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What Can You Do With a Master's in Medical Science?

A master's degree in medical science provides several scientific career options to students. Explore some of these options, their median salaries, expected job growth rates and specific job duties.

Although many students who earn a master's degree in medical science go on to pursue a doctorate or professional medical degree of some sort, there are other careers available that may require or utilize a master's degree in this field. Students may make a career out of the following positions or hold them until they complete further education. Learn about some of the different career options for individuals with a master's degree in medical science.

Career Options for a Master's in Medical Science

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Epidemiologists $70,820 9%
Microbiologists $66,850 8%
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists $61,070 12%
Chemists $73,740 6%
Biochemists and Biophysicists $82,180 11%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for a Medical Science Master's Degrees

Epidemiologists

Epidemiologists usually need a master's degree, and one in medical science could provide these professionals with the research skills needed to work this area of public health. Epidemiologists are responsible for studying the different patterns of human diseases, illnesses, injuries and other medical conditions, as well as trying to determine the cause of these issues in order to develop methods for prevention. They spend a lot of their time planning studies and then analyzing the data they collect through the studies. Their findings may be used to help further develop public health programs and/or influence policy.

Microbiologists

Microbiologists need a bachelor's degree for entry-level positions. They might pursue a medical science master's degree to get additional laboratory experience or to prepare themselves to earn a doctorate, which is required for more advanced research positions. Microbiologists study microorganisms, like fungi, bacteria, viruses and parasites, that may play a role in various medical issues in humans. In general, microbiologists study these microorganisms to understand their life cycles and how they affect their environments through detailed research projects. Their findings are typically shared with the scientific community in research papers and technical reports.

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists

Also known as medical laboratory scientists, medical and clinical laboratory technologists only need a bachelor's degree, but those with a master's degree in medical science may hold this position on their way to earning a doctorate to work as a medical scientist or another advanced research position. These technologists run a variety of medical tests on biological samples, like tissue, blood or other fluids, using complex lab equipment. They must carefully document their findings and report them to a physician. Many of these professionals specialize in a particular area, such as immunology, microbiology or clinical chemistry.

Chemists

Chemists need at least a bachelor's degree, but a master's or doctoral degree is more common for research positions. Those with a medical science background may be more interested in working as a medicinal chemist to help develop and test new drugs or research ways of improving the drug manufacturing process. In general, chemists conduct research projects in a laboratory setting using various compounds, reagents and solutions to study chemical reactions, processes and properties. All of their work is carefully detailed in technical reports and research papers.

Biochemists and Biophysicists

Individuals with a bachelor's or master's degree can find entry-level positions as biochemists and biophysicists. And like chemists, professionals with a background in medical science may focus their work in the field of medicine. Biochemists and biophysicists conduct research to examine the chemistry and other physical properties behind biological processes, as well as to test the effects of various substances, including drugs, on these processes. These scientists may study proteins, nerve cells, genetic disorders, medications, diseases and more. They present their findings in reports and research papers and may need to pursue funding opportunities through grants.

Individuals with a master's degree in medical science can pursue several different kinds of research careers that often involve the field of medicine. Many of these careers offer entry-level positions to individuals with a bachelor's or master's degree and can also be used as a stepping stone until one decides to purse advanced education.


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