Careers for Toxicologists

Our graduates find a variety of opportunities in government agencies, academia, industry and private research institutes. The broad range of skills and experiences that they bring to their tasks allows them to find employment in the sector and region of their choice. They work as toxicologists in every conceivable category and in some that were not even imagined a few years ago.


Federal (FDA, NIEHS, NCI, EPA) and state (NYSDRP, NJDEP, etc.) agencies involved in protecting public health and the environment have been major employers for toxicologists interested in research or regulation. Increasingly, localities and counties are also hiring toxicologists and environmental chemists.


Many opportunities occur at large universities which have departments or programs incorporating toxicology and thus provide training for students in toxicology. Many academic departments including Biochemistry, Pharmacology, Biology, as well as Toxicology, include faculty with toxicological research focuses. Positions at academic institutions offer opportunities to teach and do research, and to consult for private and public groups. More cooperative extension programs at land grant institutions are also including toxicology outreach in their programs, providing toxicologists with the opportunity to serve the public directly in many important areas.

Industry and the Private Sector

There are many opportunities for toxicologists in the pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnology industries or as external consultants in private sector and not-for-profit research laboratories. Major contributions to our understanding of the environmental fate and effects of chemicals have come from industrial laboratories. We have and will continue to rely upon industrial laboratories for product safety and the solution of environmental toxicological problems. Industries, in turn, are looking to academic and governmental toxicologists for information and guidance to help them minimize the health hazard and environmental impact of their products, and to understand and address government regulations.

Public Service

The growth of public interest jobs, both internships and full time professional positions, is a phenomenon of special importance to environmental toxicology. Risk communication and policy development extend technical expertise into social, political and economic realms.