Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs With A Biology Degree 2024 (Inc Salaries)

Stephen Ramotowski
January 24, 2024 · 12 min read

Discover the highest-paying jobs with a biology degree in 2024. This article discusses all, from medical doctors to microbiologists. Read more to know everything about having a career in biology!

Biology is the study of life and everything in between—from living organisms, how they interact, and how they affect humans.

It may be overwhelming for most, but it's an excellent opportunity for the chosen few to get firsthand experience of seeing how the world works and take part in protecting humans and preserving the environment.

But more than that, getting a biology degree also means joining the fast-growing science industry.

According to BLS, there are currently 3,328,000 employed biologists in the US, and the available jobs will continue to grow faster than the average in the next few years.

If you wish to pursue a career in biology and be a part of this thriving industry, check out the high paying biology jobs below.

Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs With A Biology Degree (Inc Salaries)

 

1. Medical Doctor

Medical Doctors provide medical support and assistance to patients. They formulate care plans for patients and diagnose and treat them using their in-depth medical knowledge. 

Educational Requirements

On top of obtaining a pre-medical degree or an undergraduate program in health sciences, Medical Doctors also need to pursue a 4-year medical degree, undergo 3 to 9-year internship and residency programs, and take 1 to 30-year sub-specialization fellowship programs.

Job Outlook

The overall employment for medical doctors is expected to increase by 3% or an additional 24,200 job positions annually until 2032.

Potential Earnings

Here are the top-earning medical doctor professions, along with their potential earnings:

2. Other Healthcare Professionals

Healthcare professionals is the umbrella term for the experts who provide different types of health services and play a significant role in maintaining public health and managing medical conditions.

The highest-paying healthcare jobs you can get with a biology degree include being a Pharmacist, APRN, Therapist, Dentist, Podiatrist, and many more.

Educational Requirements

To enter the healthcare sector, you must need a bachelor’s in healthcare, biology, or related fields and licensure or certification, depending on the profession you want to pursue.

However, there are certain exceptions.

For example, being an APRN requires more than a bachelor's degree in nursing; you would also need a master's degree and additional training.

The same goes for being a pharmacist, which calls for a doctor of pharmacy degree. 

Job Outlook

8 of the 20 occupations in the BLS’ list of the fastest-growing jobs between 2022 and 2032 come from the Medical and Science Industry.

These include Nurse practitioners (45%), Physician Assistants (27%), Medical and Health Service Managers (28%), and many more.

Potential Earnings

Below are the average annual salaries of the highest-paying medical and healthcare jobs in 2024:

3.Medical Scientist

A Medical Scientist is a medical doctor who focuses on researching and developing medical breakthroughs instead of working directly on patients.

They are a valuable part of the healthcare industry because they oversee research projects and clinical trials to discover new methods for treating and preventing diseases.

Their main goal is to improve human health by providing the public with better and newer medications, treatment methods, and vaccines. 

Educational Requirements

Aside from an undergraduate degree in medical science or biology, becoming a medical scientist typically requires a Ph.D. or a medical degree.

You may also need a physician's license to conduct clinical trials.

Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the employment of Medical Scientists will increase by 10% between 2022 and 2032. This growth is considered much faster than the average growth of most occupations.

Potential Earnings

According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a Medical Scientist is around USD 107,000  per year.

4. Biostatistician

Biostatisticians use their comprehensive knowledge of mathematics and statistics to provide the necessary data the medical and health industry needs to make the right public health decisions.

They play an essential role in ensuring that clinical trials are conducted in compliance with regulatory standards by formulating data analysis and collection methodologies. 

By interpreting the data they collect in clinical trials, they can conclude to help the medical industry improve public health strategies and solutions. 

Educational Requirements

In addition to a bachelor's in biology and statistics, a master's degree in public health or biostatistics is also required to land most biostatistician positions.

Lastly, a PhD is necessary to start research or teach at a university. Since these roles require excellent communication and leadership skills, an MBA would also be valuable to your resume.

Job Outlook

The BLS's projected growth for biostatisticians is around 30% between 2022 and 2032.

This is the highest projected growth in this list, equivalent to an average of 3,500 job openings every year in the next decade.

Potential Earnings

Biostatisticians earn an average wage of USD 98,300 per year.

