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 Biology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

High Paying Biology Careers

What can you do with a biology degree? There are a number of biology professions that offer lucrative salaries, including those within the fields of:

  • Sales
  • Research
  • Medicine

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.

Important Facts About Related Occupations

Technical/Scientific Products Sales Representative MicrobiologistSurgeon
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 5% 8% 14%
On-the-Job Training Training programs that lasts one year or less Temporary period of research after Ph.D. program Residency program (3-8 years)
Licensure/Certification Can obtain certification through the Manufacturers' Representatives Educational Research Foundation (MRERF) Clinical microbiologists can obtain voluntary certification Licensure is required in all states; voluntary specialty certification is available
Similar Occupations Insurance or advertising sales agent, sales engineer Biological technician, agricultural and food scientist Dentist, optometrist, podiatrist

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Examples of High Paying Jobs with a Biology Degree

The following is a list of careers in biology that have high earning potential. Explore the descriptions of related professions.

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 $91,830 as of May 2018 (www.bls.gov).

According to May 2018 BLS salary data, professional and commercial equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers employed the highest number of these professionals and offered an average wage of $96,670. Merchant wholesalers of nondurable goods had the second highest employment level and an average wage of $92,890. The highest-paying states for these sales representatives were Wyoming and Connecticut, which paid respective average wages of $115,130 and $105,770.

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 11% from 2016-2026, reported the BLS, which was faster than average compared to other employment sectors.

According to the BLS, biochemists and biophysicists earned an average wage of $105,940 in May 2018. Most were employed in scientific research and development and made a mean annual salary of $114,970 as of May 2018. 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 $90,110 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 $112,540 as of May 2018, according to the BLS. The most common industries of employment were scientific research and development services and pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing, which offered respective average wages of $94,540 and $75,840.

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 $211,780 in May 2018, according to the BLS. Those who worked in residential intellectual and developmental disability, mental health, and substance abuse facilities brought in the highest wages, earning on average $249,180 per year. You might also pursue a career in anesthesiology, which offered a mean income of $267,020 in May 2018, based on BLS figures. Anesthesiologists working in physicians' offices earned an even higher average wage of $276,990. Surgeons earned an average salary of $255,110 in May 2018, with most of them working in physicians' offices and earning an average wage of $265,920.

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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