Neuroscience PhD: Jobs & Salary

This article outlines some of the various career paths and their corresponding salaries related to a PhD in neuroscience. Learn about the broad range of possible careers reaching into a variety of industries, such as health care, scientific research, and even business management. Schools offering Anatomy & Physiology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Neuroscience PhD Career Paths

Scientific Editor, Science or Medical Journals

Scientific editors will use their knowledge of technology and data integrity to oversee a peer review process to edit and obtain high quality journal submissions. Editors will manage projects and tasks that support the strategy of the journal. PhD holders will also utilize their post doctoral experience to ensure the submissions are of prescribed quality and accuracy.


Neurosurgeons are licensed medical professionals who perform surgical procedures on the brain, spine, and nervous system for research and treatment based purposes. Neurosurgeons may choose to limit their practice to specific specialties such as pediatrics, gerontology, nervous system, skull and bone, and tumors. Typically a neurosurgeon will teach and supervise medical students as well as treating patients directly. In addition to obtaining a PhD, a neurosurgeon will also need to complete at least 5 years in a neurosurgeon residency and a one year internship in general surgery.

Medical Scientist

Medical scientists typically work in an academic setting such as a college or university. A research associate will use their PhD in neuroscience to engage in research and training as a stepping stone to progress further in the field of neuroscience. A medical scientist makes themselves available to the faculty and staff of a specific department to help them with the technical aspects of their research. A PhD holder in this field will require significant independent research skills and experience.


Psychiatrists are licensed medical doctors who focus on mental health issues. They review and evaluate treatment procedures for patients, analyze symptoms and provide diagnostic care, providing treatment options to patients and their families. A psychiatrist may also prescribe medications for patients as well as collaborate with a patient's other medical caregivers. In addition to a PhD in this field, becoming a psychiatrist would require at least a medical residency as well as following the required state regulations for licensing as set out by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Many psychiatrists will also choose to take a sub specialty which will require more training and education in the future. Examples of such sub specialties could be military psychiatry or public health.

Management Consultant

A management consultant with a PhD in neuroscience would typically work for private consulting firms or pharmaceutical, biotechnical, or other healthcare companies. PhD holders could serve as effective consultants because they already have many of the required skills. A management consultant could provide a quantitative and qualitative analysis on various aspects of the business they are working with to guide their practices and strategy.

Marketing or Advertising Consultant

Advertising companies could hire a neuroscientist to advise them on what is happening in the brain when purchasing decisions are being made and help them strategize ways to get consumer brains to take the action desired by the advertisement. Neuroscientists with a PhD can help companies determine the relationship between brand loyalty and consumers by exploring how brand images are processed in the brain.


A neuroscience PhD holder could serve as a dean within a university, typically of the school of medicine or sciences. A dean hires faculty, sets academic policies, controls the budget, and is qualified by education and experience to lead in a medical or scientific setting. Many deans are tenured professors of the university who often give up teaching and research to take on the role.

Postsecondary Educator

An individual with a PhD in neuroscience could serve as a professor in an area such as biological sciences at a university or college. They plan and deliver lessons, advise students, perform research and publish in academic journals.

Job Title Median Salary 2018 Job Growth 2018-2028
Scientific Editor $67,220 (professional, scientific, and technical services) -3% (decline) for all editors
Neurosurgeon $208,000+ (physicians and surgeons) 1% (surgeons)
Medical Scientist$84,810 8%
Psychiatrist $208,000+ (physicians and surgeons) 16%
Management Consultant $89,370 (management analysts: professional, scientific, and technical services) 14% (all management analysts)
Marketing Consultant $60,870 (market research analysts: management, scientific, and technical consulting services) 20% (market research analysts)
Dean $95,910 (postsecondary education administrators: colleges, universities, and professional schools; state, local, and private) 7% (postsecondary education administrators)
Postsecondary Educator $82,550 (biological science teachers, postsecondary) 12% (biological science teachers, postsecondary)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

There are several lucrative career paths for a person who has a PhD in neuroscience, including those in health, business, and research. Job growth is expected in most areas through 2028.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools