m='91600'>is</span> <span m='92040'>in</span> <span m='92460'>material</span> <span m='92840'>science</span> <span m='93490'>and</span> <span m='93620'>engineering.</span> </p><p><span m='94870'>And</span> <span m='95010'>we're</span> <span m='95170'>here</span> <span m='95410'>at</span> <span m='95550'>the</span> <span m='95620'>materials</span> <span m='96120'>research</span> <span m='96550'>conference</span> <span m='97110'>so</span> <span m='97910'>I</span> <span m='98000'>hope</span> <span m='98190'>you</span> <span m='98270'>guys</span> <span m='98580'>can</span> <span m='99550'>research</span> <span m='100010'>that.</span> <span m='100400'>Not</span> <span m='100540'>everybody</span> <span m='100910'>knows</span> <span m='101170'>what</span> <span m='101250'>a</span> <span m='101360'>material</span> <span m='101760'>scientist</span> <span m='102030'>does.</span> <span m='102610'>But</span> <span m='102750'>we</span> <span m='103025'>work</span> <span m='103300'>on</span> <span m='103910'>building</span> <span m='104270'>materials,</span> <span m='104595'>making</span> <span m='104920'>them</span> <span m='105170'>better,</span> <span m='106350'>making</span> <span m='106803'>new</span> <span m='107256'>materials</span> <span m='107709'>for</span> <span m='107935'>different</span> <span m='108162'>applications.</span> </p><p><span m='112040'>It</span> <span m='112150'>was</span> <span m='112340'>challenging.</span> <span m='113000'>I</span> <span m='113080'>went</span> <span m='113260'>to</span> <span m='113900'>a</span> <span m='114080'>prestigious</span> <span m='114810'>university.</span> <span m='115550'>And</span> <span m='117650'>it</span> <span m='117830'>was</span> <span m='118010'>a</span> <span m='118070'>lot</span> <span m='118350'>of</span> <span m='118720'>difficult</span> <span m='119260'>work.</span> <span m='119530'>It</span> <span m='119640'>took</span> <span m='119750'>me</span> <span m='119860'>about</span> <span m='120150'>five</span> <span m='120400'>years</span> <span m='120620'>to</span> <span m='120680'>get</span> <span m='120740'>my</span> <span m='120860'>Ph.D.</span> <span m='122290'>And</span> <span m='122460'>then</span> <span m='122730'>after</span> <span m='123110'>that</span> <span m='124490'>I'm</span> <span m='124690'>doing</span> <span m='125030'>what</span> <span m='125420'>is</span> <span m='125610'>now</span> <span m='125990'>a</span> <span m='126380'>postdoctoral</span> <span m='127490'>appointment,</span> <span m='127710'>which</span> <span m='128030'>is</span> <span m='128270'>kind</span> <span m='128430'>of</span> <span m='128509'>like</span> <span m='129539'>residency</span> <span m='131090'>for a</span> <span m='131260'>doctor,</span> <span m='131966'>or</span> <span m='132143'>a</span> <span m='132320'>clerkship</span> <span m='132450'>for</span> <span m='132580'>a</span> <span m='132794'>lawyer,</span> <span m='133008'>or</span> <span m='133222'>something</span> <span m='133436'>like</span> <span m='133650'>that.</span> </p><p><span m='135150'>I</span> <span m='135280'>got</span> <span m='135440'>motivated</span> <span m='135920'>to</span> <span m='136030'>take</span> <span m='136350'>this</span> <span m='136560'>job</span> <span m='136820'>because</span> <span m='137190'>I</span> <span m='137240'>was</span> <span m='137410'>interested</span> <span m='137800'>in</span> <span m='137920'>science.</span> <span m='139050'>I</span> <span m='139460'>originally</span> <span m='139805'>was</span> <span m='139977'>thinking</span> <span m='140150'>about</span> <span m='140360'>going</span> <span m='140562'>to</span> <span m='140765'>med</span> <span m='140967'>school.