What Are Some High-Paying Biology Professions?

If you're interested in the life sciences field, many biology professions offer high salaries. You might find a career working as a biological scientist, researcher, sales representative or physician in all sorts of specialties. Read on to learn more about some of the highest-paying biology professions. Schools offering Clinical Laboratory Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Options

There are a number of biology jobs that offer lucrative salaries; however, many available positions require particular levels of education. An undergraduate degree can prepare you for a career in science and medicine sales, while an advanced degree can allow you to pursue independent scientific research or become a physician.

Sales Jobs

If you hold an undergraduate degree in biology, you might start a high-paying profession as a pharmaceutical or medical equipment sales representative. You may want to complete some coursework in marketing and sales, in addition to your science education. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated that the mean annual income for wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives of technical and scientific products was $85,690 as of May 2012 (www.bls.gov).

According to May 2012 BLS salary data, wholesale electronic markets and agents and brokers employed the highest number of these professionals and offered an average wage of $96,420. Professional and commercial equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers had the second highest employment level and an average wage of $84,560. The highest-paying states for these sales representatives were Wyoming and New Hampshire, which paid respective average wages of $112,600 and $102,040.

Careers in Research

With a graduate degree in biology, you may become a biological scientist or researcher. If you want to perform independent research, you generally must earn a doctoral degree. Biochemist and biophysicist jobs were expected to increase by 18% from 2012-2022, reported the BLS, which was much faster than average compared to other employment sectors.

According to the BLS, biochemistry and biophysicists earned an average wage of $89,470 in May 2012. Most were employed in scientific research and development and made a mean annual salary of $92,150 as of May 2012. The next most popular industry for these professionals was pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing, and biochemists and biophysicists in this field earned a mean income of $87,910 per year.

You also might pursue a high-paying job as a microbiologist. Microbiologists working for the executive branch of the federal government held the highest-paying jobs, with an average yearly salary of $100,910 as of May 2012, according to the BLS. The most common industries of employment were pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing and scientific research and development services, which offered respective average wages of $74,720 and $71,770.

Medical Professions

Medicine is another profitable biology-related profession. If you wish to become a physician or surgeon, you must earn an undergraduate degree, complete four years of medical school and attend a residency for a period spanning 3-8 years. You must then earn your medical license, which generally entails passage of a licensing exam.

Family and general practitioners earned a mean wage of $180,850 in May 2012, according to the BLS. Those who worked in medical and diagnostic laboratories brought in the highest wages, earning on average $238,270 per year. You might also pursue a career in anesthesiology, which offered a mean income of $232,830 in May 2012, based on BLS figures. Anesthesiologists working in physicians' offices earned an even higher average wage of $241,910. Surgeons earned an average salary of $230,540 in May 2012, with most of them working in physicians' offices and earning an average wage of $237,770.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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