16 Highest Paying Biology Jobs (With Average Salaries)

Updated March 10, 2023

Biology is a fast-growing field with a wide range of high-paying positions. While the highest-paid positions require an extensive amount of training and education, they are considered highly rewarding jobs both emotionally and financially.

In this article, we discuss some of the highest-paying biology jobs, their average salaries and job responsibilities.

Important skills for the biology field

To succeed in many biology jobs, you will need a bachelor's degree or higher. You also may have to have special certification as well as professional training. In addition to these requirements, employers will be looking for specific skills such as:

  • The ability to use scientific concepts in everyday language

  • Strong verbal and written skills

  • Strong presentation skills

  • Knowledge of specific science disciplines such as anatomy, biology, ecology, etc.

  • A solid grasp of medical terminology

  • Strong problem-solving skills

Pursuing a career in a biology-related field can provide you with the opportunity to work with a diverse population in a wide range of specialists. While many positions in the biology-related industry pay well, the highest-paid positions tend to require more extensive training and a higher level of education.

Highest-paying biology jobs

Below are some of the highest jobs that you can achieve with a foundational degree in the field of biology. While some jobs require only a bachelor's degree, others require a master's degree or additional training.

Related: How To Find the Right Job for You

1. Health communications specialist

National average salary: $57,530 per year

Primary duties: The primary duties of a health communications specialist include writing about and discussing topics that are related to disease and human health to a diverse audience. They need to be able to track and stay up to date on public health issues and concerns, such as diseases that can be easily spread through the public.

2. Microbiologist

National average salary: $64,925 per year

Primary duties: A microbiologist's primary duties involve the study of some of the smallest lifeforms on the planet, such as bacteria and fungi. Duties will include both lab and fieldwork, collecting samples and performing research. A microbiologist may also have the responsibility of drafting studies to present findings.

3. Pharmaceutical sales representative

National average salary: $65,543 per year

Primary duties: Duties will include promoting new pharmaceutical drugs to doctors, health care professional buildings, hospitals and other medical centers. Regular visits, phone calls, attending sales meetings and delivering sales reports will be other parts of the position's duties.

4. Respiratory therapist

National average salary: $68,536 per year

Primary duties: The duties of a respiratory therapist include examining and interviewing patients who are affected by respiratory disorders, performing diagnostic tests for respiratory function and working with physicians to create and execute a patient treatment plan. In a hospital setting, other duties include managing life support equipment, administering medications and analyzing blood samples for oxygen levels and gasses.

5. Environmental scientist

National average salary: $69,356 per year

Primary duties: Environmental scientists will perform experiments and create and participate in ion studies on how to protect the environment and environmental resources. They may also perform research used for the betterment of both the health of animals and the health of humans. Other duties include grant writing and solicitation of funds for research studies.

Related: How To Find Your Passion

6. Registered nurse

National average salary: $70,460 per year

Primary duties: Registered nurses will work closely alongside doctors to create care plans for patients to help them through illness, surgery and other procedures. Duties can include managing patient charts, administering medication, caring for patient needs, recording vitals and keeping physicians updated as to patient status.

7. Physical therapist assistant

National average salary: $76,492 per year

Primary duties: Physical therapist assistants will help patients to recover from illness, surgery and trauma that have caused limitations to their physical movements. Duties include physical manipulation, developing exercise plans and monitoring patient progress.

8. Genetic counselor

National average salary: $80,370 per year

Primary duties: Genetic counselors will work with clients and patients to make assessments about the makeup of their genetics and provide them with the statistical risk of passing genetic illnesses or disabilities to future children. They often counsel families who are expecting children or are in the process of family planning. Duties may also include counseling adults who have concerns about developing genetic disorders later in life.

9. Biochemist

National average salary: $84,073 per year

Primary duties: A biochemist will aid in labs in biotechnology companies and biomedical research firms. Job functions can include research and testing used for studies as well as developing new products. A biochemist may also be responsible for proposal and grant writing to secure necessary funds for development and research projects.

10. Medical and health services manager

National average salary: $89,688 per year

Primary duties: Duties of this position involve interpreting regulations in the medical and science industry and helping to create and manage programs around those regulations. Other duties involve interacting with and managing health care providers and medical staff members regarding policies and procedures. They may also be involved in supervising and evaluating health professionals and researchers associated with the medical institutions.

11. Pharmacist

National average salary: $93,558 per year

Primary duties: Duties of a pharmacist include dispensing medications to help patients with illness or disease, or to maintain their overall well-being. They are also responsible for overseeing pharmacy technicians, managing prescription inventory, and counseling patients who have questions about the medication they are prescribed.

12. Veterinarian

National average salary: $95,718 per year

Primary duties: A veterinarian will provide medical care and monitoring to animals, both large and small. This includes duties such as administering medication and vaccinations, diagnosing medical conditions, following through with treatment options and managing animal health care and surgical procedures.

13. Physician assistant

National average salary: $105,627 per year

Primary duties: The primary duties of a physician assistant include working closely with doctors and other medical staff to help diagnose patient conditions, assist in surgeries and other procedures, create and help manage patient treatment plans, and order and interpret patient tests. Other duties include writing prescriptions, conducting physical exams and guiding patients on balanced living and condition management.

14. Oncologist

National average salary: $192,522 per year

Primary duties: An oncologist will coordinate treatment plans for cancer patients, such as radiation and chemotherapy. They will also assist with pain and prescription management, order tests and coordinate with other medical professionals of the patient to create and follow through with a treatment plan.

15. Dentist

National average salary: $196,417 per year

Primary duties: Dentists are responsible for helping their patients to maintain proper oral health and rectifying dental issues that can cause them discomfort, pain or cosmetic problems. Dentists can also prescribe medication for patients and perform oral cancer and other screening treatments as the patient needs.

16. Physician

National average salary: $202,387 per year

Primary Duties: Physicians diagnose, treat, and manage patient illness and injuries. They are responsible for determining the causes behind a person's ailments as well as prescribing screening tools and medications to help patients remain in good health and reduce their risk of illness. Other duties include establishing trust with patients and patient health education.

Related: Guide: Using Indeed Job Search

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