What does a Toxicologist do?

A toxicologist is a scientist who tests bodily fluids and tissue samples during autopsies to determine the presence of toxins or chemicals. They work in laboratories and use various methods to locate toxic levels of drugs or other poisons within the body. If it is determined harmful agents are present, a toxicologist will measure the levels found and identify if it likely contributed to the death of the patient. Additionally, many toxicologists work to help solve criminal cases and will testify in court on behalf of their lab findings.

Advanced education is required to become a toxicologist and a graduate degree in forensic science, chemistry, toxicology or related field is necessary. Depending upon the state of employment, a professional certification through the American Board of Toxicology may be required. Meticulous attention to detail and strong analytical skills are required to excel in the position of a toxicologist.

What responsibilities are common for Toxicologist jobs?
  • Identify and test a proposed scientific hypothesis by applying analytical examination techniques to measure toxins
  • Create reports and author reviews of research papers and findings
  • Oversee risk assessments to identify possible harmful side effects and outcomes
  • Conduct examinations using biomedical and chemical instruments and maintain the samples as well as possible for further testing
  • Ensure the safe storage and use of chemicals and laboratory instruments
  • Collaborate and share research and study findings with other staff members
  • Test bodily fluids and body tissue samples to isolate and measure toxin levels present
  • Comply with state and federal laws regarding privacy, safety and quality control within the lab
What are the typical qualifications for Toxicologist jobs?
  • Graduate degree in forensic science, chemistry, toxicology or related field is necessary
  • Meticulous attention to detail when performing examinations and tests
  • Depending upon the state of employment, a professional certification through the American Board of Toxicology may be required
  • Experience working on cases involving environmental pollution and the measurable impact of chemical spills and disasters
  • An organized and detailed approach to testing is essential
  • Ability to review and interpret industry-specific data
  • Experience using required instruments and equipment safely and correctly
  • Personal integrity and accountability are essential due to the nature of the position
  • Maintain a professional level of patient privacy in accordance with HIPAA procedures
Education--
Work/Life Balance
3.6 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.4 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does a Toxicologist make?

Confident
$126,733 /yr
Total Pay
$99,720
 /yr

Base Pay

+
$27,013
 /yr

Additional Pay

$126,733

 / yr
$65K$382K
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
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Toxicologist Career Path

Learn how to become a Toxicologist, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

L2
Toxicologist
$126,733/yr
L3
L2

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
14%
2 - 4
47%
5 - 7
15%
8+
24%
Not including years spent in education and/or training
See Career Path

Toxicologist Insights

Read what Toxicologist professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Key Forensic ServicesKey Forensic Services
Toxicologist
Feb 2, 2021

“nice people to work with”

L'OréalL'Oréal
Toxicologist
May 4, 2022

“Good work life balance”

U.S. Food and Drug AdministrationU.S. Food and Drug Administration
Toxicologist
Apr 16, 2020

“Good work life balance”

Eurofins ScientificEurofins Scientific
Toxicologist
Aug 3, 2021

“I was not given good training opportunities to broaden my skills.”

Environmental Protection AgencyEnvironmental Protection Agency
Toxicologist
May 14, 2022

“Terrible work life balance.”

IntrinsiCorp
Toxicology Associate
Aug 16, 2021

“Great corporate environment to start your professional career.”

CotyCoty
Toxicologist
Mar 28, 2021

“gift bags, canteen, good location”

Eurofins ScientificEurofins Scientific
Toxicologist
Aug 3, 2021

“• There is no dedicated training department, and several employees routinely manage their day with little regard to training others.”

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Toxicologist Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Toxicologist

When working as a Toxicologist, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Evaluating, PBPK, Conducting, Responses, and Excellent Communication.

The most similar professions to Toxicologist are:
  • Environmental Specialist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Safety Manager
  • Ehs Specialist

Related Careers

Environmental Specialist
$75,610
No skills overlap
Environmental Scientist
$79,052
No skills overlap
Safety Manager
$81,960
25% skills overlap
Ehs Specialist
$90,640
13% skills overlap

Toxicologist Jobs