Careers in Anatomy & Human Biology

Understanding human anatomy and biology is vital in a number of careers that are explored here. Learn about what professionals who work with anatomy and human biology earn, what they do and the training required for these careers.

Career Options in Anatomy & Human Biology

In one of the most basic definitions, anatomy is a field of scientific study focused on how organisms, such as humans, are structured; human biology refers to how the systems in the human body develop and operate. Many healthcare careers require knowledge of anatomy and human biology, but there are also careers in communications, engineering, life sciences and education that require knowledge of anatomy and human biology.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Outlook (2016-2026)*
Postsecondary Health Specialties Teachers $99,360 26%
Radiologic and MRI Technicians $58,960 12%
Physical Therapists $85,400 25%
Technical Writers $69,850 11%
Biomedical Engineers $85,620 7%
Medical Scientists $80,530 13%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Jobs in Anatomy & Human Biology

Postsecondary Health Specialties Teachers

Postsecondary health specialties teachers provide college instruction to prepare individuals for careers in dentistry, medicine and other healthcare fields. Their basic duties involve preparing lessons, instructing students and marking their work. Those who are instructing students in these fields typically need to have a doctoral degree, although some may be able to find work with a master's degree in a health specialty. They need strong knowledge of human biology and human anatomy to teach these subjects to their students.

Radiologic and MRI Technicians

Radiologic technicians capture images of the internal body with x-rays, while MRI techs use magnetic resonance imaging to obtain anatomical images.They need a thorough understanding of anatomy and human biology to effectively and safely position patients so that they capture images of the necessary body parts. Technicians also must be to effectively answer patient questions about these procedures. Radiologic and MRI technicians can prepare for their career by earning an associate's degree in their respective fields. Most radiologic techs need a state license, and some states also require licensure for MRI technicians.

Physical Therapists

Physical therapists must have a doctoral degree in physical therapy and a state license. Their studies include biology and anatomy because they need extensive knowledge of how the human body is structured and how it works in order to effectively diagnose and treat their patients. They are responsible for identifying the physical effects of an illness or injury on their patients and determining the best way to help them regain physical functions and minimize their pain.

Technical Writers

Technical writers produce things like manuals and other written documents that usually explain how something works or how to perform a specific task. Technical writers typically need a bachelor's degree in English or a similar subject, as well as specialized knowledge of a particular field. In some cases, they produce scientific materials related to scientific inventions or prepare applications for research funding. Those who perform these tasks or write medical documents may need to have knowledge of anatomy and human biology in order to effectively explain the processes they're covering, which could include medical treatments or medical products.

Biomedical Engineers

Biomedical engineers typically earn a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering, which requires studying engineering principles along with scientific fields such as biology and physiology. They create healthcare products as varied as computer software and artificial organs. They need to understand human biology and anatomy so that they can produce artificial body parts that can function in place of the original part or organ. Biomedical engineers also work on designing, evaluating and repairing diagnostic equipment or medical devices.

Medical Scientists

Medical scientists focus on improving healthcare treatments for people and preventing disease. They must have a doctoral degree in a life science subject, such as biology, or a medical degree. Expertise in human biology and anatomy is necessary for medical scientists in order to identify abnormalities in how a person's body is developing or functioning as a result of illness or injury. This knowledge is also valuable when determining whether treatments are effective at combating the cause of the medical issue.

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