Careers

Pursue countless careers with a biology degree!

For starters, check out our information about preparing for health-related professions.

Here’s what you can do with different levels of education.

A bachelor's degree in biology:

  • Laboratory assistant, technician, technologist, or research assistant in education, industry, government, museums, parks and gardens.
  • You could also use your biology degree in a non-technical workplace such as writing, illustration, pharmaceutical sales, wildlife photography, high school science teacher or even environmental legislation.

A master's degree in the field of science:

  • If you are interested in research and administration, a master's degree can help you get your foot in the door. You might even be hired by a community college as an instructor.

A doctoral degree in the field of science:

  • You will need a doctoral degree if you want to do advanced research or be a university or professor. If you are interested in doing discovery research, you should consider a doctoral degree.

A biology degree is standard for most healthcare professionals in medicine, dentistry and veterinary science. Though these fields require a professional degree and license, a biology degree is a good place to start.

The Career Services Department on campus posted the following list of medical fields and options for biology majors:

BIOTECHNOLOGY (back to top)

    • Research and Development
    • Laboratory Testing
    • Education
    • Employers:
      • Colleges and universities
      • Pharmaceutical companies
      • Agricultural industry including fertilizer manufacturers and animal and plant breeding and production
      • Federal and state government laboratories and agencies Industry, particularly biotechnology firms
    • Strategies:
      • Become proficient using laboratory equipment and computers.
      • Acquire a Ph.D. for college and university teaching and advanced positions in research, development and management.
      • Take additional courses in chemistry, physics and mathematics.
      • Complete an undergraduate laboratory research project with a professor.
  • GENETICS (back to top)
    • Research and Development related to: Animals, Plants and Humans
    • Genetic Counseling
    • Education
    • Employers:
      • Colleges and universities
      • Pharmaceutical companies
      • Large producers of seed, livestock, and poultry
      • Government laboratories such as: Department of Agriculture, Fish and Wildlife Service and National-Institutes of Health
      • Biotechnology industry
      • Hospitals and medical centers
    • Strategies:
      • Acquire a broad background in sciences, mathematics and computer technology. Obtain a Ph.D. for teaching and advanced positions in research and management. Earn a master's degree from an accredited program for genetic counseling. Complete an undergraduate research project with a professor. Find a related internship with an organization in the area of your interest.
  • MICROBIOLOGY (back to top)
    • Research and Development
    • Education
    • Quality Control
    • Public Health
    • Regulation and Compliance
    • Employers:
      • Colleges and universities
      • Private research foundations
      • Government research laboratories and service agencies
      • Hospitals and public health facilities
      • Agricultural experiment stations
      • Food, chemical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies
      • Industry including wood products, paper, textiles, optical equipment, leather and electrical equipment
      • Environmental and pollution control agencies
    • Strategies:
      • Obtain a Ph.D. for teaching and advanced research and management positions.
      • Develop additional competencies in chemistry, mathematics and physics. Take courses related to your field of interest or consider an advanced degree to specialize. Find a related internship with an organization in the area of your interest. Complete an undergraduate research project with a professor. Develop strong skills using laboratory equipment and computers.
  • BOTANY (back to top)
    • Education
    • Research and Development
    • Conservation
    • Production
    • Quality Control
    • Administration
    • Employers:
      • Colleges and universities
      • Medical and private research laboratories
      • Pharmaceutical industry
      • Industries and laboratories involved in production of food, textiles, chemical and forestry products
      • State and federal government, especially the Departments of Agriculture, Interior and Health
      • Botanical gardens and arboretums
      • National and international environmental Organizations
    • Strategies:
      • Conduct undergraduate research with professors. Join related professional organizations. Take courses in this specialized area or consider an advanced degree for more opportunities. Take courses in organic chemistry, biochemistry and physics. Obtain a Ph.D. for teaching and advanced positions in research and management. Complete a related internship with an organization in the area of your interest.