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5. Food Scientist

Food Scientists study the food's nutritional value and its microbiological, chemical, and physical properties. They then use this data to improve the food's nutritional value and taste, lengthen its shelf life, and revolutionize its transportation and cultivation.

Their other duties include discovering natural substances they can convert into food and developing new products. 

Educational Requirements

The easiest and fastest way to becoming a food scientist is to earn a Food Science or Agricultural Science degree from an accredited university and program.

An undergraduate biology degree is also a viable option. Still, you need to take master's degree programs in food science and technology to get into the food industry.

Job Outlook

The demand for agricultural and food scientists is expected to grow 6% from 2022 to 2032. This equates to about 3000 new job opportunities for this position every year for almost a decade.

Potential Earnings

Food scientists make an average pay of USD 85,700 every year.

6. Marine Biologist

A marine biologist is a type of biologist who specializes in understanding and observing the aquatic wildlife's behavior, biology, and ecosystem. They also study how human behavior can impact the plants and animals living in the ocean.

They use this data to explore the best cultivation and conservation practices to protect saltwater organisms.

Educational Requirements

This position required in-depth knowledge of different health sciences, so you'd need a doctoral degree to get a marine biology position. Most employers for the highest-paying marine biology jobs also require on-the-job training.

Since communication is vital to this job, an MBA or BBA degree will help enhance your marketability.

Job Outlook

BLS categorizes Marine Biology positions as part of the wildlife biology sector. This means the projected growth for this type of occupation is around 3% until 2032.

Potential Earnings

On average, Marine Biologists can earn around USD 80 100 per year.

7. Wildlife Ecologist

A Wildlife ecologist uses their knowledge of wildlife biology to conserve our ecosystem. They often spend the majority of their time in the wild, observing animals in their natural habitat and how they interact with other animals and their surroundings to determine the best possible ways we can protect them.

They also educate the public about different wildlife conservation issues and share the best conservation practices to adhere to.

Educational Requirements

To be a wildlife ecologist, you need a bachelor's degree in biology and other related fields (environmental science, zoology, and wildlife conservation).

Getting relevant work experience, which you can get by volunteering at a wildlife conservation center, is also a must.

Job Outlook

The demand for this occupation is projected to increase by 3% until 2032.

This figure may seem small, but it's already equivalent to about 1,500 job openings for wildlife biologists and zoologists yearly for the next 10 years.

Potential Earnings

According to Glassdoor, Wildlife Ecologists make an average salary of USD 73, 800 per year.

8. Genetic Counselor

Genetic counselors use their in-depth knowledge of genetics to help individuals or families assess for potential risks of specific illnesses or disorders and educate them about these genetic conditions' medical, societal, and psychological effects.

One of their essential duties is to assist the patients in collaborating with their insurance providers to ensure that the genetic testing will be covered.

Educational Requirements

The first step to becoming a genetic counselor is to obtain an undergraduate degree in Biology or Biochemistry. After that, you must take a 2-year master's degree in genetic counseling.

The last step is to get certified by passing the American Board of Genetic Counselling (ABGC) National Exam.

Job Outlook

As per BLS, the job outlook for Genetic Counselors is a 16% growth in employment until 2032. This expected massive growth is due to the need to replace workers who will retire.

Potential Earnings

Genetic counselors earn a yearly average pay of USD 72,000.

9. Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

Also known as drug manufacturing companies employ medical representatives and pharmaceutical sales reps to educate doctors and other medical professionals regarding the benefits of their products, proper use, and potential side effects

Their primary role is to persuade doctors and medical facilities to prescribe and carry their products instead of the competitor's.

The focus of these sales reps is not just limited to medications, and you can choose from four different specialties, including pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, and equipment. 

Educational Requirements 

To answer all drug-related questions, these representatives must have a strong understanding of pharmacology or the drug's mechanism of action and how it acts or interacts inside the body, and that's why getting a degree in biology or other health sciences is an excellent first step.

On the other hand, a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) can equip you with the marketing and interpersonal skills you need to thrive in this industry.

Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an employment growth of 6.2% between 2022 and 2032, faster than most occupations' average growth.

Potential Earnings

Medical Sales Reps earn an annual average salary of USD 70 900. On top of that, they are also given bonuses and commissions once they hit their target quotas.

Thanks to their unique pay structure, being a medical rep with a biology degree is also one of Nigeria's highest-paying jobs.

