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Careers in Human Biology: Overview of Job Options

A degree in human biology typically covers human anatomy and physiology. Find out more about career options, job growth and salary info for graduates in human biology.

The first step in finding employment in the field of human biology is to earn a bachelor's or associate's degree in a related discipline. Common careers in human biology for an undergraduate degree include forensic science technicians, sales representatives in pharmaceuticals, and biological lab technicians. Students of human biology often go on to complete a master's degree in order to have more employment opportunities.

Essential Information

Careers in human biology may range from forensic science technician to pharmaceutical sales representative. While specific requirements differ, most employers prefer candidates who have some postsecondary education, such as a certificate, associate's or bachelor's degree.

Postsecondary education in human biology begins with coursework in human physiology, anatomy and biology. Advanced classes typically cover topics like the human nervous system, lymphatic system and biochemistry. Students can gain expertise on biological functions and chemical reactions within the human body.

Career Forensic Science Technician Pharmaceutical Sales Representative Biological Laboratory Technician
Education Requirements Bachelor's Degree Bachelor's Degree Bachelor's Degree
Other Requirements On-the-job training On-the-job training Lab experience
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 27% 7% 5%
Median Salary (2015)* $56,320 $76,190 (all sales representatives, technical and scientific products) $41,650

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Many graduates of a bachelor's degree program in human biology will go on to a master's degree program in a more focused field of study, but there are also career options for graduates who would rather begin working in their field right away.

Forensic Science Technician

Forensic science technicians work for law enforcement agencies and departments. These professionals use their expertise in human biology to help collect and analyze evidence for a criminal investigation. For example, forensic science technicians may use sophisticated laboratory equipment to isolate and observe human blood from a crime scene. Technicians may then interpret data and submit reports on their findings to investigators.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), forensic science technicians earn a median annual income of $56,320, as of May 2015. Employment for these technicians is expected to increase by 27% from 2014 to 2024 (www.bls.gov).

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

Pharmaceutical sales representatives visit health care facilities, drug wholesalers and retail stores to present new products manufactured by pharmaceutical companies in order to generate sales. Sales representatives may also be responsible for qualifying prospective customers, coordinating meetings and following up with potential clients. These professionals are trained to support products with clinical studies and are up-to-date with new programs and medical treatment options.

The BLS reports that sales representatives working in the industry of electronic markets and agents and brokers wholesalers earned a median of $66,590 per year, as of May 2015. The wholesale and manufacturing sales representative field as a whole is projected to experience 7% growth during the 2014-2024 decade.

Biological Laboratory Technician

Biological laboratory technicians take samples of biological information in order to conduct experiments and perform tests. Duties may range from studying the effects of pharmaceutical drugs on human organs to compiling data from tests into written reports. Biological laboratory technicians may also be responsible for organizing and sanitizing the laboratory, including specimen containers and specialized equipment like microscopes.

Biological technicians earn a median annual salary of $41,650, stated the BLS in May 2015. Employment is expected to increase by 5% from 2014-2024.

Forensic science technicians, pharmaceutical sales representatives, and biological lab technicians should all see positive growth in new jobs over the 2014-24 period, reports the BLS, with forensic science technicians expected to experience a substantial increase of 27% in job opportunities. Individuals entering the sales industry need to maintain a current knowledge of new medical trends and treatments in order to sell products to clients. Knowing how to function in a lab setting is important for technicians in this field.

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