Thinking about majoring in biology? TBH, we don’t blame you. After all, what could possibly be more interesting than studying life itself? Biology majors learn all about the origins and science behind all living things — their functions, processes, and characteristics. They hold cool-sounding job titles, like “forensic biologist” and “field botanist,” and work in a range of different environments, from research labs to national parks and school classrooms.
Earning a biology degree can also open doors to a variety of careers, including some of the highest-paying careers in the field of medicine. But if you don’t want to go the med school path, don’t worry! There are plenty of other career options out there.
So, what can you do with a biology degree? Read on to discover the most common job titles for biology graduates.
- Microbiologist – A microbiologist is a fantastic career for any bio major. As a microbiologist, you’ll study fungi, algae, bacteria, and other microscopic organisms that are invisible to the naked eye. Although earning a master’s degree will increase your career prospects, you can still land a job with a bachelor’s degree. And although the organisms you study will be tiny, the paycheck is not. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, microbiologists made an average of $75,650 in 2019.
- Research Technician – Enjoy working in a quiet place? A research technician could be a great career choice for you. Also known as lab techs, research technicians are the ones who help keep laboratories running smoothly. They’re generally less involved with the science-y aspect of the lab and serve more as an extra pair of hands for the postdocs (maintaining equipment, processing specimens, labeling things, and doing paperwork, etc.).
- Biochemist – Biochemists study the chemical principles and biological processes of living things. They typically work in labs, using their scientific research skills to conduct studies that develop new products. Although you can land an entry-level position with a bachelor’s degree, most biochemists in research positions hold doctoral degrees.
- Forensic Science Technician – Are you a sucker for true crime shows? Do you love solving mysteries? Are you unfazed by brutal crime scenes? If you answered yes to all three questions, consider a career as a forensic science technician. Forensic scientists are the ones who collect and analyze evidence from crime scenes. As a forensic scientist technician, you might reconstruct crime scenes and testify the results of their analyses in court. This field also is fast-growing, with employment of forensic scientists projected to grow 14 percent from 2019 to 2029.
- Pharmaceutical Sales Representative – If you have an outgoing personality and don’t mind traveling for work, pharmaceutical sales could be a rewarding (and lucrative) career. Pharmaceutical sales representatives travel to different locations to increase awareness of their company’s products and sell pharmaceutical supplies. They spend most of their business time talking with medical professionals, such as pharmacists, hospital staff, physicians, and patient advocacy groups. Meeting with busy healthcare professionals is harder than it sounds, but if you’re up for a challenge, this could be a great career choice for a bio major with strong people skills.
- Biology Teacher – The world needs people who can inspire young minds to pursue STEM careers. Why can’t that person be you? As a biology teacher, you can strive to make biology fun for students and get them excited about science! To become a biology teacher, you’ll need to get your teaching credential after you earn a bachelor’s degree in biology. Although being a teacher isn’t for everyone, it could be the start of a wonderfully rewarding career.
- Science Writer – Are you a talented writer? Science writers use their impressive writing skills to create engaging, science-related content for various audiences. Some science writers work for institutions, drafting press releases that relate to their research. Others work for magazines and newspapers. Consider joining the National Association of Science Writers to meet other science writers and learn more about this career path.
- Wildlife Biologist – Do you enjoy spending time in nature and studying animal behavior? A career as a wildlife biologist could be deeply rewarding. Many wildlife biologists with bachelor’s degrees spend their time working outdoors, observing animals in their natural habitats, and studying the human impact on the environment. Wildlife biologists with PhDs often work at a university or independent research lab.
Landing a Biology Job
So, what can you do with a biology degree? Plenty. Biology is an incredibly broad field, and the careers available to biology majors are equally wide-ranging. However, some biology jobs are more competitive than others. To successfully launch your career, make sure that you secure a few internships before you graduate.
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