10. Microbiologist

Microbiologists study the identification, growth, and characteristics of disease-causing microorganisms, including fungi, bacteria, algae, and viruses, and use the data to prevent, treat, and diagnose different illnesses.

Educational Requirements

Entry-level jobs require a four-year degree in Microbiology or Biology

Obtaining certifications and taking post programs is the way to get higher roles.

Job Outlook

According to BLS, the demand for microbiologists will increase by 5%, which will be equal to about 1,700 job openings every year until 2032.

Potential Earnings

The average annual salary for microbiologists is around USD 64,600.


Conclusion

Pursuing a biology degree comes with many perks—plenty of jobs, competitive pay, career flexibility, a good working environment, and a chance to promote public health and environmental preservation.

However, it comes with one disadvantage—it's highly competitive. The primary research jobs will have the most competition. Still, even the managerial and leadership jobs won't be easy to land.

Because of this, you must show potential employers that you have a diversified skill set that will make you a valuable employee.

One way to do this is by getting an MBA or BBA degree to help you make relevant connections in the industry, demonstrate exemplary leadership and interpersonal skills, and have a well-rounded business education valuable for managing organizations or putting up your practice.

Nexford offers online-based programs that will allow you to get a business degree that will significantly improve your marketability in the comforts of your own home.


FAQs

What is the highest-paying biology job in 2024?

Medical doctors and other allied health professionals are the highest-paying biology jobs 2024. These professions receive an annual pay as high as USD 270,000  for Anesthesiologists and as low as USD 100,00 for Dental Hygienists.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, what's the job outlook for biology jobs in 2024 and beyond?

The job outlook for the Biology industry in 2024 varies depending on the type of occupation you’re looking for.

The projected growth is as high as 30% for Biostatisticians and as low as 3% for Ecologists.

Is biology a good career path?

Yes, Biology is a good career path if you're interested in sciences, have good research, investigative, and analytical skills, and have a passion for exploration.

Here are some of the reasons why you should consider a biology career:

Flexible career options

Biology encompasses many scientific disciplines, all with plenty of practical applications.

Because of this, you can choose from a wide range of specializations, including evolutionary biology, developmental biology, cellular biology, molecular biology, and many more.

You can also work in different industries, including manufacturing, law, healthcare, etc.

Exciting work setting

One of the best things about being in the field of biology is the interesting work settings. While they often work in offices, biology graduates can also do laboratory and field work, which makes the job incredibly satisfying.

Above-average Salary

The careers for biology majors are pretty lucrative, with average annual salaries ranging from USD 60,000 to USD 270,000.

What skills or expertise is required for high-paying biology jobs?

Becoming a highly-paid biologist requires a blend of soft and hard skills.

The hard skills employers look for in a biologist are comprehensive lab safety knowledge, strong data analysis skills, cell culture, and assay techniques, excellent research skills, and proper documentation and reporting practices.

On the other hand, the soft skills you need to develop include adaptability, attention to detail, and communication and interpersonal skills.

Above all, unparalleled leadership and management skills are essential in landing a high-paying job.

Explore our free report to discover if you have the hard and soft skills needed to start and maintain a thriving career in biology. Download our Free Report here.

What qualifications are required for high-paying biologist jobs?

The qualifications for high-paying biology degree jobs will vary depending on the industry or sector you're targeting.

All the above jobs require at least a bachelor's degree in biology.

On the other hand, higher positions call for postgraduate programs. Management or leadership positions require a master's degree, while a doctorate is required for a job in the academe.

Lastly, the highest-paying biology jobs, like medical doctors and healthcare professionals, call for a degree in healthcare or a medical degree. 

Why is it beneficial for biologists to gain a BBA/MBA degree?

A BBA degree or MBA degree is a valuable addition to anyone pursuing a degree or career in biology for many good reasons. Here are the top three:

  • Opportunity to develop excellent management skills to enhance the growth of the organizations they will join.

  • Provides you with the communication and interpersonal skills you need to work with other health and science industry members and present your research and findings clearly and adequately.

  • Gives you comprehensive economy and business knowledge that makes you eligible for promotion, especially for leadership and supervisory roles.

Learn how to develop the most in-demand skills for your future career!

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About the author
Stephen Ramotowski
Stephen Ramotowski

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