  • SYSTEMATIC BIOLOGY (back to top)
    • Education
    • Research and Development
    • Taxonomy
    • Conservation
    • Consulting
    • Administration
    • Employers:
      • Colleges, universities and agricultural colleges
      • Federal agencies including Departments of Agriculture and Interior
      • State and local agencies
      • Private research foundations
      • Museums
      • Botanical gardens and arboretums
      • Zoos and aquariums
      • Public health laboratories
      • Hospitals
      • National and international environmental organizations
    • Strategies:
      • Earn a Ph.D. for college and university teaching and advanced research and management positions. Develop excellent laboratory and computer skills. Get involved with undergraduate research with professors. Join related professional organizations. Complete a related internship with an organization in the area of your interest.
  • ENTOMOLOGY (back to top)
    • Education
      • Research and Development
      • Toxicology
      • Conservation
      • Quality Control
      • Employers:
        • Colleges and universities, especially colleges of agriculture and veterinary medicine
        • Industry including food producers and processors, chemicals for insect control, and lumber and pulp
        • Chemical companies
        • Pest control companies
        • Federal and state government
        • Health agencies
        • Agricultural experiment stations
        • Inspection agencies and control boards
        • Conservation agencies
      • Strategies:
        • Acquire a Ph.D. for college and university teaching and advanced research and management positions. Conduct undergraduate research with professors. Join related professional organizations. Take courses in this specialized area or consider an advanced degree for more opportunities. Complete a related internship with an organization in the area of your interest.
  • MARINE AND AQUATIC BIOLOGY (back to top)
    • Research and Development
    • Education
    • Administration
    • Production
    • Quality Control
    • Conservation
    • Employers:
      • Federal, state and local government
      • Inspection organizations
      • Private recreation organizations
      • Research laboratories
      • Colleges and universities
      • Zoos and aquariums
      • Fish hatcheries
      • National and international environmental agencies
    • Strategies:
      • Develop a good foundation in mathematics, physics, computer science, statistics and chemistry. Acquire a Ph.D. for college and university teaching and advanced research and management positions. Obtain experience related to fishing and boating. Complete a related internship with an organization in the area of your interest. Take specialized courses in this area or consider an advanced degree for more opportunities.
  • ZOOLOGY (back to top)
    • Animal Care/Training
    • Research and Development
    • Conservation
    • Administration
    • Education
    • Employers:
      • Wildlife preserves and parks
      • Zoos, aquariums and other collections of animals
      • Museums
      • Research organizations
      • Pharmaceutical, chemical and agricultural service industries
      • Federal, state and local government
      • Colleges and universities
      • Veterinary hospitals
      • Clinics and hospitals
    • Strategies:
      • Obtain experience working with animals and various related laboratory equipment. Develop a broad background in biology and other related subjects such as chemistry, physics, mathematics and statistics. Obtain a Ph.D. for teaching and advanced research and management positions. Complete a related internship with an organization in the area of your interest. A zoological background is good preparation for a career in veterinary science or medicine, but an advanced degree is also required to practice.
  • BIOMEDICAL (back to top)
    • Physiology
    • Biophysics
    • Biochemistry
    • Pharmacology
    • Immunology
    • Pathology
    • Research and Development
    • Education
    • Quality Control
    • Employers:
      • Colleges and universities
      • Professional schools including colleges of pharmacy, dentistry, medicine, veterinary medicine and agriculture
      • Clinics and hospitals
      • Private research foundations
      • Pharmaceutical companies
      • Federal laboratories and regulatory agencies
      • Independent testing laboratories
      • Public health departments
      • Agricultural experiment stations
      • Industrial laboratories including chemical, petroleum, food processing, drug and cosmetic manufacturers
    • Strategies:
      • Obtain a Ph.D. for college and university teaching and advanced research positions. Acquire a background in physics, organic and physical chemistry, mathematics and anatomy. Take courses in area(s) of specialization and/or consider advanced degrees; some may require an M.D. Complete a related internship with an organization in the area of your interest.
