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The National Science Foundation defines nanoscience as the “ability to manipulate individual atoms and molecules, making it possible to build machines on the scale of human cells or create materials and structures from the bottom up with novel properties.” Scientists study these nanomaterials (a nanometer is one-millionth of a millimeter—or approximately 100,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair), and nanosystems engineers use nanomaterials to create new products and for a variety of other uses—ranging from nanomedicine and communications, to environmental remediation and agriculture. Nanotechnologists serve as the link between scientists and engineers on one end and technicians on the other. Working in laboratories and clean rooms, they operate advanced microscopy equipment to manipulate nanoscale objects, perform tests on nanomaterials, and oversee production processes for nanoscale designs that produce or modify nanomaterials, devices, and systems. Nanotechnologists are also known as nanotechnology engineering technologists.

Salary Range

$25,000 to $100,000

Minimum Education Level

Bachelor's Degree




Faster than the Average
Personality Traits

Hands On



Career Ladder
Nanosystems Engineer or Nanomaterials Scientist