How to Become a Toxicologist?

7 minute read
MSc Toxicology

Have you ever wondered about the pesticides used in our food, the toxic chemicals in the water we drink, the pollutants in the air as well as the nearby dumpsite to your house? Almost everything around us contains some kind of chemicals in varying amounts. We can barely imagine the consequences of consuming a dangerous chemical and that’s it is important to be aware of which chemicals are good for us and which ones are hazardous. That is where the role of toxicologist comes into play. Toxicologists are those who indulge in finding the answers to the above-mentioned questions, i.e. mapping the presence of chemicals and toxins by using the various techniques over the parameters like genetics, molecular biology, etc. Opting for a degree in Toxicology, you will get to learn about the harmful effects of chemicals on various living organisms. Here is a blog to help you with details to establish a career in this field.   

Scope of Toxicology

Have you ever wondered what would happen if we ate food, consumed medicines, or applied cosmetics with all the harmful toxins & chemicals present in them? That’s why it is necessary that toxicologists identify the harmful components in all substances before it becomes available in the market. Consumers have become conscious of the products they are using. This makes every industry hire more toxicologists to evaluate & eliminate the chances of side effects. Toxicologists are not just restricted to one field but required in biotechnology, food,  pharmaceutical, teaching and research, and many more. There is always an opportunity for a toxicologist to grow within the field. The scope of toxicology will always be in higher demand in India & around the world. Even at present, there are more no. of jobs than the applicants. 

Responsibilities for Toxicologist

  • The main responsibility of a toxicologist is to measure or identify toxins by applying analytical examination techniques to test a scientific theory.
  • Creating the research report on paper & sharing it with other lab members.
  • Point out harmful side effects & end product by administering risk assessment.
  • Toxicologists must ensure safety at all costs & must follow protocols to ensure safe storage & use of chemicals.
  • Toxicologists have to maintain a safe environment in labs by following necessary safety laws, privacy & quality checks

Grab a Bachelor’s Degree

The primary step you need to take in order to follow your career pathway as Toxicologist is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Toxicology like BSc (Bachelor of Science) or some other variant in related fields. You may not find a proper toxicology degree at the undergraduate level, in such cases, you can opt for a program with its concentration as Chemistry or Biology. You can gain insights into the foundational knowledge of the domain through a bachelor’s level course. Here are the major requirements you need to fulfil especially If you are planning to study abroad:

You can acquire quality education at the undergraduate level from any of the leading universities abroad, once you align with the above-mentioned requirements. A plethora of institutions also offer a vast number of toxicology courses and the variants of this field. Pursuing which you can get a step closer to your career aspirations of becoming a Toxicologist. Below mentioned are some prominent courses available in this domain. 

BSc Toxicology Bachelor of Environmental
(Environmental Toxicology)
BSc Environmental
Chemistry and
BSc Analytical
BSc Pharmacology and
BSc Pharmacology 
BSc Forensic and
BSc Environmental Science:
Physical and Chemical DynamicsEmphasis 
BSc Fire Science 

To get a hold of world-class opportunities, you must strive for overseas education. Following is a list of universities where you can opt for the aforementioned courses: 

Toxicology Colleges in India

You can pursue a degree in Toxicology from India & abroad. All university mentioned offers an MSc in Toxicology. Here are all the top Universities offering Toxicologist in India:

  • University of Madras
  • Jamia Hamdard, Delhi
  • Chaudhary Charan Singh Haryana agricultural university
  • SCMS school of technology and management
  • Bhavans new science college, Hyderabad
  • Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut
  • SCMS Institute of biosciences and biotechnology research and development

Get Work Experience 

After obtaining an undergraduate degree, it is time to gain some practical experience by working in the medical sector. You can easily find an internship or training opportunity through which you can learn to utilize your theoretical knowledge into a full-time experience. Also, you can fetch some reputable entry-level jobs wherein you can learn about the cores of this healthcare specialization. In your journey of becoming a toxicologist, gaining practical experience is an essential step to achieving your career aspirations, through which you can get a hold of the exposure required for pursuing a master’s degree. 

