So you majored in biology. The good news is, you’ll have a ton of job prospects in a variety of different fields: research, technology, education, business—and much more. All you need to do is figure out how to set yourself up with something entry-level that will get you where you inevitably want to go.
If you’ve chosen not to specialize and go for post-graduate studies in a particular field of biology, then you’ll be looking at an entry-level median salary around $51k.
Here are a few good first gigs to consider.
Median pay: $37k. You’ll use a ton of the skills you’ve just cultivated in your undergrad career, analyzing data, doing tests and experiments, working with a team of other techs reporting to a biologist in charge. These jobs are available in healthcare, research, pharmaceutical, university, and R&D settings—and require only the skills you already have plus attention to detail and data and the ability to work well on a team.
Median pay: $62k. The environment is going to be a major consideration in the next few decades. You might as well be on the side of the angels. Collect samples and perform analysis, and get to spend some great QT in the great outdoors.
Median pay: $45k. You might not think of this immediately as a dream career, but you’re well equipped to help people make wise choices when it comes to what they eat. Apply what you’ve learned about the human body and its environment to help people become healthier. If you find you like it, you can get certified or pursue post-graduate study in nutrition and set yourself up with an excellent career.
Median pay: $56k. Work in public, private, religious, or charter schools. As long as you have the communication skills and patience necessary to teach, you can just stay in your biology happy place forever.
Median pay: $59k. This job outlook is about as fast in growth as the average, and you can take your pick of work environment: hospitals, medical and diagnostic labs, doctors’ offices, and academic environments. You’ll want to cultivate physical stamina, as well as good attention to detail, technology, and data.
Median pay: $75k. If you have great people skills and stamina and don’t feel like being cooped up in a lab all day, this might be the gig for you. Your knowledge of biology will take you far. Your sales abilities will take you farther.
All that said, your biology major actually sets you up with an incredibly versatile skill set. You’ve learned to conduct experiments from scratch, observe phenomena, test hypotheses, draw conclusions, analyze data, synthesize your findings into reports, papers, and presentations, and to interpret others’ work. You’ve also learned valuable analysis and critical thinking skills that will serve you well no matter where you end up.
You should also consider going into different fields such as Genetics, Agriculture, Botany, Biomedical Engineering, Research, Medicine, Animal science, even Education. Just remember to pick something that you see yourself loving doing five years down the line and you’ll be fine.