13 Career Options In Life Science (With Salary and Duties)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 6 December 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

The field of life sciences has gradually experienced remarkable progress because of significant discoveries and innovations in science and technology. This has given a rise in opportunities for people who might wish to explore suitable jobs in the domain and pursue specialities like pharmacology, biotechnology and genetics. Choosing from its various disciplines can often lead you to a rewarding and promising career. In this article, we discuss several exciting career options in life science and look at their primary responsibilities.

Career options in life science

There are many career options in life science, as it involves studying the astonishing diversity of living things on the planet. Life science is the study of life in all of its stages. There are countless species and subspecies of living organisms, including animals, plants, viruses, bacteria and other forms. Therefore, you can study a variety of the different aspects of life forms and opt for a profession accordingly. Here are 13 career options in life science:

1. Pharmacologist

Average base salary: ₹7,39,431 per year

Primary duties: Pharmacologists study the interactions of chemical substances with the human body and other organic life processes and the positive and negative effects of chemicals on specific body parts. They usually aim to get a detailed knowledge of diseases, create new pharmaceuticals to treat them and ensure that people can use existing drugs safely. Their duties may involve screening chemicals, developing medications, explaining the situations suitable for consuming medicines, suggesting optimal dosage and conducting laboratory-controlled tests and clinical trials. They may investigate other compounds, such as poisons and toxins, to learn how they can harm the body.

2. Microbiologist

Average base salary: ₹17,739 per month

Primary duties: Microbiologists observe and research microscopic organisms such as algae, bacteria, fungi and viruses using a wide range of analytical approaches. They may work to advance scientific understanding and to apply this insight to enhance performance in medicine and related industries. This work may include organising and carrying out experimental research initiatives in a laboratory setting. They may also have more administrative responsibilities, such as overseeing scientists and assessing their findings. Clinical microbiologists may meet patients and perform different tests on patient samples to diagnose diseases.

3. Clinical research associate

Average base salary: ₹18,238 per month

Primary duties: Clinical research associates are usually in charge of biotechnological and healthcare applications, medications and processes in clinical trials and studies. A clinical research associate may conduct tests to investigate whether these medications are safe to put on the market. They may work for pharmaceutical organisations or for contract research organisations (CROs) that work on their behalf. They may also run clinical trials on patients with an illness and conduct studies after a new drug's release to assess its effectiveness, safety and side effects.

Read more: How To Become A Medical Researcher (Complete Guide)

4. Computational biologist

Average base salary: ₹21,479 per month

Primary duties: A computational biologist combines biological and data science expertise to interpret and present new data. This discipline may cover a broad range of biological studies, like drug research, ecology, genetics and has grown in recent years alongside biotech and pharmaceutical sectors. Computational biologists may work for research organisations or private firms involved in research. They generally focus on applying mathematical and statistical tools to solve biomedical and biological problems. They can design and run sophisticated algorithms, data types, imaging and communication tools to develop computer modelling of living systems for improved disease prevention and treatment techniques.

5. Biotechnologist

Average base salary: ₹25,925 per month

Primary duties: Biotechnology is a science that combines biology and technology. A biotechnologist may investigate the chemical, genetic and physical properties of cells, tissues and organisms to create new technologies, procedures and solutions that address some of society's most urgent needs. They may use technology that employs biological systems to create a product with a specific application. They may also engage in research and development in sectors such as health care, agriculture, food production, biofuels, animal husbandry, environmental protection and pharmaceutical and chemical industries, among others.

6. Biochemist

Average base salary: ₹25,581 per month

Primary duties: Biochemists study the chemical natures of living entities such as cells, plants and animals. This might include biological processes, genetics, organism growth and disease. They may conduct experiments systematically and examine the results. Biochemists may study living systems at the molecular level and apply what they learn to discover and fix biological problems. They also conduct research and development to improve industries like food processing, pharmaceuticals, health care and agriculture. In laboratory settings, they may frequently collaborate with biophysicists.

7. Biomedical scientist

Average base salary: ₹26,100 per month

Primary duties: Biomedical scientists look at various medical samples to enable doctors to diagnose and treat diseases. They may use modern computer-aided and automated testing processes to examine blood, tissue, urine and faeces materials for chemical components. They may advise doctors and other medical personnel based on their knowledge and test results. Biomedical professionals are generally well-skilled in pathology, anatomy, physiology and other related fields. Biomedical scientists typically research and diagnose diseases like HIV, cancer, diabetes, food poisoning, hepatitis and meningitis in patients. They usually do most of their jobs in a laboratory setting.

8. Epidemiologist

Average base salary: ₹32,964 per month

Primary duties: An epidemiologist can usually ensure that there are no disease outbreaks in any region. They are generally in charge of designing response strategies to prevent the spread of deadly infectious diseases or epidemics like cholera, dengue and swine flu, to name a few. The key responsibilities of epidemiologists may include gathering data for testing, examining diseases, establishing a system of protocol, conveying findings to the public, policymakers and relevant authorities. They may also compile reports on the spread of diseases that may be on the rise.

9. Research assistant

Average base salary: ₹23,674 per month

Primary duties: A research assistant is a scholar hired by a university or research centre to assist in academic study, usually temporarily. Research assistants may be accountable to a supervisor. They may maintain laboratory equipment, help scientists to perform experiments, collect data and analyse it to discover new things. Research assistants may also help present new findings to their supervisor or the public. They may rarely conduct independent research themselves and might not be directly responsible for the research's outcome. Research assistants are generally degree holders and may teach while pursuing their master's or PhDs.

10. Biostatistician

Average base salary: ₹3,34,967 per year

Primary duties: Biostatisticians usually handle healthcare issues in the private or public sector. They might work in an office or in labs to conduct research and develop parameters for new research. Research scientists often rely on them for various complex statistical skills, guidance and help. Biostatisticians may study genetic information and infection or disease rates regularly. They may utilise this data to conduct research trials for the screening of experimental drugs. Biostatisticians involved in academia and government policy may research populations to assess the long-term consequences of exposure to hazardous materials from gas leaks, toxic runoffs or oil spills.

11. Bioinformatics analyst

Average base salary: ₹5,64,352 per year

Primary duties: Bioinformatics analysts assist scientists in managing, interpreting and examining genomic and molecular data. They may construct or pick algorithms to process, analyse, visualise and interpret this data. Bioinformatics analysts may also employ statistical tools or data mining approaches. They may apply their programming skills to improve software products, databases and analytical tools. While bioinformatics may focus on the human genome, animal biologists and environmental scientists are increasingly in need of bioinformatics professionals.

12. Marine biologist

Average base salary: ₹19,084 per month

Primary duties: Marine biologists are scientists who study marine life and look for ways to better their ecosystems and surroundings. They generally work for laboratories and marine life centres. They may often take samples of aquatic life to see how effectively they adapt to various pollutants and other substances that may be harmful to them. Marine biologists may examine these samples to create new theories and methods for ensuring the safety and continued existence of aquatic life on the planet.

Read more: How To Become A Marine Biologist In 6 Steps (With FAQ)

13. Molecular biologist

Average base salary: ₹27,386 per month

Primary duties: Molecular biologists study plant, animal and human genetics at the molecular level. They may use their expertise and learning of chemistry, physiology, genetics, physics and biology to extract DNA and RNA samples from living organisms and study their interactions. They may examine DNA variations that show a tendency for disease or a reason for disease resistance. Molecular biologists may also develop new crops through genetic engineering and help to find pollutants in the environment. These specialists often create better techniques for detecting and treating diseases.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

Salary figures reflect data listed on the quoted websites at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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