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5 Great Career Paths to Pursue With an Undergrad Biology Degree

Are you interested in science but not sure what you want to do after college? A Biology degree can set you on many paths, including these five careers.

An undergraduate Biology degree is one of the most sought-after degrees in higher education, ranking as the fifth most common major in America. Reasons for the field’s popularity include competitive salaries and the many opportunities it provides people to help others. Additionally, it is one of the most diverse college degrees, offering a variety of potential career paths that are both interesting and lucrative. Let’s dive into some of them here to help you start thinking about your future.

1. Physician

Due to the prestige and the income, becoming a physician is a common career path you can pursue through a Biology degree. A physician is a doctor who diagnoses and treats injuries and illnesses, and according to Indeed, people in these careers make about $218,881 per year on average. To become a doctor, after completing a four-year undergraduate degree, you must go through four years of medical school, three to seven years of residency, and up to three years of fellowship. If you’re still in high school and planning ahead, this process can be shortened through AP courses, dual-enrollment classes, or even a direct medical program. You can also take a gap year anytime in this process to strengthen your med school applications (and your mental health). 

Related: Top Academic Paths to Help You Pursue Nursing and Medical Careers

2. Dentist

Another popular career choice for Biology degree holders is a dentist. These dental professionals treat teeth, gums, and conditions related to oral health and disease prevention while making approximately $212,392 per year. The typical responsibilities of a dentist include routine checkups, repairing and extracting fractured teeth, filling cavities, and performing corrective surgery. Similar to a physician, a dentist also has to go through four years of undergrad (often studying Biology), four years of dental school, and about three years in a residency program. 

3. Nurse practitioner

A nurse practitioner (NP) is an expert health care provider who works either independently or in collaboration with physicians to conduct medical tests, diagnose health problems, and prescribe medications. Becoming a nurse generally takes three to six years after graduating from high school. Although getting a Biology degree is a great foundation, NPs also earn advanced degrees in Nursing and have to pass a licensing exam. Being a nurse practitioner can be one of the most rewarding jobs on this list due to the relationships you can develop with patients. For those trying to make a six-figure salary—around $112,834 on average—but not go through as extensive of schooling as doctors do, becoming an NP is a good option. 

Related: What Different Specialty Nursing Career Paths Are There?

4. High school science teacher

In this profession, you’ll use your degree to educate on the fundamentals of biology and can set up students for their own careers in the field. Other daily responsibilities of a teacher include creating lesson plans, lecturing students, answering questions, assigning homework and projects, and grading assignments. You only need your bachelor’s degree and teaching license to become a teacher. Although you won’t make as much money as a health professional—an average of $49,884 per year, though it depends on your location—the work-life balance is better and you’ll have summers off. Tutoring through school or picking up another job in the summer can be done to make additional income.

5. Forensic scientist

Forensic scientists assist in criminal investigations through the collection and processing of biological evidence related to a case. The main specializations of a forensic scientist include laboratory analysis and crime scene investigation. To become a forensic scientist, you must complete a bachelor’s in Biology or some other comparable science degree. The job has a decent average pay of $61,101 annually and is of special interest to many students who have an interest in solving problems and a fascination with investigative cases.

Related: Accredited Programs in Forensic Science

As you can see, a Biology degree can lead to a variety of future professions. Beyond this list, there are many other jobs you can consider, so don’t stop your research here. If you’re going to college and know you’re interested in a science field but don’t know exactly what you want to do, a Biology major can get you down a lot of different grad school and career paths after undergrad.

Not sure where you want to go to school yet? Check out great places for STEM programs with our featured health colleges and featured science colleges.

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