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Biological & Physical Science Major

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Biological & Physical Science

2,255 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
450 Master's Degrees Annually
#124 in Popularity
$139,680 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Biological & Physical Science Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many biological and physical science graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Associate’s Degree 24,581
Bachelor’s Degree 2,260
Master’s Degree 450
Basic Certificate 229
Graduate Certificate 141
Doctor’s Degree 68
Undergraduate Certificate 22

What Biological & Physical Science Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to biological science and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Biological Science Majors

Biological Science majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

Skills for Biological Science Majors

When studying biological science, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Abilities for Biological Science Majors

Biological Science majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Biological & Physical Science Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with biological science:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Clinical Research Coordinators 9.9% $123,860
Natural Sciences Managers 9.9% $123,860

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Biological & Physical Science?

2,260 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
61% Percent Women
32% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 2,255 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biological and physical science in 2018, making it rank #124 in popularity. The major attracts more women than men. About 61% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of biological science majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Biological Science Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 243
Black or African American 173
Hispanic or Latino 217
White 1,380
International Students 62
Other Races/Ethnicities 185

Geographic Diversity

Biological Science appeals to people across the globe. About 2.7% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • India
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Canada

How Much Do Biological & Physical Science Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in biological and physical science made a median starting salary of $30,600 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $26,150 (25th percentile) and $30,600 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in biological science, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Biological Science majors often go into careers with median salaries of $139,680. This median refers to all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Biological & Physical Science Major  139680
0K
250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with biological science require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for biological science careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 4.2%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 4.3%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 5.2%
Bachelor’s Degree 49.1%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 3.3%
Master’s Degree 14.2%
Doctoral Degree 11.4%
Post-Doctoral Training 7.1%

Online Biological & Physical Science Programs

In the 2017-2018 academic year, 376 schools offered some type of biological and physical science program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 7 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 3 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 191 11
Bachelor’s Degree 11 1
Post-Baccalaureate 7 0
Master’s Degree 48 3
Post-Master’s 2 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 16 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Biological & Physical Science Worth It?

The median salary for a biological science grad is $139,680 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 250% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,995,600 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to biological science.

Major Number of Grads
Other Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies 34,540
International Studies 8,097
Interdisciplinary Studies 6,179
Nutrition Science 4,990
Behavioral Science 4,502
Natural Sciences 2,445
Cognitive Science 1,875
Sustainability Science 1,682
Gerontology 1,380
Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution 1,297
Human Computer Interaction 1,146
Human Biology 1,066
Science, Technology & Society 1,060
Mathematics & Computer Science 833
Museum Studies 778
Systems Theory 694
Computational Science 619
Dispute Resolution 583
Historic Preservation 446
Multicultural & Diversity Studies 416
Classical & Ancient Studies 315
Marine Science 243
Cultural Studies & Analysis 236
Biopsychology 158
Medieval Studies 119
Holocaust Studies 54
Accounting & Computer Science 45
Maritime Studies 15

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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