Careers in Human Anatomy

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue with a background in human anatomy. Read on to learn more about career options along with education requirements and employment outlook. Schools offering Anatomy & Physiology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Career Options Exist in Human Anatomy?

Someone with expertise in human anatomy has a number of career options, such as university professor or medical scientist. Biological science professors teach their students about the human body and the various processes that support living organisms, gauging progress through exams and class discussion. They commonly perform research, as well, to expand their depth of knowledge and increase humanity's understanding of biology. Medical scientists research and study new forms of medicine and medical devices using their knowledge of the body and how it interacts with different substances. They set the standard for medication dosing, potency, and the methods by which to administer them to patients.

The table below has an overview of key information on education requirements, job duties, and career outlook.

Professor of Biological Sciences Medical Scientist
Degree Required Doctoral degree Master's degree or doctoral degree
Education Field of Study Biology
Key Responsibilities Lecture classes; devise curricula; conduct research; publish scholarly articles; manage teaching assistants; advise students Conduct research studies; write academic papers; write grant proposals and reports; maintain proper safety protocols
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 16% 8%
Median Salary (2015)* $75,320 $82,240

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Can I Do with an Education in Human Anatomy?

There are a great number of careers available in the fields of education, science, and medicine in which the knowledge of human anatomy is necessary. However, careers in biomedical research and postsecondary academia are some of the most common. In order to work as a postsecondary biology professor or a research scientist, you must have a firm understanding of the human organism and its physiology, evolution, nutrition, development, and biology on a cellular and molecular level.

What Degree Do I Need?

The subject of human anatomy is covered thoroughly in a variety of scientific and medical university programs. For a career in academia or research, after receiving your high school diploma or GED, you can enroll in a bachelor's degree program in human biology. A typical curriculum will include human biology and hands-on experience in the laboratory combined with medical, health science, general science, and biology coursework. You can expect to take molecular biology, human genetics, physiology, disease, and public health. For many positions, both in research and academia, you will need to continue your education in a graduate school program in a related discipline.

What Is the Job Market Like?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of postsecondary biological science teachers was expected to increase by 16% between 2014 and 2024 ( This is above the average job growth rate for all industries in the nation. In May 2015, the BLS reported a median annual wage for postsecondary biological science professors of $75,320. The 10th percentile of biological science professors earned $41,170, while the 90th percentile earned $149,710.

The field for research professionals will also see significant job growth. From 2014-2024, the BLS projected that the number of medical researchers would increase by 8%. According to the BLS, the median annual wage of medical scientists in May 2015 was $82,240; the 10th percentile earned $44,510, and the 90th percentile reported earnings of $155,180.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Biochemists and biophysicists study chemistry and physics from the perspective of biology, researching how these disciplines interact with living organisms and biological processes. They need doctoral degrees in order to work. Epidemiologists research disease and injury in order to determine patterns in when, how, and where they occur to try and devise better methods of treatment and means of responding. These professionals must hold a master's degree.

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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