National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network

National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network

Serving Nanoscale Science, Engineering & Technology

Nanotechnology Careers

Is a Career in Nanotechnology in your Future?

  • Think about choosing a field that is new and exciting and which is predicted to impact nearly every facet of our lives
  • The National Science Foundation’s estimated job projection for the U.S. is nearly one million workers by 2015*
  • The U.S. market value of products using nanotechnology is estimated to be $1 trillion or 5% of the GDP by 2020.

As nanoscale science and technology come to have an increasing impact on many aspects fo our daily lives, the opportunities for careers are expanding rapidly.  A major challenge nanotechnology is has is the education and training of a new generation of skilled workers.  Could you be one of them?

In areas as diverse as designing medical diagnostic devices to building better batteries, from creating cosmetics to enhancing energy efficient windows, from auto and plane manufacturing to researching the nature of matter itself, knowledge of nanoscale science and technology will be increasingly important during upcoming years and decades.

Where are the career areas?

Current applications of nanoscale science and technology, and thus career opportunities, exist in areas such as

Photo credit- Randy Montoya Sandia National Lab
  • Electronics/semiconductor industry
  • Materials science including textiles, polymers, packaging, among others
  • Auto and aerospace industries
  • Sporting goods
  • Biotechnology
  • Medical fields and pharmaceuticals
  • Environmental monitoring, control, and remediation
  • Food science including quality control and packaging
  • Forensics
  • University and federal lab research
  • Military and national security
  • Energy capture and storage
  • And many more areas

What Education is Needed and in which Fields?

Nanoscale phenomena underlie many of the properties and interactions of matter, and thus the sciences of physics, chemistry, and biology. However, nanoscale science is an interdisciplinary field – one where science and engineering intersect.  Studying science or engineering and paying attention to the developments in nanoscience that advance these fields can provide you with a solid foundation for any broad range of careers.

What Type of Education is Needed for a Career in Nanotechnology?

Not everyone working in nanotechnology will require a doctorate degree in science or engineering.  A skilled workforce trained at a variety of levels is needed to meet the projected workforce challenge.  Education levels include:  

Careers in solar energy are one of the many rapidly growing nanotech areas.


  • Technical program  (a high school degree plus additional training)
  • Associate’s degree  (2 years of college)
  • Bachelor’s degree  (about 4 years of college total)
  • Master’s degree (about 6 years of college total)
  • Doctorate ( about 9 years of college total)

You might want to check out these sites:

What are the Expected Salaries?

  • Two Year Associates -  $35,000 - $50,000
  • Four Year Bachelors -  $40,000 - $65,000                      
  • Six Year Masters -       $50,000 - $80,000
  • Eight Year Doctorate -  $75,000 - $100,000

U.S. salaries for nanotechnology engineering technicians range from $30,000 to $94,000 according to ( with the average at $79,000 ( You can go online to see the average for your state or particular positions

Some additional sites to explore: