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12 Jobs For Biology Majors

A biology major is a perfect stepping stone to many careers in the natural sciences, and particularly careers in health and medicine. Most biology majors end up pursuing careers as doctors and surgeons, a valuable line of work with high levels of job satisfaction, employment prospects, and income. But, even if you want to study biology but aren’t interested in becoming a doctor, fear not. There are plenty of other great jobs that a biology major can help you get.

Here is a list of 12 possible jobs for biology majors:

Most Common Jobs for Biology Majors

1. Physician

The most common path for biology majors is to become a physician. Physicians, or medical doctors, are professionals who examine and diagnose patients, and treat injury and illness. The term “physician” refers to a wide range of medical practitioners that may include family and general doctors who treat a range of everyday conditions and illnesses, pediatricians who treat children and young adults, general internists who provide nonsurgical treatment for problems that affect internal organs, or a wide variety of specialists who have expertise and treat specific organs or conditions. Becoming a physician requires a lot of time and hard work. After you get your bachelor’s degree, you’re going to need to take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT), attend medical school for 4 years and earn a medical degree, and then complete a residency program, which typically takes 3-7 years depending on your specialty.

Median annual wage: Varies according to specialty; $198,740 for family physician

Common entry-level degree: Doctor of Medicine/Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job:0%

2. Surgeon

Surgeons are specialized physicians who treat diseases, injuries and other medical conditions by invasive or minimally-invasive surgical operations. Surgeons will examine and diagnose their patients, create a treatment plan, and implement a surgical operation. Oftentimes, they will also provide post-operative assistance or care. Like general physicians, surgeons need extensive education and training in their field. To become a surgeon, you will need to earn a medical degree and complete a surgical residency, which typically takes 5-8 years.

Median annual wage: $208,000

Common entry-level degree: Doctor of Medicine/Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 0%

3. College Professor

Many biology majors go on to teach their discipline to the next generation of aspiring doctors, surgeons and biologists. To earn a job teaching at the post-secondary level, a master’s degree (and sometimes a doctoral or medical degree) is required. In addition to teaching, many college professors also conduct research and write scholarly articles.

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Median annual wage: $78,240

Common entry-level degree: Master’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 3%

Specialized/Unique Jobs for Biology Majors

4. Biochemist or Biophysicist

Biochemists and biophysicists are research scientists who conduct research on living organisms and cells. They may specialize in a variety of subjects and fields relating to plant, animal, human and environmental sciences. This includes biochemists who spend their days in labs developing medicines and  microbiologists who research the behavior of bacteria. While a bachelor’s or master’s degree may qualify you for some entry-level positions as a biological technician or lab assistant, a doctorate is typically required to work in independent research and development positions (as a postdoctoral researcher, for example).

Median annual wage: $91,190

Common entry-level degree: Doctorate Degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 3%

5. Pharmacist

Pharmacists are responsible for filling and providing patients with prescription drugs, educating patients about the use of medications, and communicating with doctors about medication interactions and issues. In order to become a pharmacist, you will need to hold a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. These programs typically take 4 years and require a minimum requisite of 2 years of undergraduate study (though some may require a bachelor’s degree).

Median annual wage: $124,170

Common entry-level degree: Doctor of Pharmacy degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 1%

6. Psychiatrist

Psychiatrists are medical doctors who work in the area of mental health and offer services like counseling and prescribe medication. Unlike psychologists, psychiatrists are trained and licensed medical doctors, who may work in hospitals or private practices. In order to become a psychiatrist, you will need to complete medical school, a residency, and, for certain specialists, a one- or two-year fellowship.

Median annual wage: $208,000

Common entry-level degree: Doctor of Medicine/Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: N/A

Non-Traditional Jobs for Biology Majors

7. Biotech or Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

If you are interested in biology, but you aren’t interested in pursuing a job in an explicitly scientific field, you might consider becoming a sales representative for a pharmaceutical or biotech company. Sales representatives work on behalf of a pharmaceutical or biotechnology company to sell their products, whether it be medications or medical devices, to doctors, physicians and hospitals. Becoming a sales representative only requires a bachelor’s degree, though many pursue additional education as well.

Median annual wage: $78,830

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 25%

8. Science Journalist

If you are interested in science but would like to write for a living, a biology major can prepare you well for a career as a science journalist. Science journalists may write about all branches of science for newspapers, magazines or websites. While there is no degree requirement to become a writer, a degree in biology or another field of science can give you the essential knowledge to cover your subjects accurately.

Median annual wage: $39,370

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 11%

9. Zoologist or Wildlife Biologist

Zoologists and wildlife biologists are experts in animals and other forms of wildlife. They may spend their days researching animals in their habitat, studying their behavior and the way they interact with their ecosystem, monitoring their population levels and migration, and collect biological samples for analysis. While a bachelor’s degree is enough for employment in some entry-level positions, most zoologists and wildlife biologists will need a master’s degree or higher. For most independent research and university positions, a doctorate in the field is necessary.

Median annual wage: $62,290

Common entry-level degree: Master’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 30%

Other Potential Jobs for Biology Majors

10. High School Teacher

A common path for biology majors is to become a high school science teacher. As a teacher, you can communicate and hopefully pass down your love for science to the next generation. To become a secondary school teacher, you will need to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in the subject you want to teach, while completing your school’s teacher preparation program. You’ll then need to complete a teaching internship in your subject, take and pass your state’s teaching licensure tests, and get your teaching license.

Median annual wage: $59,170

Common entry-level degree: Bachelor’s degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 1%

11. Physical Therapist

Physical therapists work with patients to recover from physical injuries or illnesses, assisting them so that they can gradually regain control over their bodies and pain. Becoming a physical therapist requires advanced training. You’ll need to complete a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program, which typically takes 3 years. Many also complete a clinical residency program, which typically takes about a year.

Median annual wage: $86,850

Common entry-level degree: Doctor of Physical Therapy degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 2%

12. Veterinarian

Veterinarians are experts in the health of animals, who diagnose, treat and research medical conditions in animals. Veterinarians may work with small household pets, such as dogs, cats, rabbits, and birds, or they may specialize in the treatment of larger animals, such as horses, or farm animals, such as pigs and goats. In order to become a veterinarian, you will need to complete a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree program. Typically, this is a four-year program, which may be divided into 2 two-year segments, the first of which involves classroom instruction, the second of which focuses on clinical practices.

Median annual wage: $90,420

Common entry-level degree: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree

Likelihood that robots will take your job: 4%

10 Famous People Who Studied Biology

  1. Lisa Kudrow
  2. Joe Lacob
  3. Dexter Holland
  4. Mayim Bialik
  5. Cat Cora
  6. Dr. Drew Pinsky
  7. Millie Hughes-Fulford
  8. David Suzuki
  9. Ryan Tannehill
  10. Christine A. Poon