Biology Careers That Don't Require Medical School

There has always been an underlying assumption that those majoring in biology are also on a pre-med track, but for the large majority of students, this is not the case. Many biology undergrads, including myself, are interested in healthcare careers but do not want to go on to attend medical school. Most healthcare jobs that directly interact with patients will require a Master’s degree; however, many people within these fields argue that the extra schooling has definitely been worth the time and money. There are also other jobs available in the biomedical field that only require a Bachelor’s degree, too! As an undergrad, you definitely don’t need to know exactly what you want to do with your life, but there is also nothing wrong with learning more about what jobs are available.

1. Genetic Counselors

Genetic counselors work with families to identify any genetic risk factors present within their family and determine the mode of inheritance for these diseases. They usually collaborate with other genetic counselors, social workers, geneticists, dietitians, oncologists, etc. to provide the best support to the patient and their family.

2. Physician Assistant

For those who still want to diagnose and treat patients, becoming a physician assistant is a great career choice. It takes 2 ½ years after undergrad to become a PA—but once you graduate you can easily switch between specialties without needing new certification. Physician assistants are considered the best health care jobs with the highest job satisfaction, according to US News.

3. Speech-Language Pathologist

This job also requires a Master’s degree, but those in this field also report a high job satisfaction rate. Speech-Language Pathologists help many people, from stroke victims to toddlers, with their speech and social communication.

4. Medical Imaging Technician

Different jobs in this area include being an ultrasound, radiology, x-ray, CT, MRI, PET, etc. imaging technologist. These jobs require a certification that usually takes under a year to complete, and the employment outlook is expected to grow.

5. Physical Therapist

After obtaining a Bachelor’s degree, it takes three more years to earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. There is a lot of flexibility with where a PT can work, ranging from an outpatient hospital setting to even opening up their own practice. They can also focus on rehabilitation after surgery, injuries, or sports medicine.