You’re studying biology – now what are you going to do with it? Fortunately for you, many careers in science and Medicine are still in high demand, and your degree has a lot of uses in the modern world. Here are a few avenues to pursue.
1. Ecologist or Environmental Scientist
With rapid changes in the ecosystems of the planet comes the need for professionals who can study and interpret environmental data. If that interests you, expect to earn about $63,570 per year and experience slightly faster-than-average job growth.
For many, a biology major is only a stepping stone to further schooling and a career in Medicine. Among the career paths popular for biology majors is the path to becoming a doctor. While it requires four more years of school following the undergraduate degree, physicians in the U.S. earned a mean salary of $187,200 as of May 2013, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
3. Nurse or Nurse Practitioner
Registered nurses also pursue dual degrees in biology in nursing, or seek nursing training following their undergraduate programs. With a graduate degree, nurses can become nurse practitioners who are able to diagnose and treat patients. Registered nurses earned a mean income of $69,110 as of May 2013, while nurse practitioners earned an average of $95,070, according to BLS.
4. Physical or Occupational Therapist
Another option in the allied health continuum for biology majors is to become a physical therapist or occupational therapist. Physical therapists often work with people recovering from injury, while occupational therapists often help people master the activities of daily living. Occupational therapists earned a man salary of $77,890 as of 2013, while physical therapists earned $82,180.
5. Physician’s Assistant
A degree in biology can also lend itself well to work as a physician’s assistant, who works with patients under the wing of a physician. Physician’s assistants earned a mean income of $94,350 as of 2013, according to BLS.
6. Wildlife Biologist
If you enjoy working with animals and studying their behaviors and habitats, a career as a wildlife biologist may be for you. The field can be an interesting one, but it’s also one with slower-than-average job growth, at a projected 5 percent through 2022, compared to the average of 13 percent. Median pay as of 2012 was $57,710.
Microbiologists work in laboratory settings, studying viruses, bacteria and other organisms. The job growth is a slower 7 percent, but the average salary was $66,260 per year as of 2012.
8. Biomedical Engineer
Biomedical engineers design and develop artificial organs, prostheses and pharmaceuticals to help people live better, healthier lives. As of 2013, they earned a median salary of $93,960, with about average job growth.
9. Forestry Worker
Scientists working in forests study the health of trees and wildlife, and advise forest workers in the best practices for maintaining the ecosystems. Options for biology majors might include working as a conservation scientist – which may require a higher degree – or working as a forester.
10. Biological Technician
With a bachelor’s degree you also have the option of working as a biological technician, conducting laboratory tests on soil, water, plants and other materials. Biological technicians earned a median salary of $39,750 as of 2012.