In its entirety, life sciences are a vast field of study that encompasses the examination of every living organism on earth. This includes the tiniest of particles, from bacteria to giant whales and everything in between. Life sciences aim to learn about life on this planet. If you wonder whether plants are included, then yes, they are; plants, animals, viruses, and the smallest cells.
Life sciences are not the area that would slowly be taken over entirely by technology. However, yes, technology plays a crucial role in its advancement, but this field’s career won’t be taken away anytime soon by robots. Rest assured.
So, your career is only beginning if you choose to dive into the realm of life sciences. It’s a rewarding career; endless opportunities, job satisfaction, growth, security, and competitive pay. What else can anyone ask for? Especially if this is your starting point in your career.
Now let’s continue to see the potential of this field.
What’s in It for Me, You Ask?
This is a great question, and if you are contemplating, you are aware that you shouldn’t get into a career path that doesn’t hold a bright future. Hence, before you jump the gun on life sciences, ask yourself, “What is my passion?” or “What do I enjoy the most?”
Once you can answer the question, you are getting somewhere. Not to mention, the answer should hold your confidence and honesty – with yourself.
Suppose you feel strongly towards creating a difference and helping society move forward into a world free of diseases that includes having readily available vaccines and improved healthcare worldwide. In that case, life sciences are your calling.
Life sciences are the front runner for technological/scientific breakthroughs, in medicine in particular. This field also masters various areas and holds essential roles, such as in agriculture, food protection, and conservation of wildlife, among many others.
With drastic changes and advancements within life sciences, there is always a need for passionate minds lending their expertise, hard work, and dedication to keep up with the demands of advancing society in the right direction. Such a condition opens up many job opportunities and job security for those opting for a life sciences career.
What Job Opportunities Can I Expect?
Considering that life sciences is an umbrella term holding so much under it, there is much to explore. In other words, there is something for everyone in this field. However, some of the most common careers in life sciences are biochemists, clinical research associates, research assistants, and microbiologists.
If we speak in statistics, then according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), one life sciences segment, “Research and Development in Biotechnology,” has boosted the growth with the job numbers concerning this area almost doubling over the past decade; 204,800 in 2019 to be precise
Another data cited by Cushman & Wakefield revealed that biotech R&D employment grew 5.1% compared to the mere 1.6% for total employment. This accounts for a spike of more than 70,000 jobs that opened up from 2013 to 2019.
There is much data available to prove how lucrative this field is and the plethora of subfields for you to choose from and build your career into.
Life Sciences Jobs High in Demand
If you are still confused about where to start your research and you want to know more about the numbers, the website Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News has compiled a list of the top ten life sciences jobs that will remain in high demand over the next decade.
1. Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians
What do they do: They collect various samples and run tests to determine body fluids, tissues, and other components.
Median pay (2017): $52,330/year
2. Medical Scientists
What do they do: These scientists are responsible for conducting research aimed and geared towards improving human health.
Median pay (2017): $84,810/year
3. Biological Technicians
What do they do: Biological technicians play a crucial role in assisting the biological and medical scientists in performing experiments and tests in a lab.
Median pay (2018): $44,500/year
4. Biochemists and Biophysicists
What do they do: These professionals dive deep into the study of chemical and physical principles of living organisms that includes cell development, growth, heredity, and disease.
Median pay (2018): $93,280/year
5. Chemical Technicians
What do they do: These technicians assist chemists and chemical engineers using special instruments to research, develop, produce, and test chemical products.
Median pay (2018): $48,160/year
6. Genetic Counselors
What do they do: Genetic counselors assess individual or family risk for a variety of conditions that are inherited, genetic, or congenital disabilities. They provide support to other healthcare providers or even directly to individuals and families concerned about potentially suffering from any inherited condition.
Median pay (2018): $80,370/year
7. Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists
What do they do: Life sciences isn’t primarily about medicine or agriculture but covers wildlife preservation as well. This is where Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists are required. To study the physical characteristics of animals and their changing behavior to determine how humans have been making an impact on wildlife and nature as a whole.
Median pay (2018): $63,420/year
8. Chemical Technicians
What do they do: Chemical technicians make use of special equipment and techniques that help chemists and chemical engineers with research, development, production, and testing of chemical products and various processes.
Median pay (2018): $48,160/year
What do they do: As the name hints, they have to do with studying microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, algae, and various other parasites. Microbiologists concern themselves with how such organisms live, grow, and evolve within their environments.
Median Pay (2018): $71,650/year
10. Biomedical Engineers
What do they do: Biomedical engineers are responsible for fusing technology and medical sciences. They work with engineering principles to design, develop, and deploy software that can be used in healthcare.
Median Pay (2018): $88,550/year
There you go, the top ten most lucrative careers you can have in life sciences. Another excellent option for passionate pursuers with an eye in marketing is ‘life sciences consulting.’ You will be assisting various life sciences organizations that work towards improving and changing people’s lives for the better. Some of the life sciences consulting firms are always welcoming upcoming and bright minds to their teams to further their objective, which is to provide top-notch assistance to the med-tech firms that can change the course of humanity for the better.
So put your best foot forward and be the one that creates a difference.