</span> <span m='141614'>And</span> <span m='141836'>my</span> <span m='142058'>undergrad</span> <span m='145210'>path</span> <span m='145740'>took</span> <span m='145920'>me</span> <span m='146120'>through</span> <span m='146320'>engineering</span> <span m='146970'>because</span> <span m='147170'>I</span> <span m='147210'>wanted</span> <span m='147420'>to</span> <span m='147590'>have</span> <span m='148820'>options</span> <span m='149160'>if</span> <span m='149500'>I</span> <span m='149630'>didn't</span> <span m='150050'>want</span> <span m='150180'>to</span> <span m='150230'>go</span> <span m='150410'>to</span> <span m='153235'>medical</span> <span m='153630'>school.</span> <span m='153900'>And</span> <span m='154130'>I</span> <span m='154190'>didn't.</span> </p><p><span m='154650'>So</span> <span m='154888'>I</span> <span m='155127'>went</span> <span m='155365'>to</span> <span m='155604'>grad</span> <span m='155842'>school.</span> <span m='156558'>And</span> <span m='157035'>in</span> <span m='157273'>this</span> <span m='157512'>engineering</span> <span m='157989'>was</span> <span m='158227'>just</span> <span m='158943'>what</span> <span m='159420'>got</span> <span m='159658'>me</span> <span m='159777'>going.</span> <span m='159897'>But</span> <span m='160135'>I'd</span> <span m='160374'>always</span> <span m='160612'>been</span> <span m='160851'>interested</span> <span m='161089'>in</span> <span m='161328'>science.</span> <span m='163250'>That's</span> <span m='164290'>kind</span> <span m='164480'>of</span> <span m='164550'>what</span> <span m='164680'>launched</span> <span m='165110'>me.</span> </p><p><span m='167060'>What</span> <span m='167310'>would</span> <span m='167470'>I</span> <span m='167610'>would've</span> <span m='168280'>wanted</span> <span m='168500'>to</span> <span m='168690'>know</span> <span m='169140'>before</span> <span m='169530'>I</span> <span m='169570'>started?</span> <span m='171980'>Well,</span> <span m='172350'>it's</span> <span m='172550'>been</span> <span m='172700'>hard.</span> <span m='173050'>It's</span> <span m='173280'>been</span> <span m='174080'>a</span> <span m='174140'>lot</span> <span m='174430'>of</span> <span m='174840'>work.</span> <span m='175250'>I</span> <span m='175290'>work</span> <span m='175545'>right</span> <span m='175800'>now</span> <span m='176237'>about</span> <span m='177550'>60</span> <span m='178080'>hours</span> <span m='178350'>a</span> <span m='178440'>week.</span> <span m='179820'>It's</span> <span m='180050'>not</span> <span m='180350'>always</span> <span m='181020'>well</span> <span m='181270'>rewarded.</span> <span m='181645'>You</span> <span m='181832'>have</span> <span m='182020'>to</span> <span m='182280'>have</span> <span m='182400'>a</span> <span m='182440'>lot</span> <span m='182875'>of</span> <span m='183092'>patience</span> <span m='183310'>to</span> <span m='183473'>go</span> <span m='183801'>into</span> <span m='184292'>science,</span> <span m='184783'>because</span> <span m='185274'>a</span> <span m='185519'>lot</span> <span m='185765'>of</span> <span m='186010'>your</span> <span m='186256'>experiments</span> <span m='186747'>don't</span> <span m='186910'>work</span> <span m='187074'>out.</span> </p><p><span m='187729'>And</span> <span m='187974'>then</span> <span m='188220'>it's</span> <span m='189202'>a</span> <span m='189700'>battle</span> <span m='190120'>as</span> <span m='190560'>I'm</span> <span m='190700'>looking</span> <span m='191530'>uphill</span> <span m='192520'>to</span> <span m='193510'>win</span> <span m='193900'>funding</span> <span m='194450'>to</span> <span m='194540'>become</span> <span m='195450'>someone</span> <span m='195910'>that</span> <span m='196850'>I</span> <span m='196920'>could</span> <span m='197070'>write</span> <span m='197270'>proposals</span> <span m='197560'>and</span> <span m='197850'>they'll</span> <span m='199020'>actually</span> <span m='199470'>give</span> <span m='199695'>me</span> <span m='199920'>money,</span> <span m='200145'>because</span> <span m='200370'>that's</span> <span m='200595'>how</span> <span m='200820'>I'm</span> <span m='200910'>going</span> <span m='201000'>to</span> <span m='201090'>have</span> <span m='201180'>to</span> <span m='203150'>continue</span> <span m='203520'>my</span> <span m='203730'>career.