Earn A Master’s Degree in Toxicology

In order to delve deeper into this field, a master’s degree in Toxicology can be your gateway to further explore the research and healthcare domain. By qualifying the entry-level exams you can enter a master’s program of your choice. Depending on the niche of your specialization, you can choose from a plethora of postgraduate courses available. Popular programs in the are MSc Toxicology or MSc Pharmacology and Toxicology etc, such advanced level courses can cement your expertise and will equip you with the detailed knowledge of the field. Candidates must make sure that it is mandatory to earn some full-time practical experience before starting with the application process for the master’s degree. Here are some popular master’s courses which can help you become a toxicologist:

MSc Pharmacology and ToxicologyMSc Toxicology MSc Drug Toxicology and
Safety Pharmacology 
MSc Biology Specialization in
Chemical and Environmental
MSc/ PG Diploma in
Analytical Sciences  
MSc Medical Toxicology 
MSc Molecular Analytical Sciences Master of Occupational
Hygiene and
MS in Pharmacology and

Which credentials and internships are beneficial for a career as a toxicologist?

It is crucial to take an internship to gain a better understanding of a profession as a toxicologist. No matter how much hands-on training your institution or university offers, working for a business or organisation will give you real-world experience. An internship can help you gain knowledge of a field and provide answers to many queries about how to become a toxicologist. In municipal, state, and federal government crime labs, the majority of forensic toxicologists start out assisting more seasoned experts and grow in their careers through years of practical experience. From high school beginning classes through graduate school level courses, there are several levels offered. There aren’t many internship programmes that integrate schooling. The following are some of the topics that are stressed throughout training:

  • Lab procedure and practice overviews
  • Ante-mortem and post-mortem toxicology screenings
  • Controlled substance analysis
  • Blood and tissue sample processing and analysis
  • Examining new testing methods

Opt for a PhD to Avail a Career in Research & Academia

Your dream career in toxicology will begin to flourish once you acquire a PhD degree. Although, it is not essential to have a doctorate degree if you aspire to work for an elite organization in the Toxicology industry. But If you want to explore academia and carve a career in teaching, a PhD degree will serve your purpose the best. Being the utmost degree, the doctoral program would demand you to delve deeper into the research work. By completing a thesis in the field, you successfully become a toxicologist with a supreme degree. 

Eligibility Criteria

To get admission to the above-mentioned universities applicants have to fulfil the required eligibility criteria. Every university has specific eligibility criteria, some of the common criteria are mentioned below:

  • Graduation degree in biological science/physical science
  • A minimum of 55% overall is required for admission.

Salary of Toxicologist

There are different career paths you can work on after completing your degree in toxicologist there are a variety of jobs for toxicologists globally. Some of the key areas of toxicologist employment are as follows-

  1. Industrial Toxicologist
  2. Forensic Toxicologist
  3. Clinical Toxicologist
  4. Regulatory Toxicologist
  5. Environmental Toxicologists
  6. Academic Toxicologists

Toxicologists are in high demand all around the world & here’s how much you can expect in the terms of salary.

CountrySalary per annum
AustraliaAUD 101,510
Germany€ 65,147


What is the salary of clinical toxicologists in India at the senior level?

A clinical toxicologist can earn in the range of Rs.50,000- 70,000.

What are the top employment sectors after completing a Toxicology course?

Some of the top employment sectors are pharmaceutical and chemical companies, Universities, forensic laboratories.

What are some of the key skills to become a Toxicologist?

Ability to handle stress, maintaining interpersonal relationships, logical & practical thinking are some of the key skills required to become a toxicologist

What does a forensic toxicologist do?

The main role of a forensic toxicologist to determine the cause of death & study crime scenes. Forensic toxicologist study around narcotic department & identify the chemical composition of different illegal drugs & alcohol

Can we find a job after completing a bachelor’s in Toxicology?

Yes, there are plenty of jobs after graduation as well.

Is there any opportunity for a toxicologist in consumer food & product development?

Yes, a toxicologist will have various job opportunities in the Consumer food & product department as well.

Thus, we hope that this blog about how to become a toxicologist has provided you with ample information to kickstart your career in this job profile. Reach out to our Leverage Edu experts through e-meetings and know all the details about upcoming September 2023and January 2023 intakes for your chosen program and university!

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