Discovering A Career in Life Sciences

According to Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated (JLL), San Diego Region is the #3 Life Science Cluster in the country. But what exactly is life science? As the name indicates, life sciences refer to the study of every aspect of life. It includes the study from complex to simple organisms, even a cell. In the life sciences all the branches of science are included which are involved in the scientific study of life or living organisms.

Some of the major fields of life sciences which have industrial importance are given as;

  1. Biotechnology
  2. Immunology
  3. Pharmacology
  4. Microbiology
  5. Biomedical sciences
  6. Genetics
  7. Biochemistry
  8. Bioengineering 
  9. Biomaterials
  10. Molecular biology
  11. Medical Device 


As we know, life sciences are concerned with studies related to life. These are mostly related to the biological sciences, pharmaceuticals, agricultural, biomedical sciences and biotechnology. These degrees are a basic foundation for becoming a scientist and researchers in this field. There are different universities in the US offering different courses in life sciences at undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate level.

Here is the list of some of the top universities in 2021 offering life sciences courses in the United States (US).

Looking to get the best life sciences education at an HBCU? Check out our list below of the leading HBCUS that specialize in the life sciences disciplines.

  1. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University 
  2. Howard University 
  3. Xavier University of Louisiana
  4. Tuskegee University
  5. Hampton University  


Life sciences industries include those working in the fields of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices, diagnostic laboratories, biomedical technologies, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals and food processing. These are operating to manufacture useful products to improve the health condition of living organisms. Here is the list of some important companies based on life sciences in different regions of the US.


Biotech, medical devices and big pharma have a strong presence in this market. Two major universities in this area are the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins. Top life sciences companies in this region are:


This sector is the most famous due to the presence of MIT and Harvard. It has a high position in healthcare due to the presence Of Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston’s Children Hospital Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Dana Farber Cancer Institute. This market is dominated in big pharma. Top life science companies in this region are:


This marketplace hosts some of the world’s leading life sciences companies. They include pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, medical devices and diagnostic companies such as, Abbot and Baxter. Some other companies are:


Cellular therapy, regenerative medicine, genetics, genomics and proteomics are some life sciences fields which are dominant in this market. There are 11 higher education institutes in this region including McGill university, Universiti de Montreal and Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique (INRS). 

Major life science companies in this region are:


Major pharmaceutical companies maintain a presence in San Diego to foster collaboration with major research institutes, universities, and small biotechnology companies. The most important part of this region is Torrey Pines, due to the presence of “University of California San Diego (UC San Diego)”. The San Diego life sciences region has achieved the most success in the last five years. 

Some top life science companies in this market are:


  1. Biotechnologist 
  2. Pharmacists 
  3. Microbiologist 
  4. Biomedical Engineer
  5. Wild life biologist/Zoologist 
  6. Genetics Counselor
  7. Medical scientist 
  8. Biochemist
  9. Clinical Laboratory Technologist 
  10. Biological Technologist 


Biotechnologists work in the laboratories as a research scientist. They conduct various experiments in the field of biotechnology. Biotechnologists mostly work in large industries which are involved in crop improvements, food preservation and manufacturing of pharmaceutical drugs. 

Salary; $57k–$117k/ year 


Pharmacists mostly work at pharmacies and drugstores. They also work in hospitals and diagnostic clinics. Drug manufacturing industries also hire pharmacists. 

Salary; $83k-$137k/ year


Microbiologists mainly deal with the study of microbes such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa and algae. Bacteriologist, virologist, mycologist, and even immunologists are included in this field. They work as research scientists and conduct various experiments to study the nature of microorganisms and their effect of other organisms. 

Salary; $39k-$82k/ year


Biomedical engineers help to develop new machinery to create reliable treatment for various diseases. For example, development of robotic surgery equipment to create more better and reliable limb replacement. 

Salary; $50k-$97k/ year


Wildlife biologist/zoologist is a scientist who study animals. They are mostly hired by the wildlife departments, universities and zoos. 

Salary; $38k-$88k/ year


Genetic counselor mostly helps the adults, children, women and couples in counseling and analysis of various genetic diseases. They mostly work along the physicians of a variety of specialties such as oncologists. 

Salary; $62k-$95k/ year


A medical scientist is a researcher who works in the medical field to improve the understanding of human anatomical processes, various diseases and related biological research. They are mostly hired by pharmaceutical companies, biomedical companies, universities and research hospitals. 

Salary: $41k-$177k/ year


A biochemist deals with the chemistry of life. They mostly work with the biomolecules and compounds at the cellular level. They help in creating more effective medications, diagnosing different diseases and producing healthy food. They are mostly hired by pharmaceutical companies, universities, research hospitals, and food processing industries.

Salary: $44k-100k/ year 


A Clinical/medical laboratory technologist mostly deals with the diagnosis and analysis of bodily fluids such as blood and urine. Medical technologists must have the knowledge of biochemistry, human physiology and anatomy. They are mostly hired by universities, research laboratories and clinical hospitals. 

Salary; $40k-79k/ year 


Biological technicians work with the biological researchers. They help the biological scientist in conducting different experiments. 

Salary; $22k-64k/ year 

(Note: These are average salaries. They may fluctuate from region to region. They also depend upon your degree and job experience.)

Wondering about more career opportunities in the Life Science Industry? Join the National Society of Black Engineers San Diego Professionals and Black Tech Link on Tuesday April 6th at 6:30pm PST as they host an engaging virtual discussion titled Where Science, Business, & Tech Intersect. Network with Life Science companies such as Takeda, ResMed, New Gait, and more. Click here [] to register today. General Admission Tickets are only $10.

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