The 2024 Job Market Outlook for Science & Clinical Professionals

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Ready to make a change in your science or clinical career this year? The job market is always evolving, so stay informed and make the best decision you can for your area of expertise. Read on for some insight and tips from the experts at hiring experts. 

The job market is set for big changes in 2024, especially for professionals in science and clinical roles. The BLS projects a 7.4% increase in employment across life, physical, and social science occupations this year, matching the average growth rate across all sectors. In the backdrop of these more optimistic trends, however, job seekers will also be challenged by economic inflation, less job turnover, and slower wage rate growth. 

Wage growth is slowing across all job levels.

In particular, wage growth across the US is headed toward pre-pandemic levels after years of rapid growth. The latest data shows that wages grew 4.5% year-over-year in August 2023, less than half their recent top growth rate of 9.3% in January 2022. And although the size of the decreases changes from sector to sector, there’s a considerable dip across all wage tiers. 

Still, opportunity will remain abundant in some areas. The number of people employed in biotechnology increased by 5.2% in the past five years and will continue adding 10,600 jobs each year until 2032. The demand for data scientists continues to surge, reflecting the growing relevance of data analysis in scientific research. Employers’ expectations are evolving along with these trends, with a heightened emphasis on professional recognition and certification. 

Highlight your skill sets in highest demand.

Despite challenges, the opportunity for aspiring science or clinical professionals to carve out your own niche remains promising. A key to managing the journey lies in anticipating these market shifts and strategically equipping yourself with the latest skill sets required. Looking at recent Kelly data, we analyzed the top skill sets required by employers for senior-level science and clinical positions, as well as the fastest-growing skill sets in demand.  

Fastest growing skills in demand.

Skills most in demand.

Use these skills to position your job search for maximum impact. Bolster your resume with any certifications or professional associations that reflect these skills or consider expanding your skill set to be as competitive as possible. Look for free online courses, webinars, or training programs. Just 15% of qualified scientific candidates typically have the latest requirements.  

That’s why, for example, we’ve developed the Kelly Learning Center—a virtual training platform that offers a wide variety of courses, videos, books, audiobooks, and certifications, completely free to our Kelly team. Use resources like this to demonstrate your talent with a strong, comprehensive certification history and gain an edge with employers today. 

Partner with an expert in your work specialty.

Another way to combat the impact of lowering wage rate growth is to define your desired salary and must-have benefits. Use online tools like to establish exactly what a scientist or clinician in your role is making in your specific geographic area. It always helps to ask an expert for help. Nearly 80% of Kelly recruiters have a background in the science and clinical fields they recruit for—so we get your needs, speak your language, and know how your skills can transfer to new roles. We’re also the authority in specific industry job markets, so we know what will stand out on your resume for your location. 

Beyond subject matter expertise, a partner like Kelly can connect you to exclusive openings at clients that you may not be able to reach on your own. Sometimes it’s simply about who you know! But increasingly today, it’s a human connection that makes the difference, as one candidate confirms: 

“You always see job opportunities online … but to actually move forward with that process, get that first interview and keep getting interviews down the line, is definitely an uphill battle to say the least. To speak with Kelly Science & Clinical was quite easy. They were always straightforward with me, and there was always constant communication.”  

Riley Feser, Cell Culture Associate 

The job market for science and clinical roles appears promising. Opportunities will abound, but not without challenges. Economic inflation, lower job turnover, and slower wage growth will create a competitive landscape, demanding more from job seekers. To navigate this terrain, you need to stay proactive, informed, and strategic. Consider earning professional recognition or certifications to stand out. And leverage a specialized recruitment service like Kelly Science & Clinical for insightful guidance and comprehensive support. 

Want more information on how Kelly can work with you to support your science or clinical career? Explore the roles we’re actively recruiting for now, or join our talent pool to submit your credentials to our recruiters without applying for a specific job. 



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