This was a fun installment of this series because, in my opinion, there are so many really cool things you can do as a biologist. Although brain surgery definitely qualifies as one of those cool things, here are a few jobs you can get without going to medical school (and without being Patrick Dempsey).
Some of these positions actually only require an associate’s degree in biology, so you shouldn’t worry about being underqualified. You’ll likely end up doing a lot of physical work taking care of animals (poop scooping, let’s be honest), but it’ll be outdoorsy and fun.
See also: Pet care specialist
Apply at: Zoos, animal welfare societies, pet shelters
State, local and even national fish and wildlife services love to employ biology majors. You will also get to avoid desks with this job, as your responsibilities might include monitoring water quality, spearheading conservation efforts, and giving educational presentations.
Apply at: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, State Department of Agriculture or Department of Natural Resources
Public Health Educator
You will need to have taken a few classes in public health to qualify for this job, but you will get to do some great public outreach work. You will visit everywhere from schools to workplaces to talk about public health concerns, create educational materials and in general save the world from itself.
Apply at: Hospitals and clinics, public health organizations and nonprofit organizations
Pharmaceutical Sales Rep
Maybe you loved studying biology, but now you want to expand your horizons a bit. With your science background, you will be an obvious choice for someone to sell medical products.
See also: Veterinary pharmaceutical sales and other medical equipment sales
Apply at: Take a stroll down through your local drug store and see who makes the merchandise
This job can definitely entail writing lengthy technical descriptions in textbooks or those little papers that come with your prescriptions that you never read. But, you also might get to write content for a medical provider’s website, brochures, or other more creative endeavors.
Apply at: Pharmaceutical companies, academic publishing houses and larger research facilities/clinics
Study food? Sign me up. In this position you might conduct research, pitch new food product ideas and perform quality assurance checks. If sustainable food sources are important to you, this might be an especially rewarding position.
Apply at: Take a stroll down your grocery aisle and see who makes your favorite products.
Those jobs sound too easy for you? Well, apart from brain surgery, here are a few jobs that will be a little more challenging, a lot harder to get…and totally worth it.
Forensic toxicology will land you a job in a crime lab or something similar (exactly like on TV, right? right?) but toxicology in general is a fascinating field. You will study the effects of poisoning not only on people, but also on plants and wildlife. Go save the planet!
This one is a little on the nose, but think of it as a cool alternative to marine biology (which most people wanted to do at one point, I think). You do some cool traveling, study cool plants and animals and become a major stake-holder in the bug repellent industry.
You’ll get to weigh in on whether or not Grey’s Anatomy is medically accurate… and then have writers take the maximum possible amount of liberties with your opinions. Alternatively, you could work with Discovery Health, National Geographic or some other cool and educational programmer.
What major should we look at next? You decide! Leave a comment below, or send me a tweet: @ithinkther4iamb