Best Biology Careers
Are you planning to pursue a bachelor's degree in biology? Are you nearing the end of your studies and unsure what's next?
Whether you're a seasoned veteran looking for a change or a high school student entering the field for the first time, it can be difficult to settle on the right career with a biology degree. In part, this is because biology is such a varied discipline! Majoring in biology provides students with an incredibly broad understanding of the world around them, including the principles of life at a molecular, cellular, ecological, and organismal level.
Luckily, the opportunities this training provides are as wide-ranging as the degree itself. From careers in education to positions in medicine, many of the top jobs for biology degree majors look nothing like what you'd expect.
This article will be covering the following careers:
|Career||Avg Salary||Satisfaction||Your Match|
|Clinical Research Coordinator||$129k||3.0/5|
|Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician||$34k||2.9/5|
|High School Teacher||$63k||3.0/5|
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It may seem obvious, but it's still worth saying. Becoming a biologist can be a dream option for many biology majors. These highly skilled scientists have dedicated their careers to studying living organisms and the environments they engage with. Biologists can be found working in labs, in the field, in classrooms, and even in government organizations. To do their work, they employ a wide variety of research methods to understand the inner workings of bacteria, animals, plants, or humans. Creative and analytical, this has become a very coveted, competitive position. Not everyone has the work ethic required to succeed in this career, but for those who do, it can be incredibly rewarding.
Biology is the scientific study of life and living organisms, and can focus on so many things - how an organism has come to exist, how it is built, how it grows, how it functions, what it does, or where it lives.
2. Clinical Research Coordinator
Clinical research coordinators are the masters of the research lab. They oversee teams of scientists who are working on clinical trials to ensure they produce the highest quality research possible. A clinical research coordinator's duties can include everything from recruiting study participants to managing the secure storage of data and materials. Some may even assist their employer in setting a budget for the project. Biology graduates, with their strong understanding of the scientific method and the rigour required to produce sound research results, are well-positioned to pursue this important career.
Clinical Research Coordinator
Clinical research coordinators conduct clinical trials in the medical world.
3. Veterinary Assistant
For many people, their love of biology starts with a love of animals. Perhaps this is why so many biology students choose to pursue a veterinary career after graduation. In fact, biology is the most common degree held by practicing veterinary assistants—even more popular than formal animal science training! In this role, biology students will be able to put their zoology knowledge to the test, working under the supervision of a veterinarian to ensure the well-being of all the animals who enter their care.
Do you feel passionate about caring for animals and providing them with the best possible care?
4. Genetic Counselor
Genetic counseling is an exciting and fast-growing field, offering many opportunities for employment. Due to new advances in medical technology, it's become possible to evaluate and understand a person's risk of inheriting many of the most challenging health conditions. Genetic counselors take advantage of these advances to help their patients understand the ways in which their genetics can affect their lives. A background in biology is an asset in this career, but additional training in medical genetics and counseling is a must.
Genetic counseling is a process that helps to evaluate and understand a family’s risk of an inherited medical condition.
5. Pharmacy Technician
Interested in the world of pharmaceuticals, but not ready to commit to another four years of school? Pharmacy technicians work under the direct supervision of licensed pharmacists to perform an array of tasks, including dispensing medication, providing care information to customers, processing prescriptions, and more. But although they complete many of the same duties as licensed pharmacists do, they don't need to obtain a doctor's degree to work. In fact, some people enter this career with just a high school diploma! Biology graduates, with their knowledge of viruses, bacteria, and the human body, are ideal candidates for the job.
A pharmacy technician is someone who works under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist to process prescriptions, dispense medication, perform pharmacy-related functions, and provide information to customers.
6. Technical Writer
For some biology majors, even writing an email can be a daunting task. But for those who have a way with words, a career as a technical writer can be a perfect match. Technical writers can specialize in many fields, including medicine, the life sciences, and, of course, biology. They synthesize information for their clients, communicating complex technical or scientific issues in a manner that is clear and compelling. Whether they're writing an instruction manual, a journal article, or a project report, technical writers help make science more accessible and engaging for all.
A technical writer is someone who transforms complex and technically difficult written material into clear and concise documentation that will be read by target audiences.
7. Medical Assistant
Many students choose to pursue a biology degree with the goal of one day becoming a doctor, only to realize that it isn't quite the right fit. For individuals in this situation, a career as a medical assistant can be a great alternative. Medical assistants perform a variety of duties that make life easier for the physicians and nurses in their clinic. They greet patients, update medical records, prepare supplies, and even administer some basic medical tests. Engaging and rewarding, this position involves some of the best aspects of a medical career—including caring for other people—without the hectic work schedule.
Medical assistants play a key role within medical institutions.
8. Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician
Laboratory technicians play an essential role in the healthcare system. These skilled professionals work with a variety of microscopes, computers, and other technologies to conduct the lab tests ordered by doctors and healthcare providers. By examining a patients' bodily fluids and tissue samples, they can help identify dangerous abnormalities and determine diagnoses. People with biology training can excel in this line of work, applying their analytical reasoning skills, systematic work habits, and aptitude for math and science to help patients recover and thrive.
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician
A medical and clinical laboratory technician is someone who conducts lab tests ordered by doctors and other healthcare providers.
The path to becoming an MD is long and laborious, but, for many biology majors, well worth the effort. Doctors are at the heart of the medical system, helping patients restore and maintain their health through the diagnosis and treatment of a wide array of diseases, injuries, and other conditions. Biology is often considered the basis of all medicine, so it's no surprise that it's the most common degree held by practicing physicians. Although many of the prerequisites for medical school are standard courses included in any biology degree, competitive candidates should also ensure they've completed some relevant electives, such as psychology, english, or kinesiology courses.
Do you thrive in situations where you can interact with and help people?
10. High School Teacher
You know what they say: "If you can't do, teach." For biology majors who decide that practicing science isn't for them, becoming a secondary school teacher is a natural next step. This career requires a bachelor's degree in either education or a teachable subject such as biology. Those who do decide to go this route will enjoy watching their students fall in love with this fascinating science. Unlike other subjects, such as chemistry or physics, the real world applications of biology are obvious. Students will find it easy to get excited about topics such as nutrition, the environment, and human anatomy. For biology degree majors with a love of education, this can be an incredibly meaningful career.
High School Teacher
A high school teacher is someone who prepares and teaches academic, technical, vocational or specialized subjects at public and private secondary schools, typically from grades 9-12.
This may come as a surprise, but becoming an illustrator is a viable option for many biology majors. For those who are artistically inclined, the world of medical illustration can be very rewarding. Medical illustrators collaborate with doctors, scientists, and other specialists to transform complicated information into images that resonate with a broader audience. Their detailed illustrations are used in doctor's clinics, schools, and even courtrooms, helping people from all walks of life connect to essential science and health concepts. This career path does require additional education, but for the right person, the extra schooling is well worth the effort.