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Hospital Careers with a Master's in Biology

There are a variety of career paths in hospitals for individuals who earn a master's degree in biology. Read on to learn about some of the admission requirements for this degree program and job info for a few of the careers available to its graduates.

Careers in a Hospital with a Master's in Biology

Clinical Research Associate

A clinical research associate is an individual who works with a team in a hospital to manage the design, administration, and monitoring of clinical trials or research related to these trials. This research associate assesses all clinical data that is collected during a clinical trial and provides reports to other healthcare practitioners. Depending on the type of clinical trials or research, this job can may require or benefit from a master's in biology.

Genetic Counselor

Genetic counselors evaluate individual or family risk for inherited diseases and help families to better understand genetic disorders or birth defects. These professionals interview families, evaluate their genetic information, provide detailed reports on this information, and help patients interpret what it means. Genetic counselors often also counsel patients on their risks for inherited conditions. An advanced degree such as a master's in genetics or biology is usually required to be a genetic counselor, as is board certification.

Clinical Laboratory Technologists

Clinical laboratory technologists study blood samples, evaluate body fluids, and perform complex analysis on tissues that inform clinical findings. These practitioners typically specialize in one area such as immunology, microbiology, or cytotechnology. Although a bachelor's degree in biology is sufficient to begin as a clinical laboratory technologist, a master's degree may be preferred for more advanced positions that perform more sophisticated analysis.

Clinical Managers

Clinical managers work in hospitals to help facilitate and coordinate the business aspects of healthcare delivery. These managers develop work schedules, recruit and train staff members and manage departmental finances. In addition, they often formulate departmental goals, develop policies, make sure the department is compliant with all federal laws and regulatory measures, and represent staff in different committee and organizational meetings. An advanced degree such as a master's in biology is often preferred for clinical manager positions.

Dietitians and Nutritionists

A dietitian or nutritionist is a trained expert in promoting health through food and nutrition. They evaluate patient or client needs and counsel individuals on healthy eating habits. They may also assess meal plans, contribute to food science research, promote health and wellness through speaking engagements, and evaluate patient or client progress. A master's degree in the sciences may be preferred for advanced roles in this field.

Exercise Physiologist

An exercise physiologist works to develop fitness and exercise programs for individuals to help improve their health overall. They typically evaluate a patient's medical history to make recommendations about exercise regimens and programs. They will also work with the patient to monitor blood pressure, oxygen use, heart rhythm, and other key vital signs during and after exercise. These professionals typically have a science degree and those in advanced or management roles may require a master's degree in the sciences.

Laboratory Manager

A laboratory manager oversees the daily operations of the laboratory developing procedures to ensure quality standards are met in the lab and that staff follow safety requirements and policies and procedures. This role also trains, oversees, and mentors lab professionals. Laboratory managers must have adept problem-solving skills and an understanding of scientific procedures. A master's degree in biology or another science is preferred for this role.

Job TitleMedian Salary (2018)Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Clinical Research Associate$60,207 (2019)**8%
Genetic Counselor$80,370*27%
Clinical Laboratory Technologist$52,330*11%
Clinical Managers$99,730* (medical and health services managers)18% (medical and health services managers)
Dietitian and Nutritionist$60,370*11%
Exercise Physiologist$53,546**10% (healthcare practitioners and technical occupations)
Laboratory Manager$104,153**18%

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **Salary.com

Admittance Requirements for a Master's Degree in Biology

Students interested in earning a master's degree in biology must meet some minimum requirements for admission. Although specific requirements vary from school to school, they often include a completed bachelor's degree, an admission application and submission of official transcripts for all undergraduate and any graduate work. Schools also typically ask for letters of recommendation, a personal statement or statement of purpose, and sometimes even Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores. Additionally, students are required to have certain science courses completed prior to admission, including general biology, basic statistics, and chemistry.

There are a number of career options in the hospital environment for individuals who are earned a master's degree in biology, including genetic counselor, clinical managers, and laboratory managers. Several of these career options are growing faster than average and represent exciting career prospects.