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What does a Physiologist do?

Ever wonder what makes you tick? Do you want to know the inner workings of humans or other living things? Then you should consider a career in physiology.

Physiologists study life functions of plants and animals at cellular or even molecular levels. You could study the inner workings of living things, including metabolism, respiration, and reproduction, or photosynthesis in plants. This field derives from a branch of biology, but is more the inner workings of that career tree.

Find your inner physiologist

One of the great things about this job is you can chose to work with people or in a laboratory where you conduct your own research. You can work on a team or independently, depending on your education. A PhD is usually required to do independent research, but a bachelor's degree can also be used in some applied science fields. Plus, there are so many facets to the inner workings of plants and animals that you can choose one that tickles your fancy.

Branches of the employment tree

As a physiologist, you have the option to work in medical labs, government agencies, or research for pharmaceutical companies. You may also choose to work in an academic setting, and even apply your knowledge to teaching at a collegiate level if that appeals to you.

Most physiologists work standard forty-hour work weeks, but depending on the industry you choose, you may have to work more if the research requires it. You can work your way up in academia to a tenure track job or in a lab to lead a team of researchers.

Watching the seed grow: your earning potential

The job outlook for scientists in biological fields is expected to grow much faster than the average occupation over the next few years, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS). This gives you the opportunity to get the education you need.

Academia is on the lower end of the average salary for physiologists, where pharmaceutical companies are higher. Much of the salary is often dependent on grant funding for original research.

So if the inner workings of living things is what gets you excited, this branch of biology is a sturdy place to perch. Originality and independence are key components to success in the industry, and with those, the science behind the inner workings of living things can be at your finger tips.

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