Entry-Level Jobs for Biology Graduates
Graduates with a major in biology getting ready to take the great leap into the job pool are likely to start with an entry-level position.
Recent graduates can gain valuable skills and connections through many of these entry-level biology-major jobs.
Those who feel most at home in a laboratory should consider becoming a biological technician. Biological technicians are necessary for conducting laboratory-based research, as they maintain the technical equipment and study organic samples such as microbial cultures, plants, and even stem cells.
This was the case of Marine veteran and Saint Rose alum, Shawn Sutton ’17. During his time at Saint Rose, Sutton discovered his interest in researching neuro-degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Eventually, this led him to pursue a career in stem cell research at the Neural Stem Cell Institute. Sutton attributes the biology program at Saint Rose for fostering his passion in stem cell research. “I don’t think I would have been as successful if some of the programs hadn’t been here,” he said.
While working as a biological technician, he collaborated with renowned stem cell scientists — like Dr. Sally Temple — to figure out how stem cells can be used to fight degenerative diseases.
Typically found helping senior researchers run experiments, biological technicians exercise their analytical skills, critical thinking, and technical abilities daily. All of which are highly sought-after skills in any field.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as of 2020, biological technicians can make approximately $46,000 per year. And since the role doesn’t require prior experience, it’s perfect for newcomers.
Quality Control Inspector
Individuals with an eye for detail can thrive in quality control. The talents of biology majors can be highly sought after at pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms. Biology majors can put their skills to work by monitoring the manufacturing process of products to ensure federal health and safety guidelines are met.
As a quality control inspector or analyst, students with a bachelor’s in biology have the opportunity to help create medicine and vaccines for the public.
Not only is this an essential service, but it can also pay quite well. Within scientific industries like biology or biotechnology, quality control inspectors can earn approximately $44,000 annually.
If your free time is spent at the zoo or watching the National Geographic channel, it might be time to consider pursuing a career in wildlife biology. Zoologists and wildlife biologists cater to biology majors with varying levels of experience, so the job growth potential is significant.
Those holding a bachelor’s in biology can access entry-level roles at conservation centers and national parks — which can be truly rewarding. Senior-level wildlife biologists or those with doctoral degrees (PhD.), generally serve as department heads and managers for such centers or work in universities. Federal environmental organizations such as the National Park Service hire biology graduates who have a desire to apply their knowledge to government-funded ecological projects.
Common duties performed by entry-level wildlife biologists include recording data during field research conducted by upper-level biologists.
While competitive, a career in wildlife biology can pay approximately $66,000 per year.
Healthcare providers, pharmaceuticals, and medical device manufacturers have medical writers putting their skills to the test creating advertisements, manuals, guides, and other content to communicate offerings.
Biology majors are well-versed in the science behind the production of these goods and can explain them to consumers in a digestible way as medical writers.
It’s the perfect role for the STEM-literate individual who seeks to educate the public on important topics like health. And with an average annual salary of $74,000, it’s a more than ideal entry-level position.
Interested in analyzing miniscule organic matter like bacteria, algae, and fungus? If all this sounds like an ideal way to spend your day, then a career as a microbiologist may be the perfect choice.
Research institutions require microbiologists at every level, including the entry-level position. Microbiologists can be enlisted by research institutions, medical laboratories, and even food manufacturing plants. Their skills and knowledge are used to test the effects microorganisms can have on pharmaceutical or environmental products.
While this entry-level position may concentrate on the smallest of lifeforms, the pay is far from microscopic. In fact, it’s one of the highest paying entry-level jobs for biology majors.
Long-Term Career Opportunities in Biology
A long-term career in biology or a biology-related field may involve more schooling as higher-level opportunities often require at least a master’s degree.
Earning a Master’s Degree
And earning a master’s degree can be the ideal stepping-stone towards a doctoral degree or dream career — a fact that Saint Rose alum Patience Cournoo ’17 can attest to.
After earning her bachelor of science in biology, Cournoo earned her master’s in biomedical sciences. Her ultimate goal, however, is to become a neurosurgeon.
According to Cournoo, Saint Rose’s intimate class sizes and individualized attention from professors helped her maintain the stellar academic record she needed to pursue her passions.
“I am someone who excels really well in a small, personable kind of setting and when I came to Saint Rose that is exactly what I noticed here,” she said. “When you want to do science, you can’t take a chance at a huge school.”
Biology majors who pursue higher education through the many graduate programs offered at Saint Rose can look forward to rewarding careers, like the pre-med path taken by Cournoo. With programs centered on law, business administration, and teaching, Saint Rose graduate students can find opportunities in adjacent fields such as healthcare, education, and bioethics.
Medical & Health Services Manager
Biology majors with a master’s in business administration (MBA) can find success as medical and health services managers — especially as MBA students at Saint Rose can concentrate on healthcare management.
Medical and health services managers act as coordinators for healthcare providers such as hospitals. They ensure the facility operates efficiently and oversee the implementation of operational changes. The responsibilities of a medical and health services managers are integral to the functionality of a healthcare center, so it’s safe to say this is a role we can’t live without.
The importance of medical and health services managers is reflected in the pay. A medical and health services manager have the potential to earn approximately $104,000 annually.
Students with a bachelor’s in biology who also want to merge their love of the subject with an interest in teaching young adults should consider enrolling in Saint Rose’s graduate program in adolescence education.
The program prepares students for the rigors and rewards of teaching today’s youth through active instruction, workshops, and lectures. By the end of the program and upon completion of the state’s Teacher Certification Exams, students can become qualified to teach grades seven through 12 in their subject area within New York State.
Biology majors who want to make a career of enriching the minds of future generations can enjoy an annual salary of nearly $63,000, but the real benefit is having summer and holiday vacations off.
Ethical issues in the healthcare and scientific fields are often resolved with the help of bioethics lawyers. Using their keen understanding of the law and science, bioethics lawyers are entrusted with securing patents for scientific or medical innovations, navigating malpractice lawsuits, and enforcing ethical conduct in areas such as research and medicine.
Courses at Saint Rose can help biology majors pursue a career in law through the school’s joint law and business program with Albany Law School of Union University (ALS).
Biology majors can become a triple threat in the job force with a dual degree in business administration and law.
Within four years, students can propel themselves forward into a career in bioethics, a field that rewards in both practice and pay. As of 2020, bioethics lawyers can earn a yearly income of nearly $127,000.
How to Get a Job in Biology
The undergraduate and graduate programs as well as the career services at Saint Rose are geared towards equipping students with the networking opportunities, internships, and coursework they need to land the job of their dreams.
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