Neuroscience Jobs: Joining a High-Paying Career

Information Last Verified: August 24, 2021 by Jordan Fabel

Finding the right neuroscience jobs isn’t always easy. There are some very common jobs for this major and some more specialized options. You will need quite a bit of education to enter most of these career options.

If you want to major in neuroscience, it can open up plenty of job opportunities. Let’s look at some of the many jobs available for neuroscience majors.

Neuroscience Career Paths

Most Common Neuroscience Jobs

Psychiatrist

A medical doctor working in the area of mental health is a psychiatrist. This type of position is a great choice for a neuroscience major to consider. As a psychiatrist, you will offer therapy and counseling for patients. You can also prescribe treatments for disorders and mental illnesses.

Psychiatrists commonly work in private practice or a hospital. You will need to complete medical school and a residency. It will also be necessary to complete a fellowship if you choose a specialty.

The average salary for a psychiatrist is more than $200K per year. It will take plenty of education and time to earn this neuroscience job, but it can be well worth it.

Psychologist

If you don’t want to attend medical school, you can become a psychologist. This type of neuroscience job offers the ability to treat patients with non-drug therapies, including psychotherapy. In some states, you won’t be able to prescribe drugs as a psychologist.

You can work in various settings, including private practice, health care institutions, schools, and even businesses. Some may even specialize in helping law enforcement as forensic psychologists.

It’s common to get a doctorate in psychology to become a psychologist. A bachelor’s degree in neuroscience is a great start. It’s possible to work as a psychologist with a master’s degree as well.

Psychologists earn an average annual salary of about $77K.

Physician

Neuroscience majors commonly go to medical school and become physicians. This is one of the most common neuroscience jobs. Since physicians examine and diagnose patients, this is a good option for those with a neuroscience degree.

Physicians can work in many different areas, as well. They can work with children, families, adults, or in a very specific specialty. It will take plenty of time and work to become a physician.

You will need to start by getting a bachelor’s degree. Next, you need to take the MCAT (Medical College Admissions Test). Scoring well on the MCAT can help you get into the right medical school program. With the right MCAT prep course, you can ensure you will score high.

Along with the MCAT, you will need to attend medical school for four years. Once you’ve completed medical school, you need to complete a residency program. This will take three to seven years.

The average salary for a physician will depend on the specialty you enter. Family physicians can make an average salary of nearly $200K per year.

College Professor

It’s rather common for those with a degree in neuroscience to go on to teach. College professors will need a master’s degree or doctorate. If you want to help the next generation of students, becoming a teacher is a great career option.

As a college professor, you can teach neuroscience classes. This type of position earns an average salary of about $77K per year.

Neuroimaging Technician

You can specialize in medical imaging of the brain as a neuroimaging technician. This type of neuroscience career means you will likely use tests, such as MRI, CT, and PET scans. You will be trained to deal with many different types of brain scanning technologies. As a neuroimaging technician, you will also learn how to process images and organize data.

If you want to become a neuroimaging technician, you will need a bachelor’s degree, at least. Many will go on to get a master’s degree, which employees prefer.

As a neuroimaging technician, you can earn an annual salary of about $70K per year.

Medical Research Scientist

Maybe you prefer a career in research. As a medical research scientist, you will work on a team with other medical researchers. It’s common to work with students and technicians to conduct studies and develop new technologies.

Most medical research scientists will earn a master’s degree or doctorate in life sciences or biology. Getting a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience first is a great step. This type of job pays about $96K per year, on average.

Unique Jobs for Neuroscience Majors

Speech-Language Pathologist

Also known as speech therapists, speech-language pathologists work with adults and children. Typically, the patients they work with have issues with swallowing or communication. You will be trained to evaluate swallowing ability, language, and speech. You will also learn how to diagnose and carry out treatment plans.

Speech-language pathologists need at least a master’s degree. It’s also necessary to complete 400 hours of clinical experience under a licensed speech-language pathologist. A one-year fellowship is also necessary, along with passing the Praxis exam.

As a speech-language pathologist, you can earn an average salary of about $77K per year.

Psychometrist

Another neuroscience job you might be able to get is one as a psychometrist. This type of professional will administer and score psychological tests. It’s a job that includes calculating stats and gathering data. It’s likely, if you choose this neuroscience job, you will work for a testing company, university, or research facility. You might also end up working with healthcare facilities or in a criminal justice facility.

Many psychometrists will earn their doctorate. The average salary is about $84K per year.

Neurosurgeon

It makes sense that a neurosurgeon is one of the more unique neuroscience jobs. This type of specialized career pays very well and offers a unique option for those with the right skills. If you want to become a neurosurgeon, you will need to complete several years of training.

Neurosurgeons start as neuroscientists. After completing a bachelor’s degree, you will need to complete medical school and a one-year internship in general surgery. A five-to-seven-year neurosurgery residency is also necessary. It may also be possible to complete a fellowship in a specific area, also.

Neurosurgeons often work long hours. There are not many people in this field. However, the compensation comes in at an average of $208K per year.

Non-Traditional Neuroscience Careers

Science Journalist

Maybe you love science and writing. If so, a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience can lead to a job as a science journalist. This is a rather non-traditional neuroscience job. You might work for a website, newspaper, magazine, or another publication.

A degree isn’t required but can be very helpful. You can earn an average salary of about $40K per year as a science journalist.

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselor

It might not be on your list at first, but becoming a substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselor can be a rewarding neuroscience job. You will be trained to evaluate the mental health of a patient, along with offering a diagnosis.

This type of counselor will work with families and individuals to help create a treatment plan. You will also help people cope with the recovery. The educational requirements depend on the state, but most will require at least a bachelor’s degree.

This type of counselor will make an average annual salary of about $43K. A master’s degree can help improve your chances of getting a job and making a larger salary.

Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

If you want to go into neuroscience but prefer a job in sales, becoming a pharmaceutical sales representative fits well. It’s a bit of a non-traditional neuroscience job but can be very rewarding. You will use your scientific knowledge and work with people.

As a sales representative, you can work for a biotechnology or pharmaceutical company. You will help them sell their products, including medical devices and medications, to hospitals and doctors.

This type of neuroscience job offers an average annual salary of about $79K. You can get an entry-level pharmaceutical sales representative position with just a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience.

Neuroscience Jobs Only Requiring a Bachelor’s Degree

While the list above offers some options for neuroscience majors, you can get several other jobs with just a bachelor’s degree. Of course, the best-paying neuroscience jobs require a master’s degree or a doctorate.

Some of the most common neuroscience jobs you can get with a bachelor’s degree include:

Some of these positions may require training or certification after your bachelor’s degree. You may also need to start with an internship or volunteer work to gain some experience first.

Jordan Fabel

Jordan Fabel

Covering different 'paths' that people's lives can take. Creative, foster parent, ticket dismissal, you get the idea. Exploring the requirements, certifications, exams, and obviously, approved courses along each path. I, personally, am the high school dropout son of two teacher parents. So how did I get here? That story takes more time. Coming soon!