What does a physiologist do? Physiology is a broad field encompassing a variety of niches across both human and animal. Physiologists spend their time studying bodies, both human and animal, and all their many parts.
Some careers you can consider when going into physiology are:
- Exercise physiologist: When a patient is recovering from a chronic illness or severe injury, an exercise physiologist helps him or her improve in whatever area has been affected by coming up with a plan and an exercise program. A bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology is the minimal requirement. Median annual salary is close to $50K. Plenty of job opportunities are available through 2026; the field is seeing an above average employment growth.
- Veterinary physiologist: You will study all types of animals’ biological systems and functions and investigate how they work. You may find that you end up on the research side of the field, helping advance animal medicine. To become a veterinary physiologist, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in animal and veterinary sciences or animal physiology, minimally. You can decide to get a master’s or doctoral in this field. You’ll be able to go into veterinary medicine or zoology and wildlife biology, to name a couple. The closest related salary would be to that of a veterinarian. Expect to make in the vicinity of $90K annually on average.
- Cardiovascular or cardiophysiologist: As a cardiophysiologist, your focus will be on the human cardiovascular system. You’re most commonly known as a cardiovascular technologist or technician, depending on your degree. With an associate’s degree, you can become a technician. If you have a bachelor’s degree, you’ll be eligible to get a cardiac technologist job. The median salary for this position is just over $55K.
- Neurophysiologist: Neurophysiologists concentrate on studying the human nervous system. Minimally, you’ll need to have a bachelor’s degree. But, you’ll have better opportunities with higher degrees like a Ph.D. The average salary for neurophysiologists is just over the $71K mark, according to Glassdoor. Recruiter.com states that there is greater than a 10 percent increase in demand for qualified neurophysiologists.
Steps to Becoming a Physiologist
Once you’re a physiologist of any kind, you’ll be working in both a lab and an office. You’ll probably work full time, with a typical 8-8.5 hours per day. To break into this career, here’s what you’ll need to do:
- Graduate high school.
- Get a bachelor’s degree in physiology or biology sciences.
- Get a master’s degree in physiology or applied anatomy and physiology.
- While in your master’s degree program, get an internship.
- Get your doctorate in physiology. It will make you more employable.
- Now you are qualified to find an entry-level job and can start working your way up!
Salary and Job Outlook for Physiologists
The salary of a physiologist is determined by the type of job, which industry it is in, and geographic location. Salaries can range from about $45,000 for the bottom 10% to $130,000 for the top 10%, but the average is $80,370.
Across the field, employment growth is expected to be average compared to all other fields.
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