How to Become a Medical Scientist

Projected Job Growth: 36%
Projected Employment Change: 36,400

Medical scientists are in charge of developing research projects that seek to discover ways to improve health. They study diseases, develop treatments, and utilize technology to assist health departments and pharmaceutical companies. Their work leads to the development of immunizations and pharmaceuticals. They are also responsible for writing reports and grant requests. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), from which the above figures were taken, the field is growing much faster than the average career.

Why Medical Science?

The medical science field is expanding rapidly at a rate that’s much quicker than the national average, according to the BLS. In addition, medical scientists have the potential to earn a competitive salary, as the average is approximately $76,700 annually, the BLS reported. However, keep in mind that individual earnings will vary. Medical scientists also have the option of pursuing careers in multiple arenas, including public organizations, private industries, and within the government. They can tailor their research according to their interests as well, giving them control over the kind of research they wish to pursue.

Getting Into Medical Science

Medical scientists need at least a doctoral degree, though some medical scientists have a doctorate and a medical degree, so that they can practice medicine and conduct research. Before a student can earn a doctorate, however, they must first earn a bachelor’s degree. There are many online degree programs in biology, chemistry, and other science fields, from which students can choose. The best online degree programs will prepare students to conduct research, work in laboratories, and write journal articles. Online degree programs in medical science should also hone students’ communication skills. After earning a bachelor’s degree, potential medical scientists can then earn a doctoral degree or attend medical school.