25 Biology Degree Careers
Biology is the scientific study of life or living organisms, more specifically their structure, growth, reproduction, and behavior. When you obtain a biology degree, you are open to multiple career opportunities such as healthcare, education, and research. Depending on your interests and specialization there are many biology degree careers, but some may require additional schooling or licensure.
Many biology majors find themselves working in healthcare. Fortunately, this field is incredibly diverse and there are multiple ways to be involved. There is a myriad of healthcare jobs that you can obtain with a biology degree.
Biology Degree Careers with a Healthcare Focus
A chiropractor is a professional on the neuromusculoskeletal system. They are experts on bones, nerves, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Chiropractic is focused on managing neck and back pain through bone alignment, nutrition, and exercise. By using x-rays, chiropractors assess a patient’s condition, create a treatment plan, and conduct spinal manipulation therapy.
Dentists are doctors who specialize in oral health. They treat conditions that affect the teeth and gums. Besides cleaning, they can extract, straighten, insert, and repair teeth. A dentist may diagnose an oral disease or use x-ray equipment to examine the jaw.
A pharmacist is a medical doctor who is focused on dispensing prescription medications. They are knowledgeable on medication use and types. They compound medication and counsel patients on prescription drugs. Pharmacists work in hospitals or retail pharmacies.
Registered nurses are licensed, hands-on healthcare professionals with a wide range of responsibilities. They coordinate patient care along with doctors, surgeons, specialists, and other medical staff. Nurses take patient vitals, measurements, and health histories, and perform diagnostic tests.
A veterinarian is a doctor who diagnoses, treats, and prevents animal diseases. They’re skilled professionals who dress wounds, perform surgery, and conduct general wellness checks and tests for animals.
Also known as a family physician, general practitioners treat short and long-term illnesses and provide preventative care and health education to all ages. They focus on your overall health both physical and mental, perform routine exams, and provide continuity of care.
Similarly to a general practitioner, physician assistants examine and assess patient health. They can diagnose and treat people under the supervision of a physician.
Physical therapists are licensed professionals who establish treatment plans and goals regarding physical status. They work with people who have been injured or ill to improve movement and manage pain.
Surgeons are doctors who treat patients via surgery. They use a multitude of instruments during the procedure including but not limited to: lasers, ultrasound, radiation, scalpels, probes, needles, and ionizing. Surgeons have a team of doctors and nurses to help them during the procedure. They diagnose and treat diseases or injuries.
Psychiatrists are specialized doctors who focused on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders. They conduct psychological evaluations, lab tests, and physical exams, and consult the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to determine a diagnosis. Psychiatrist work with a variety of mental illnesses that include but are not limited to psychotic, depressive, anxiety, eating, sleep, and personality disorders.
Not all people who have biology degree careers work in healthcare; many are education focused. While many listed careers overlap between healthcare, education, and research, the next three are specific to educating a population.
Biology Degree Careers with an Education Focus
High School Teacher
A high school teacher can teach life science, biology, and human anatomy and physiology courses. They are secondary school educators responsible for teaching a biology curriculum to the standards of their district and state.
Professors are educators who teach in college universities or public community colleges. Similar to a high school teacher, professors educate students on the life science curriculum designed by the college.
Science Writer or Technical Writer
Science writers are authors who contribute to academia through four different career paths: science journalism, public communications, the technical writing industry, and editing. Writers are hired by scientific journals, government agencies, research universities, research institutes, and public television and radio networks.
The next set of careers for a biology degree is within research. Research often overlaps with the healthcare and education positions mentioned earlier.
Biology Degree Careers with a Research Focus
An epidemiologist studies the trends of diseases. They learn about the source of the disease, determine how to control it, and try to prevent its spread. Epidemiologists study the population demographics to further understand effective treatments.
Zoologists are biologists that specialize in animals and how these organisms interact with their ecosystems. They study animals’ behavior and their habitats. Some are experts on a specific type of animal or trained on many different types in one ecosystem. Zoologists also study the impact of human behavior on wildlife.
Molecular biologists study plant, animal, or human genetics and their relationships with each other. They often work with the DNA and RNA of living organisms and combine chemistry, physiology, genetics, and physics within their research.
Plant studies, or botany, is the ecology of plants, other organisms, and the environment. Botanists not only conduct research, but they often study plant structure, DNA or genetic information, plant or other organism interaction, or cellular studies.
Biomedical engineers focus on the advancement of technology and medicine to create new equipment aimed to improve human health, like software design or computer simulations.
Marine biologists study aquatic animals and their ecosystems. These scientists collect sea specimens, compile data, and conduct lab experiments to study aquatic migration patterns, underwater photosynthesis, and human impact on ocean life.
Paleontologists study fossils of passed animals. They research on locations of possible fossil-heavy environments, attend digs or excavation sites, and perform tests to identify samples.
Geneticists are scientists who specialize in the study of genes and heredity. They are responsible for laboratory research and experiments, extracting DNA, conducting diagnostic tests, and reviewing lab results.
Forensic Lab Analyst
Forensic lab analysts run chemical, biological, and microscopic analyses on evidence from crime scenes. They interpret results to explore linking suspects to the crime using DNA or other analyses.
Food and Drug Inspector
Food and drug inspectors are required to ensure the quality and sanitary creation of prepared food for the public. By using science and math, scientists review and report food preparation.
Biochemists study the chemical and physical makeups of living organisms and examine their molecular processes such as cell development, hereditary, and disease.
Environmental scientists are researchers and experts in natural sciences to protect the environment. Like all scientists, they use laboratory tests but more specifically to analyze air, water, and soil pollution caused by human activity. They are focused on plant and environmental restoration.
Having a biology degree opens your path to diverse career opportunities. While the careers in this list are all in the realm of healthcare, education, and research, you can advance your career in unrelated fields such as law, business administration, politics, and more.
Author: Maerie Morales