  • BIOINFORMATICS (back to top)
    • Research and Development
    • Education
    • Employers:
      • Biotechnology industry
      • Pharmaceutical companies
      • Government research laboratories
      • Universities and colleges
    • Strategies:
      • Double major or minor in computer science. Acquire experience working in teams. Develop in-depth programming and relational database skills. Learn molecular biology packages, Web design and programming skills. Complete an internship in your area of interest.
  • EDUCATION (back to top)
    • Teaching
    • Non-classroom Education
    • Employers:
      • Universities and colleges
      • Medical and other professional schools
      • Public and private schools, K-12
      • Museums
      • Zoos
      • Nature centers and parks
    • Strategies:
      • Certification is required for K-12 school teachers, and Ph.D. is needed in universities and colleges. Gain experience working with students through tutoring, interning or volunteering. Learn to work well with all types of people.
      • Develop excellent interpersonal and public speaking skills.
  • HEALTHCARE (back to top)
    • Medicine
    • Dentistry
    • Optometry
    • Podiatry
    • Chiropractics
    • Pharmacy
    • Veterinary Medicine
    • Allied Health
    • Occupational Therapy
    • Physical Therapy
    • Employers:
      • Hospitals
      • Medical centers
      • Nursing homes
      • Private practice
      • Government agencies
      • Armed forces
      • Home health organizations
      • Universities and schools
      • Nonprofit organizations
    • Strategies:
      • Plan to attend a medical school or other related graduate program. Maintain an outstanding grade point average, particularly in the sciences. Secure strong faculty recommendations. Meet with a pre-health advisor periodically. Join related student organizations. Demonstrate leadership abilities. Obtain a summer job, volunteer position or an internship in a hospital. Develop a back-up plan in case medical/graduate school admission is denied. Consider alternative but related careers such as physician assistant and nurse practitioner.
  • TECHNICAL AND PHARMACEUTICAL SALES (back to top)
    • Employers:
      • Manufacturing firms including:
      • Pharmaceuticals, Animal pharmaceuticals, Laboratory equipment
      • Medical supplies and prostheses
    • Strategies:
      • Develop excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Take courses in anatomy, pharmacology and chemistry. Obtain sales experience and/or a business minor. Hold leadership positions in campus organizations. Join the student American Marketing Association.
  • LEGISLATION/LAW (back to top)
    • Lobbying
    • Regulatory Affairs
    • Science Policy
    • Patent Law
    • Employers:
      • Federal and state government
      • Law firms
      • Large corporations
    • Strategies:
      • Acquire internships in federal or state government.
      • Develop excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
      • Acquire a PhD for advanced positions.
      • Take courses in history, political science and/or legal studies.
      • Earn a J.D. degree to practice law.
  • BIOLOGICAL PHOTOGRAPHY (back to top)
    • Employers:
      • Major medical, dental and veterinary schools
      • Research centers
      • Federal government
      • Museums
      • Zoological and environmental societies
      • Publishing houses
      • Free-lance
    • Strategies:
      • Acquire thorough knowledge of photographic procedures and technology. Become skilled with medical and scientific instruments including microscopes.
      • Take specific courses in biological, medical and ophthalmic photography; courses in illustration and printing are also helpful.
  • TECHNICAL WRITING (back to top)
    • Writing
    • Editing
    • Employers:
      • Newspapers
      • Publishing companies including scientific magazines, professional journals, periodicals, textbooks and online publishers
      • Medical and veterinary colleges
    • Strategies
      • Take advanced courses in technical writing or journalism classes or consider a either for a minor. Develop strong writing skills and command of the English language. Obtain an advanced degree in scientific journalism.
  • ILLUSTRATION (back to top)
    • Employers:
      • Publishing companies including scientific magazines, professional journals, periodicals, textbooks and online publishers
      • Educational and scientific software companies
      • Medical and veterinary colleges
    • Strategies:
      • Double major or minor in graphic illustration. Acquire word processing and desktop publishing skills. Find a part-time, summer, co-op or internship position with a publisher or newspaper.
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