Jobs & Salary for a Neuroscience Major
Growth Trends for Related Jobs
Selecting neuroscience as your college major means lots of time researching, studying and performing lab experiments to support your education. This major joins the studies of psychology and more traditional sciences like chemistry, according to CollegeBoard.com, meaning that you will have both lecture and lab-focused courses. By melding together these two different types of studies, the goal is to gain a greater insight into how the brain works. This degree can lead to a range of employment opportunities.
A bachelor’s degree focusing in neuroscience is one step toward becoming a practicing psychiatrist. Psychiatrists are medical doctors that focus on treating patients with mental health challenges. These doctors diagnose patients, facilitate individual and group therapy sessions, prescribe medication, perform medical tests, complete continuing education and bill various insurance groups. The median salary for psychiatrists, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $167,610.
With a neuroscience degree, another possible job path is to become a medical scientist. Some of these positions require that the applicant have a graduate degree in addition to the undergraduate degree, but not all. Medical scientists are responsible for creating and researching things like vaccines and medications. Medical scientists may also participate in the approval and review process of new medications, according to StateUniversity.com. This includes facilitating clinical trials and interacting with volunteers in those trials. Often this work occurs in an office or laboratory setting. The median salary for medical scientists, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is $86,710.
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
According to Wellesley College, those with an undergraduate degree in neuroscience can find success as sales representatives in the pharmaceutical field. These positions are often considered entry-level and do not require further education past the undergraduate level. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median salary for a sales representative in the pharmaceutical field is $74,840.
An undergraduate degree in neuroscience can support employment as an imaging technician specializing in the field of neuroimagery. This job occurs inside a hospital-type setting, though increasing numbers of imaging technicians work in specialized imaging centers. The median salary for imaging technicians as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is $52,210 though this varies depending on the area of specialty.
- College Board: Major: Neuroscience
- College Board: Career: Psychiatrists
- College Board: Career: Career: Biological Scientists
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2010 29-1066 Psychiatrists
- College Board: Career: Medical Scientists
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2010 19-1042 Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists
- Wellesley College: Careers in Neuroscience
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing
- Carthage: Neuroscience
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Radiologic Technologists and Technicians
Lynn Anders has more than 15 years of professional experience working as a zookeeper, wildlife/environmental/conservation educator and in nonprofit pet rescue. Writing since 2007, her work has appeared on various websites, covering pet-related, environmental, financial and parenting topics. Anders has a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies and biology from California State University, Sacramento.