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Little-known careers in your major: biology and environmental science

Picking a major can be daunting. Considering all the career choices that accompany it seems impossible. Below is the second installment of Connect’s newest series exploring little-knowns careers for each major. 

Biology

Biology degrees are popular due to the various routes and opportunities available. Jobs range from a scientist, a pharmaceutical sales representative, and an educator to a research assistant and a technician. A couple of less obvious and interesting careers in the biology field are jobs such as a medical illustrator or an occupational health and safety specialist.

Medical Illustrator

A medical illustrator is exactly what it sounds like: a mixture of artistic skills and biological science knowledge. Therefore, it is critical to also have a concentration in art, a minor in art or at least experience from art courses. Like any illustrator, a medical illustrator must be able to draw, paint and understand color theory, create computer graphics and print in 3D. According to ExploreHealthCareers.org, a medical illustrator or animator can expect a salary of $62,000, the median, to $100,000.

Occupational health and safety specialist

Occupational health and safety specialists tend to the health and well-being of American workers. This particular specialist conducts inspections in the workplace to ensure that businesses are in compliance with governmental regulations to prevent diseases, injuries or environmental damage. Their jobs typically consist of traveling to distinct job settings to collect data, analyze the location, run tests and measure hazards. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for an occupational health and safety specialist is $71,780.

Occupational health and safety specialists ensure employers meet the standards and regulations for a healthy and safe work environment. Photo courtesy of Pexels.

Occupational health and safety specialists ensure employers meet the standards and regulations for a healthy and safe work environment. Photo courtesy of Pexels.

Environmental Science and Policy

Someone looking to earn a degree in environmental science and policy is seeking, to one way or another, improve and protect the natural world and those who inhabit it. Research skills, science knowledge and an understanding of statistics and ethics are at the forefront of this field.

Most often, a bachelor’s in environmental science and policy will lead to jobs as a conservation scientist or an environmental scientist. On the policy side, a professional can work with businesses, nonprofit organizations or the government to create and implement policies.

Environmental lawyers, environmental engineers and climatologist are other common jobs, but they require a master’s degree focused on those subjects.

Forester

A job as a forester is perfect for someone who is passionate about working outdoors. A forester is a bit of a scientist, manager and protector. A deep understanding of the different elements, stages and natural features of a forest are important as many foresters take on conservation efforts. It is common for foresters to manage other scientists and environmental technicians as well as preventing forest fires and harvesting trees. According to Glassdoor, a forester’s salary is $47,975.

Roan Mountain in Tennessee. Photo courtesy of Will Swann on Unsplash.

Roan Mountain in Tennessee. Photo courtesy of Will Swann on Unsplash.

Enjoyed this? 

Check out the first installment: LITTLE-KNOWN CAREERS IN YOUR MAJOR: CRIMINOLOGY AND ENGLISH

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