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Careers Involving Psychology & Biology

The combined fields of psychology and biology are critical in careers that deal with the physiological and mental development or illness of clients or animals. Due to the various possible education paths where both sciences are incorporated, there are various fields and specialties that can be pursued as careers.

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Career Options Involving Psychology and Biology

The intersection of biology and psychology primarily deals with physiological influences on the mental state and psychological influences on the physical state. Careers might involve studying how the brain influences biology, diagnosing psychological disorders, or finding links to the pathology of illness (either mental or physical) in genes. Though most require a master's degree or higher in a specialized field, the careers listed below all require the combined knowledge and application of biology and psychology.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Psychiatrist $194,740 15%
Pharmacist $122,230 3%
Medical Scientist $80,530 8%
Genetic Counselor $74,120 29%
Zoologist $60,520 (zoologists and wildlife biologists) 4% (zoologists and wildlife biologists)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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  • Behavioral Sciences, General
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Career Information for Jobs Involving Psychology and Biology

Psychiatrist

Psychiatrists are responsible for providing mental healthcare to patients through the combination of psychological analysis and medication. Psychiatrists apply their understanding of mental illnesses to customize treatment plans for patients. They must consider possible physiological responses to psychotropic medication and generally approach mental illness from a biomedical perspective. This occupation requires a medical doctorate and a residency of 3-7 years to earn the specialization.

Pharmacist

Pharmacists fulfill prescriptions, including for mental illnesses, based on the instructions of doctors or physicians. They also screen patients to ensure that they are in good health and provide instructions on the proper use of the medication they distribute. Pharmacists are responsible for ensuring that the physical and mental side effects of medications prescribed to patients won't be dangerous or conflict with a patient's other medication. Becoming a pharmacist requires a doctoral degree in pharmacy.

Medical Scientist

Medical researchers, also known as medical scientists, conduct studies and tests to find ways of preventing illnesses or to find treatments and cures. A medical scientist may research and analyze any possible links between psychological disorders and human biology, such as patterns in their causes, how they affect the the immune system and physiology, and how certain medicines or diets influence these patterns. This field of work requires a doctoral degree in biology or a medical doctorate.

Genetic Counselor

Genetic counselors collect and analyze the genetic information of a person to reveal any possible health conditions that can be inherited or passed down. Once they discern the possibility of hereditary risks, they write reports with their observations and have a consultation with their client to discuss their findings, give insights on possible treatment options, and provide in-depth information on the conditions discovered. Though this field often deals with physiological disorders like cancer, it also deals with neurogenetics, including inherited mental illnesses. Genetic counselors require a master's degree in genetics as well as certification.

Zoologist

Zoologists and wildlife biologists study and analyze animal behavior and physiology in nature. They may execute qualitative experiments to observe how animals behave under various circumstances, which is a form of behavioral psychology. Research may also include the collection and analysis of biological samples. Thus, the zoologist blends psychological study of animals with biological research for purposes including scientific advancement, conservation, population management, and policymaking. This career requires a bachelor's degree at minimum, though researching positions will require a doctoral degree.

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