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What Are Common Careers in the Life Sciences?

The life sciences, also called the bio-sciences, are the study of the organization, processes, functions, environments and relationships of life forms. Common life sciences careers include those in physiology, ecology, biology and genetics. This article will tell you more about common careers in each of these categories.

Careers in the Life Sciences

The life sciences study living organisms such as plants and animals at the complex and cellular levels. Life science contains many sub-fields, including medicine and zoology. Careers in the life sciences vary with each sub-field.

Important Facts about this Field

Biological TechniciansEnvironmental Scientists and Specialists
Median Pay (2018)*$44,500$71,130
Job Outlook (2016-2026)*10% increase in employment (faster than average)11% (faster than average)
Entry-Level EducationBachelor's degreeBachelor's degree; master's degree needed for advancement
Similar OccupationsAgricultural and Food Science Technicians, Biochemists, Medical ScientistsAtmospheric Scientists, Conservation Scientists, Environmental Protection Technicians, Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Physiology

This branch of the life sciences looks at the ways in which tissues, cells and organisms function. According to the American Physiological Society (www.the-aps.org), most careers in physiology are research-based, including college professorships. However, pharmaceutical companies employ physiologists who work to find new drugs and treatments for diseases.

Ecology

Ecology is the study of the relationship between living organisms and their environment, says the Ecological Society of America (www.esa.org). Ecologists can work as environmental consultants. Their jobs entail assessing the ecological impact of construction, development or other projects. They may also serve as resource managers or park naturalists who manage public spaces.

Biology

According to the American Institute of Biological Sciences (www.aibs.org), some common careers for biologists include those in health care, environmental management and education. Biologists may help create public health campaigns, work as preservationists, create land-use plans or work as educators in schools, zoos and nature centers.

Genetics

Careers in this growing life science field are on the cutting edge of technology. Geneticists may follow career paths in medicine so that they might study gene therapy and organ transplant technologies. They can also work in agriculture where they genetically alter seeds. Careers in genetics can also be found in the military as well as in the business and legal fields.