Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
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Unit Group

4161 Natural and Applied Science Policy Researchers, Consultants and Program Officers

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.

Example Titles

  • energy policy analyst
  • environmental impact analyst
  • environmental issues lobbyist
  • ergonomist
  • fisheries analyst
  • human factors specialist (except engineer)
  • industrial hygienist
  • natural resources policy analyst
  • occupational hygienist
  • patent agent
  • program officer, natural and applied sciences
  • recycling program co-ordinator
  • scientific consultant
  • supervisor, environmental program development
  • transportation program analyst
  • transportation safety analyst
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Main duties


The following is a summary of main duties for some occupations in this 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.
  • Science policy and program officers conduct research and advise on policies or develop or administer programs related to transportation, communications, natural resources, agriculture, the environment, energy, 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.
  • 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.

Additional information

  • Progression to supervisory or managerial positions in these fields is possible with experience.
  • Certification of ergonomists through the Canadian Ergonomics Certification Board leading to the designation "Certified Ergonomist" (C.Ergo) is available.

Classified elsewhere

  • Architecture and Science Managers (0212)
  • Health Policy Researchers, Consultants and Program Officers (4165)
  • Life Science Professionals (212)
  • Physical Science Professionals (211)
  • Professional occupations in engineering (in 213 Civil, Mechanical, Electrical and Chemical Engineers )
  • Professional occupations in engineering (in 214 Other Engineers )