The 6 Most In-Demand Life Sciences Jobs Right Now

Scientist 3

Original publication date: September 25, 2019

The life sciences industry is ever-evolving and job hunters should be well-aware of the roles that are driving the industry. One of the great things about life sciences is how dynamic the field is, merging biology, chemistry, physics, data science, molecular biology and other fields. In many cases, jobs are created to meet specific needs—meaning it’s possible that in a few years the hot new job will be something you’ve never heard of! According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (U.S. BLS), many of the jobs in the life sciences industry are expected to see some significant growth in the near future.

In its Occupational Outlook Handbook, the government compiled its projections and found that there are six particular fields that are expected to see high growth over the next decade.

The 6 Most-In-Demand Life Sciences Jobs Right Now

Statisticians and Mathematicians
Genetic Counselors
Operations Research Analysts
Medical and Health Service Managers
 Computer and Information Research Scientists


1. Statisticians and Mathematicians 

With the increasing reliance on big data in drug development, as well as a greater call for the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, it’s no wonder that statisticians and mathematicians are in high demand. Between 2018 and 2028, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 30% growth in the field. A recent poll of life sciences executives shows that the new frontiers of precision medicine are data-centric, meaning that AI-based tools and similar platforms are critical to managing the changing shape of data. The patient-centered approach requires access to more data, from a greater variety of sources, including sensors, wearables and real-world data and that means the statisticians will be necessary to conduct critical analysis.

Job titles for statisticians and mathematicians in biotech include biometricians, biostatisticians and research biostatisticians. The median salary for statisticians and mathematicians, according to government statistics, is $88,190. As of 2016, there were 47,300 positions in the United States, the U.S. BLS said.

2. Genetic Counselors

Genetic Counselors continue to be an in-demand job for the biopharmaceutical industry. Over the 10-year period of 2018 to 2028, BLS projects a 27% growth in the number of jobs open to this field. Genetic counselors assess individual or family risk for a variety of inherited conditions, such as genetic disorders and birth defects. The majority of the positions in this field can be found in university settings, as well as hospitals diagnostic laboratories, and physicians’ offices. According to the U.S. BLS, the average salary for Genetic Counselors is $80,370.

In 2018, the most recent year for which the U.S. BLS has compiled statistics, there were about 3,000 such positions in the United States.

3. Operations Research Analysts

Working hand-in-hand with statisticians and mathematicians, operations research analysts use advanced mathematical and analytical methods to help solve complex issues. According to the U.S. BLS, employment of operations research analysts is projected to grow 26% from 2018 to 2028, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. As technology advances and companies seek efficiency and cost savings, demand for operations research analysis should continue to grow, the U.S. BLS notes in its analysis.

As of 2018, the median salary for operations research analysts was $83,390 and there were about 109,700 such jobs in the U.S.

4. Phlebotomists

In health care, phlebotomists play a significant role in the day-to-day collection of blood used in medical testing. In addition to drawing blood for medical tests, phlebotomists also draw blood for transfusions, research or blood donations. Between 2018 and 2028, the employment of phlebotomists is projected to grow by 23%. Phlebotomists typically work in hospitals, laboratories, blood donor centers and doctors’ offices.

As of May 2018, the median salary for phlebotomists was $34,480.

5. Medical and Health Service Managers

As the U.S. BLS describes it, medical and health services managers “plan, direct, and coordinate the business activities of healthcare providers.” Employment of medical and health services managers is projected to grow 18 percent from 2018 to 2028. These types of positions can be found in offices in healthcare facilities, including hospitals and nursing homes, and group medical practices.

Job titles for medical and health service managers in biotech include clinical trial managers, clinical managers or clinical research managers. The median salary for these jobs, as of May 2018, is $99,730, according to the U.S. BLS’ outlook. The number of jobs in this field, as of 2018, was 406,100, according to the U.S. BLS.

6. Computer and Information Research Scientists 

If it wasn’t apparent yet how important the role of big data is to drug design, this position should provide even more confirmation. Computer and information research scientists invent and design new approaches to computing technology and find innovative uses for existing technology, the U.S. BLS report shows. Employment of computer and information research scientists, which would include jobs such as bioinformatics, is projected to grow 16% from 2018 to 2028.

As of 2018, there were approximately 31,700 such jobs with an average salary of $118,370.

If you wonder about additional specific job title salaries or salaries by geographic region, check out the 2019 BioSpace Salary Report!



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