Jobs with a Biomedical Science Degree

Explore the career opportunities for those with a biomedical science degree. Learn about duties, education requirements, licensing, and salary to determine if this field is the right one for you. Schools offering Biology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Can I Do With a Biomedical Science Degree?

Biomedical science education can lead to a variety of careers. Some professionals perform clinical and laboratory research helping to develop new drug treatments or other ways to prevent and cure diseases, as well as analyze medical samples for doctors and collect data on what they find. Others become physicians, devising treatment plans for patients' ailments and providing preventative care and education to improve their health.

The following chart provides an overview for these jobs, but you can research many others.

Medical ScientistPhysician
Degree RequiredBachelor's, master's, & doctoral degrees; additional Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree helpful Bachelor's & MD degrees
Education Field of StudyBachelor's, master's: biology, chemistry
Doctoral: bioinformatics, genetics, pathology
MD: medicine
Bachelor's: biology, chemistry
MD: medicine
Key ResponsibilitiesPerform research on causes & cures for medical conditions, diseases, injuriesDiagnose & treat disease, injury, or other medical conditions in patients; counsel patients on preventive care
Licensure RequiredPhysician license required in all states if practicing medicine or conducting gene therapy on patients Physician license required in all states
Job Growth (2014-2024)8%*14% (for physicians and surgeons)*
Average Salary (2015) $93,730*Family/general MD: $192,120
Internist: $196,520*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are Some Jobs That Require a Biomedical Science Degree?

Depending on the level of education you complete, studying biomedical science can prepare you to work as a research associate, academic researcher, physician, optometrist, dentist, laboratory manager, or grants administrator. Jobs exist in fields like hematology, genetics, microbiology, immunology, neuroscience, pharmacology, and clinical chemistry. Many of these positions require at least a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in biomedical science, and some also require a medical degree plus completion of internship and residency programs.

What Education Is Necessary?

If you'd like to become a medical scientist and perform research, you'll need to earn a Ph.D. in a biological science. You should start by completing a bachelor's degree program in a scientific field. Along with courses in biology, mathematics, chemistry, engineering, computer science, and physics, be prepared to take anatomy, neuroscience, and physiology classes.

Next, you can enroll in a Ph.D. program in biological science and specialize in bioinformatics, genetics or pathology. Your studies will probably take about six years. You may also choose a combined Ph.D. and MD program offered by a medical college, which will help you develop the research and clinical skills needed for both professions. This program can take up to eight years to complete plus additional time for any residencies and internships you may complete.

A doctoral degree program in biological science will include courses in biological chemistry, organic synthesis, molecular biology, forensic DNA analysis, human genetics, and genetic engineering. You may also be required to complete a doctoral dissertation based on original research. A combined Ph.D. and MD program may include courses in advanced molecular biology, molecular genetics, neurobiology, and epidemiology.

If you're interested in becoming a dentist, doctor, or other health care professional, you'll need to complete additional training, often in the form of an internship or residency. These programs provide hands-on learning opportunities and may take up to an additional five years to complete beyond graduation from the degree program.

Will I Need to Become Licensed?

If your biomedical science position involves prescribing gene or drug therapies for patients, licensing will be a necessity. You must also be a licensed medical doctor in order to perform invasive procedures and treat patients. Licensing requirements include holding a medical degree from an accredited medical school and successfully completing an examination.

What Salary Could I Expect to Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), medical scientists earned an average annual salary of about $93,730 in May 2015; about 38% of these workers were employed in the scientific research and development industry in 2014. The BLS expects about 8% job growth between 2014 and 2024. During the same decade, physicians and surgeons can expect about 14% job growth. Physician salaries vary with the specialty. For example, in May 2015, family and general practice doctors earned an average salary of $192,120, while internists earned slightly more at $196,520.

What Are Some Related Alternate Careers?

Veterinarians are a specialized kind of doctor who diagnose and treat animals the same way physicians would with humans. They will require a veterinary doctorate to find work. Physician assistants work with doctors and physicians to help them in the treatment of patients, often performing preliminary diagnostics and basic medical care like immunizations. They will need at least a master's degree. Physical therapists provide care to sick and injured patients during their recovery, helping them progressively strengthen themselves to improve their overall health and wellness.

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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