Toxicologists use analytical and scientific techniques to identify toxins such as chemicals, biological substances and radiation, and to assess the potential risks and harmful effects posed by them.

    You’ll plan and carry out laboratory and field studies that help to identify, monitor and evaluate this impact and will also consider the use of future technology.


    Types of Toxicologist

    You may work in different areas of toxicology, which include:

    • academic/university;
    • clinical;
    • ecotoxicology;
    • forensic;
    • industrial;
    • occupational;
    • pharmaceutical;
    • regulatory.



    • designing, planning and undertaking controlled experiments and trials
    • devising and testing hypotheses; using appropriate analytical techniques to identify and quantify toxins
    • analyzing and interpreting data
    • giving evidence in court
    • carrying out field studies
    • studying relevant literature
    • writing reports, reviews and papers
    • performing risk assessments to determine the likelihood of harmful effects
    • assisting in establishing regulations to protect humans, animals and the environment
    • collaborating and sharing expertise and research findings with scientific and technical staff
    • supervising staff
    • managing laboratories



    You need to have a degree to become a toxicologist. While there are few degree courses specifically in toxicology, there are many in related subjects, such as pharmacology or biomedical sciences that contain a significant toxicology component.

    Subject areas likely to be of use include:

    • biological, biomedical and biochemical sciences;
    • food, crop, soil and environmental sciences;
    • forensic, chemical and physical sciences;
    • medical and veterinary sciences;
    • pharmacology/pharmacy.



    • A logical and independent mind
    • Meticulous attention to detail
    • Excellent written and oral communication skills
    • Good team-working abilities