There are lots of career doors that a degree in biology can open for you. It is funny that many- if not all - high school students take a biology class at some point in their career, but not all consider the field as a profession. The reason is not far-fetched: many of them consider biology not to be a lucrative profession.
Not only are these people wrong, but they lack information on the abundance of lucrative jobs and career opportunities that come with a degree in biology. For example, a degree in biology can be a stepping stone into some rewarding professions like medicine, forensic science, toxicology, and environmental studies, to mention but a few.
Pursuing a career in biology can be very valuable and thrilling. Not only does studying biology teach us to ask questions, but it also teaches us to make observations, evaluate evidence and solve problems.
The work of a biologist covers such areas as studying cells under a microscope (laboratory science), insects in the rainforest, plants in greenhouses, viruses that affect human beings, or lions in the African grasslands. In fact, biologists basically learn how living things work, how they interact with one another, and how they evolve.
Having understood what a biology degree entails, it is now time to look at specific career paths that you can follow with your biology degree. Below are seven (7) high paying jobs you can get with your biology degree:
The work of biologists in this field is solving environmental problems and the preservation of the natural world for future generations. Consider the job of park rangers: they protect state and national parks, help preserve natural resources, and educate the general public. There is also the work of zoo biologists who carry out endangered species recovery programs. Additionally, management and conservation biologists can also work with members of a community like interest groups to help develop and implement management plans.
Forensic science technicians are usually involved with crime investigation. Their job is to collect and analyze physical evidence from a crime scene. While some specialize in crime scene work, others work in the laboratory. The median pay in 2014 was $55,360 (according to the BLS). It is thought that the job competition in this field will be fierce because of the increased interest in this field that is spurred mainly by movies and television representations.
Biologists may be involved in organizing public health campaigns to defeat terminal illnesses such as AIDS, cancer, tuberculosis, and heart disease. Others work very hard to stop the spread of rare and deadly diseases, such as the now notorious Ebola virus. Still, in the healthcare sector, some biologists work as veterinarians who tend to sick and injured animals. There are also doctors, dentists, nurses and other healthcare professionals that maintain the general health and well-being of their patients.
According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical and clinical laboratory technologists “perform complex medical tests”. This may include preparation of specimens or the performance of manual tests based on some detailed instructions. The BLS said the median salary of this position was around $59,430 in 2014. It also projected a 14% job growth between 2012 and 2022. This growth was attributed to the growth in health insurance mandates that will increase the demand for laboratory services.
Research is another area that is becoming popular these days. Research biologists study the natural world with the aid of the latest scientific tools and techniques in both laboratory settings and outdoor settings, to understand how living systems work. Many research biologists work in different locations around the world, and their discoveries increase our understanding of biology and may even be put to practical use to find solutions to some specific problems.
This is actually the first thing that comes to mind when people hear about a degree in biology! Life science educators work with people and encourage them to learn new things, whether it is in a classroom, a research lab, on the field or in a museum. There are also lecturers and professors that teach introductory and advanced biology courses in colleges and universities. They may also act as mentors to students and help with their projects and direct research programs.
Microbiologists study microorganisms such as viruses, algae, bacteria and fungi. Their main job is to understand how these organisms grow, interact and live in their environments. According to the BLS, the median pay for a microbiologist in 2014 was $67,790. The job growth rate was pegged at below 7%. This is because of the intense competition for funding which can limit job prospects.
References: https://www.careereducation.columbia.edu/sites/cce/files/what_can_you_do_with_a_degree_in_biology.pdf, https://carleton.ca/biology/prospective-students/undergraduate/biology-careers/, https://go.usnewsuniversitydirectory.com/careers/biology-degree-jobs_14372.aspx
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