</span> </p><p><span m='205580'>So</span> <span m='206330'>the</span> <span m='206530'>biggest</span> <span m='206860'>thing</span> <span m='207030'>is</span> <span m='208960'>I</span> <span m='209530'>would've</span> <span m='209850'>liked</span> <span m='210120'>to</span> <span m='210220'>have</span> <span m='210320'>known</span> <span m='210570'>how</span> <span m='210750'>challenging</span> <span m='211095'>it</span> <span m='211440'>was.</span> <span m='211860'>It's</span> <span m='211970'>been</span> <span m='212080'>a</span> <span m='212200'>reward.</span> <span m='214080'>Maybe</span> <span m='214220'>I</span> <span m='214360'>wouldn't</span> <span m='214750'>have</span> <span m='214860'>liked</span> <span m='214970'>to</span> <span m='215150'>know</span> <span m='215330'>that,</span> <span m='215560'>because</span> <span m='216730'>maybe</span> <span m='216875'>I</span> <span m='217020'>wouldn't</span> <span m='217150'>have</span> <span m='217300'>done</span> <span m='217430'>it.</span> <span m='219242'>[CHUCKLING]</span> <span m='220664'>So</span> <span m='221138'>maybe</span> <span m='221375'>I'd</span> <span m='222086'>back</span> <span m='222323'>off</span> <span m='222560'>on</span> <span m='222797'>that.</span> </p><p><span m='223508'>But</span> <span m='224385'>the</span> <span m='224780'>thing</span> <span m='225120'>that's</span> <span m='225390'>most</span> <span m='225650'>important</span> <span m='226080'>is</span> <span m='226270'>that</span> <span m='227150'>even</span> <span m='227340'>though</span> <span m='227490'>it was</span> <span m='227640'>difficult,</span> <span m='228130'>I</span> <span m='228180'>feel</span> <span m='229210'>like</span> <span m='229600'>it's</span> <span m='229870'>been</span> <span m='230070'>a</span> <span m='230100'>good</span> <span m='230700'>rewarding</span> <span m='231175'>thing</span> <span m='231412'>to</span> <span m='231650'>do.</span> <span m='233590'>I</span> <span m='233880'>get</span> <span m='234020'>to</span> <span m='234090'>work</span> <span m='234340'>on</span> <span m='236230'>projects</span> <span m='236650'>that</span> <span m='236897'>mean</span> <span m='237145'>something.</span> <span m='238630'>So</span> <span m='239160'>if</span> <span m='239380'>I'm</span> <span m='239560'>successful</span> <span m='240420'>then</span> <span m='240880'>we</span> <span m='240990'>might</span> <span m='241200'>have</span> <span m='241450'>a</span> <span m='241660'>better</span> <span m='242630'>energy</span> <span m='243160'>landscape</span> <span m='244960'>in</span> <span m='245260'>the</span> <span m='245560'>future.</span> <span m='246160'>And</span> <span m='246460'>that's</span> <span m='247060'>a</span> <span m='247360'>rewarding</span> <span m='247660'>thing</span> <span m='247810'>to</span> <span m='247960'>do.</span> <span m='248860'>And</span> <span m='249160'>so</span> <span m='249310'>I</span> <span m='249460'>take</span> <span m='249610'>it</span> <span m='249760'>one</span> <span m='249910'>day</span> <span m='250060'>at</span> <span m='250210'>a</span> <span m='250360'>time.</span> </p>","file":{"id":167943,"video_id":"2705578102001","name":"121601701","duration":250983,"thumbnail_url":null}});