Scientist with equipment and science experiments.
Career Development | 6/28/2024

Life Science Jobs: What It Takes To Enter This Field

Scientist with equipment and science experiments.

Discover job opportunities in the life science industry and learn how to enter this field with the help of Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.

Life science jobs are extremely diverse and enable graduates to specialize in several areas, from molecular biology to biotechnology, pharmacology and anatomy. But before you enter this industry, you must first earn your degree. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (MCPHS) offers several program options for you to choose from.

Let’s look at the necessary steps for entering a life science career in the United States and what paths you can take.

How To Get a Job in Life Sciences

Pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences (BSHS) will position you to attain a career in the life science field. This four-year program covers general medical practices, health sciences, and core topics for a range of clinical and non-clinical roles. At MCPHS, you can choose from two tracks: 

  • Bachelor of Health Sciences - General: Looks at specific areas in healthcare, making it ideal for undecided majors who aren’t yet sure what type of career they want to pursue. This track provides key insights about a variety of health science topics and prepares students for graduate studies. 
  • Bachelor of Health Sciences - Health Education and Promotion: Teaches the ins and outs of health education, delivering topics necessary to be eligible for the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) exam. It's also an additional credential in health education and promotion for any clinical profession, including nursing and dental hygiene. 

All students take the same first-year curriculum, which gives them more time to determine what the best option for them is. Additionally, MCPHS students accepted into the Direct Entry Doctor of Pharmacy program will also be awarded a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy and Life Sciences, which is a STEM degree. 

After receiving a BSHS, students will have to decide what specialization or specific area interests them the most.

There are countless job opportunities, so depending on your qualifications and passions, you’ll be able to narrow your search. A helpful place to start is to understand the market and various specializations. You’ll get a grasp throughout your studies, but it may require additional research after you graduate. It’s also beneficial to know what education level your desired career requires. While some may only need a bachelor’s degree, others may want a master’s degree or even a doctorate. 

Life Science Jobs: What Jobs Are Available to Graduates?

Once your passions and education requirements align, you’ve found the right fit. If you’re unsure what areas of life science most interest you, don’t worry. Here are some life science career options to inspire your search:

Laboratory Technician

A laboratory technician assists lab personnel by maintaining lab equipment, setting up equipment, running tests, and recording data results. They’re an entry-level research associate who works with complex systems to help guide scientific procedures, aiding in routine projects that take place in labs and accurately tracking performances. 

Medical Sales Representative

A medical sales representative sells medical supplies and equipment to healthcare professionals or medical facilities. They promote medical products or services to a variety of physicians and facilities, including hospitals, medical centers, and doctor’s offices. These professionals often have a history in healthcare practices, giving them the necessary industry knowledge to recommend products that will be most helpful for providers to care for their patients.  


This type of worker is a research scientist who specializes in studying organisms like bacteria, fungi, algae, and viruses. Microbiologists look at microscopic life forms and processes to learn about the relationship between organisms and diseases that can impact them. They can work in various industries, looking at topics such as pathology, epidemiology, and ecology to gain knowledge about the environment these life forms live in. Microbiologists may also choose to work more on the consulting side of things, guiding private companies and lawmakers in policies related to their field of study. 

Technical Writer

Technical writers create descriptive copy for instruction manuals, guides, and scientific articles that inform or instruct the reader on particular life science topics. This is on the creative side of life science jobs, making it suitable for people interested in the subject area but who don’t want to perform lab work. Similar to a medical writer, they generally conduct research, write educational content, create diagrams, and edit written materials or peer work for publication.

Life science technical writers can cover topics such as molecular biology, medicine, and ecology, as well as any other areas that may interest industry professionals. For example, describing how to use a new medical device for the best patient experience. It would also discuss how facility employees can stay compliant with rules set by regulatory affairs professionals when using this innovation.

Wildlife Biologist

A wildlife biologist is a type of research scientist who studies the behaviors and physical attributes of wild animals. They have a similar job to zoologists, as they look at animals both in captivity and in the wilderness to learn how they interact with their ecosystems. These professionals also work to understand how humans impact the environment and animals’ natural habitats. They may work in zoos, labs, nature preserves, and national parks. 

Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineering is the use of engineering processes to solve biological and medical problems for a wide range of health improvements. Professionals in this job conduct medical device development, utilizing biomedical science to help physicians perform their work more efficiently. They also look at how their work can improve the health and well-being of patients. Biomedical engineering involves conducting clinical research, designing prototypes, testing new technologies, and marketing them to medical facilities. 

Start Your Journey at MCPHS

MCPHS created the Center for Life Sciences for students interested in discovering more about biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, biomanufacturing, and other related areas. This center helps learners prepare for careers in the life sciences, giving them a space to learn about professional skills and conduct cutting-edge clinical research. They also gain real-world experience alongside other students. 

With our rich history and experienced professors, MCPHS is excited to welcome students looking to help their communities and advance the medical industry. Whether you want to look for postdoctoral positions, jobs in biomedical science, or be a senior director in a life sciences-focused company, our team can help you get there.

Learn more about the Center for Life Sciences today.