Life Science Careers Available for a Science Major

life science careers available science major job opportunities

Are you looking at a career in science? This is a great choice in today’s market. The most recent Kiplinger Report ranked science degrees 3 times among the top 25 best college majors for a profitable career.

Science degrees open the door to many life science careers. Keep reading to find out about various job opportunities and requirements.

What Are Life Science Careers?

Today, life science careers lead industry and business in bringing new, life-saving products to the public. The future of healthcare has transformed with advances in technology and new products. This career field needs innovative, forward-thinking people.

If you wishing to make significant contributions to healthcare, your opportunity lies here.

The following career fields represent a partial list of options. 

Drug Discovery

Today’s scientists are finding new formulations and approaches to treat illness. The drugs discovered, created, and produced become the medications prescribed by doctors or sold over the counter.

Pharmaceuticals. This includes medications made utilizing chemical synthesis. They research the use of small active molecules.

This research leads to the discovery of active molecules useful in treating illness. Specific packaging transforms appropriate molecules into a formula the body can use. Such as creating a pill or capsule to deliver pain relief.

Biopharmaceuticals. These scientists use a biological or biotechnological approach to creating new medications. Biological products are studied to find ones that are useful in the treatment of disease.

To work with new drug clinical research and clinical trials, you need a Master’s Degree or Ph.D. in:

  • Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology
  • Microbiology
  • Medical Doctor
  • Nursing Doctorate

These degrees also allow you to work in science/laboratory roles and quality control.


Biotechnology (Biotech) creates new products using biological systems and living organisms.

Biotechs often work in the protein drug development process. They specifically work with manipulating or mutating DNA to cause specific changes. The goal of these changes is to make more product or make it more effective.

You need a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in biochemistry or biophysics. This lets you work in product development, inspection, or applied research.

The position of Biochemist or Biophysicist requires a doctorate in Biochemistry or Biophysics. This allows you to work independently in research and development.

This research works to increase the understanding of human metabolism, reproduction, growth, and heredity. They examine the effects of foods, drugs, serums, hormones and other substances on tissues and life-giving processes in living organisms.

With experience, you may have opportunities to work as a contract manufacturer.


Pharmaceutical professionals work to deliver medications and help prevent and treat illness.

Nutritionals work to research, develop, and make nutritional products. This may include formulas for infants. Individualized supplemental nutrition helps people with illnesses affected by malnutrition.

Pharmaceutical professionals also create pills and coated tablets to ease swallowing.

A Pharmacy Doctorate is now required to enter the pharmacy profession. With this degree, you may work as a Pharmacist, manager, administrator, sales representative or marketing professional.

Pharmacists may choose to work as:

  • Community Pharmacist
  • Hospital Pharmacist
  • Academic Pharmacist
  • Primary Care Pharmacist
  • Military Pharmacist
  • Veterinary Pharmacist
  • Research Pharmacist

This career is expanding into many different areas of the healthcare arena. Some individuals may also have the opportunity to work as a contract researcher.


Epidemiologists work to maintain general public health. They help control disease outbreaks and bioterrorism. They are also instrumental in determining the cause and origin of diseases.

These professionals generate plans to treat and prevent the future spread of diseases.

The entry-level degree is a Master of Epidemiology or related degree. You may also earn a Ph.D. in Epidemiology. These individuals may show mastery and dedication to the field through certifications.

The Board of Infection Control and Epidemiology provides the certifications. This must be renewed every five years.

Job responsibilities include:

  • Public intervention
  • Communication of findings to healthcare providers and policymakers
  • Data collection using interviews, surveys, and examining bodily fluids
  • Planning and managing public health programs
  • Conducting research

You can find epidemiologists at universities, in government positions, and private industry. They may also work with health insurance or pharmaceutical companies.

Forensic Science Technicians

Forensic Science Technicians (FSTs) work to solve crimes by collecting and analyzing the physical evidence found at crime scenes. Most FSTs either work crime scenes (Criminalists) or in the laboratory.

FSTs usually need at least a Bachelor of Forensic Science degree. They could also have a Bachelor of Biology or Chemistry degree. FSTs receive on-the-job training once hired into a position.

If you wish to work as a Criminalist, you must meet the requirements for admittance to the police academy. This role gives you the title of a police officer. There is no specific license or certification required.

Medical Scientists

Clinical investigation allows medical scientists to find solutions for treating complex diseases. Their research improves people’s overall health and wellbeing.

Medical scientists use their knowledge of human diseases, biochemistry, and human anatomy to conduct their investigation.

These professionals work with the federal government, research universities, and private industries. Many medical scientists work at the National Institutes of Health.

A doctoral or medical degree is needed to enter this profession. Many individuals complete a Ph.D. or a joint MD/Ph.D. program when completing their degree.

This Ph.D. usually requires about 6 years and the completion of a thesis. The dual Ph.D./MD program often takes 8 years to finish. If you are completing the MD program, you will need to complete the licensure as a physician.


Microbiologists study the structure, growth, and development of microorganisms like bacteria and algae. They use their knowledge of microorganisms, laboratory work, mathematics, and biology to generate conclusions.

These professionals work to:

  • Develop new drugs
  • Monitor the effects of microorganisms on the environment
  • Organize cultures of microorganisms and bacteria involved in studies
  • Classify microorganisms discovered in humans, water, and other environmental resources

Microbiology careers typically need a Bachelor in Microbiology degree or related field. Laboratory internships are often included in the degree curriculum. Graduates may also work in pharmaceutical research.

You can get a Ph.D. and work in a university or institutional research positions. This also qualifies you to become a faculty at a college or university.

Are You Ready to Take Your Science Degree to Market?

Are you trying to decide about a major and degree plan? Science careers offer many varied job opportunities including top biotech startups. They also offer career advancement.

Our site can help you with understanding how to market yourself and your new career. We also have information about technology, consulting, loans, and investing.

Did you find this article about life science careers informative? Continue checking out our site today for more information about building your career.

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