Biologists have a diverse range of career paths available to them, ranging from pharmacy technician to high school teacher to registered nurse. Most of the career paths for biologists that offer the highest salary potential have some connection with health care or the medical profession, providing care to humans or animals.
A popular career choice for those who pursue biology as their undergraduate major is becoming a registered nurse, or RN. In the complex medical environment of the early 21st century, RNs enjoy a wide array of career path choices, especially for those willing to acquire further education such as a master’s degree. According to the All Nursing Schools website, career paths for RNs include travel nurse, military nurse, forensic nurse and legal nurse consultant. RNs with a biology academic background can attain annual salaries of approximately £45,500.
Biotechnology Research Assistant
The next most highly paid career path for biologists after that of registered nurse is research associate in the biotechnology industry. Those in this career path use up-to-date scientific techniques and tools to study the functions of living systems. This research is useful in solving scientific problems such as environmental issues. In some cases, biotechnology research assistants may also conduct health care research involving medical devices and pharmaceuticals. Biologists working as biotechnology research assistants can earn annual salaries of approximately £39,000, according to the PayScale website.
Clinical Research Assistant
Biology professionals will find the third highest salary prospects as a clinical research associate. Like biotechnology research assistants, clinical research assistants work with scientific techniques and tools. A clinical research assistant's work, however, focuses specifically on health care-related inquiries such as developing pharmaceuticals or finding cures for diseases, according to the American Institute of Biological Sciences. Clinical research assistants may attain annual salaries of approximately £37,700 to £38,350, according to the PayScale website.
Medical/Clinical Laboratory Technologist
Medical/clinical laboratory technologists typically earn the fourth highest salary among candidates with biology training. Technologists analyse data and work in areas including preservation of parks and other conservation lands, endangered species recovery programs at zoos, and veterinary practice environments. These technologists can achieve annual salaries of approximately £35,750, according to the PayScale website.