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Medical Physiology Career Options

  • Career and Salary Information for Jobs Related to Medical Physiology

    How a Physiology Degree Benefits You

    By completing a graduate program in medical physiology, you’ll develop an in-demand skill set and make a real difference in the physical health of others. You’ll also expand your access to a diverse array of related occupations, including the ones listed below. Each of these jobs enjoys a higher median salary than the national overall median of $37,690 and has a higher estimated rate of employment increase than the 7 percent average growth rate for U.S. occupations overall.1

    Physiology Careers Within the Healthcare Industry

    The most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates indicate that 1.9 million healthcare jobs will be added between 2018 and 2028, a higher growth rate than any other occupational group.2 Earning a certificate in medical physiology can help you advance your career in this robust industry, in occupations including:

    1. Epidemiologist
      Use your problem-solving skills to investigate causes of diseases and injuries as an epidemiologist. You can combine your passions for resolving complex problems and medical physiology while helping to prevent the spread of diseases. Epidemiologists earn a median salary of $70,990 per year (about $34.13 per hour) with a projected increase in employment of 5 percent.3

    2. Medical Scientist
      Apply your research skills toward improving overall human health as a medical scientist. Using clinical trials and other analytical methods, you’ll conduct research that will contribute to the prevention and treatment of — and potential cures for — diseases. Medical scientists earn a median salary of $88,790 per year (about $42.69 per hour) with a projected increase in employment of 8 percent.4

    3. Physician Assistant
      Collaborate with other healthcare workers as you examine and treat patients as a physician assistant. You’ll be able to work in a variety of environments, including hospitals, primary care offices and surgery centers. Physician assistants earn a median salary of $112,260 per year (about $53.97 per hour) with a projected increase in employment of 31 percent.5

    Advanced Career Options Related to Physiology

    Perhaps you have your sights set on attending a health-profession school to achieve your long-term goal of becoming a doctor in a specific medical field, like the occupations listed below. Completing a medical physiology graduate program will strengthen your understanding of the human body: an advantage which can improve your scores on the MCAT and other similar exams, increasing your chances of being accepted into your desired health-profession school.

    1. Physician

      Pursue your passion for patient care in a fast-paced environment as a physician. You’ll make important decisions regarding your patients’ medications and order and interpret diagnostic testing based on their medical history and current symptoms. Physicians earn a median salary of $208,000 per year (or $100.00 per hour) with a projected increase in employment of 7 percent.6

    2. Dentist

      Teach your patients the oral hygiene habits that will help them prevent diseases and promote overall health! As a dentist, you’ll conduct regular exams and treat your patients’ teeth, gums and other related parts of their mouth. Dentists earn a median salary of $159,200 per year (or $76.54 per hour) with a projected increase in employment of 7 percent.7

    3. Optometrist

      Use your vision care expertise to help your patients avoid visual abnormalities and ocular diseases! As you conduct exams, you’ll help your patients see life’s important moments clearly. Optometrists earn a median salary of $115,250 per year (or $55.41 per hour) with a projected increase in employment of 10 percent.8

    Physiology Careers Outside the Healthcare Industry

    If a career in the healthcare industry is not of interest to you, that’s ok! As a student in a medical physiology graduate program, you’ll develop critical thinking skills and learn to conduct thorough research. These competencies are in high demand and can be transferred to areas beyond the healthcare industry, such as the occupations listed below.

    1. Adjunct Professor
      Share your passion for physiology with the next generation of students as an adjunct professor. Teaching in a public or private college provides you with the opportunity to work almost anywhere around the world. Adjunct professors earn a median salary of $79,540 per year (or $38.24 per hour) with a projected increase in employment of 11 percent.9

    2. Exercise Physiologist
      Assist individuals recovering from cardiovascular or other chronic conditions as an exercise physiologist. You’ll use the latest fitness research to develop customized training programs that will improve your patients’ overall body composition and flexibility. Exercise physiologists earn a median salary of $49,170 per year (or $23.64 per hour) with a projected increase in employment of 10 percent.10

    3. Technical Writer
      Use your ability to convey complex information in an easy-to-understand format as a technical writer. Through research and collaboration, you’ll guide your readers through challenging technical tasks, such as setting up complex equipment, and develop journal articles and other supporting documents. Technical writers earn a median salary of $72,850 per year (or $35.02 per hour) with a projected increase in employment of 8 percent.11


    Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Outlook Handbook,” United States Department of Labor, June 2020. Available on the occupational pages referenced below.
    Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Outlook Handbook,” United States Department of Labor, June 2020. Available at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home.htm.
    Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Outlook Handbook,” United States Department of Labor, June 2020. Available at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/epidemiologists.htm.
    Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Outlook Handbook,” United States Department of Labor, June 2020. Available at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/medical-scientists.htm.
    Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Outlook Handbook,” United States Department of Labor, June 2020. Available at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physician-assistants.htm.
    Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Outlook Handbook,” United States Department of Labor, June 2018. Available at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physicians-and-surgeons.htm.
    Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Outlook Handbook,” United States Department of Labor, June 2020. Available at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dentists.htm.
    Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Outlook Handbook,” United States Department of Labor, June 2020. Available at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/optometrists.htm.
    Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Outlook Handbook,” United States Department of Labor, June 2020. Available at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/education-training-and-library/postsecondary-teachers.htm.
    10 Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Outlook Handbook,” United States Department of Labor, June 2020. Available at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/exercise-physiologists.htm.
    11 Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Occupational Outlook Handbook,” United States Department of Labor, June 2020. Available at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/media-and-communication/technical-writers.htm.