jobs with bachelor’s in neuroscience

Last Updated on May 25, 2021 by

Neuroscience major graduates in America make, on average, $46,003 a year or $22.12 per hour. While the top 10 percent make over $81,000 per year, the bottom 10 percent make under $26,000. Health care companies and retail companies are the best when it comes to the number of employment opportunities. The top 5 states when it comes to salaries for neuroscience major graduates are New Jersey, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Maine.Best Paying CitiesSan Francisco, CA$56,496Boston, MA$54,092Portland, ME$54,0330 selections


Neuroscience major graduates report their job security as good. But just as in every field, some employers pay higher wages than others. Health care companies and retail companies tend to have the highest concentration of employment for neuroscience major graduates. The two companies that report the highest salaries for neuroscience major graduates are Microsoft and Oracle. Companies like Intel and Raytheon Company also pay high salaries to neuroscience major graduates.Company1. Microsoft$114,174Avg. Salary$39k$137k2. Oracle$109,210Avg. Salary$39k$137k3. Intel$86,580Avg. Salary$39k$137k4. Raytheon Company$76,226Avg. Salary$39k$137k5. Lockheed Martin$75,792Avg. Salary$39k$137k6. Vertex Pharmaceuticals$72,383Avg. Salary$39k$137k


As a neuroscience major graduate in the U.S., you can expect to earn on average $46,003 per year or $22.12 per hour. Neuroscience major graduates make the most in San Francisco, CA at about $56,496 per year. The average starting salary in San Francisco, CA for neuroscience major graduates is $28,000. Boston, MA, Portland, ME, Baltimore, MD, Philadelphia, PA, Arlington, VA, and New York, NY all pay above-average salaries for neuroscience major graduates. New Jersey, Connecticut, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Maine are the highest paying states. On the other hand, Nebraska, Louisiana, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Alabama report the lowest wages for neuroscience major graduates.Location1. San Francisco, CA$56,496Avg. Salary$30k$81k2. Boston, MA$54,092Avg. Salary$30k$81k3. Portland, ME$54,033Avg. Salary$30k$81k4. Baltimore, MD$52,684Avg. Salary$30k$81k5. Philadelphia, PA$50,637Avg. Salary$30k$81k6. Arlington, VA$49,954Avg. Salary$30k$81k


The type of industry that a neuroscience major graduate works in can influence their earning potential. By looking at our data, we can see that technology companies, manufacturing companies, and pharmaceutical companies pay neuroscience major graduates well. Technology companies pay neuroscience major graduates the highest wages, averaging $84,675 per year. Manufacturing companies and pharmaceutical companies pay well too, at $84,406 and $79,782, respectively. At $44,760, the average salary for neuroscience majors in the education industry is lower than other industries.1. Technology$84,675Avg. Salary$36k$107k2. Manufacturing$84,406Avg. Salary$36k$107k3. Pharmaceutical$79,782Avg. Salary$36k$107k4. Finance$76,269Avg. Salary$36k$107k5. Health Care$52,463Avg. Salary$36k$107k6. Government$48,285Avg. Salary$36k$107k

Research and Education

  • Research/Teaching: overall options to consider
    • Basic/Clinical
    • Academic/Biotech/Pharma (private sector) / NIH (public sector)
    • Levels of analysis: molecular through cognitive
    • System: theory and modeling, experimental animal, clinical, social
    • Focus: development, function, disease
  • Professor, Research lab head (principal investigator), running a lab of scientist, post-docs, technicians and students (teach at undergraduate/graduate level); Medical school faculty (less teaching, more fundraising)
  • Other research positions:  research scientist, technician, lab manager, etc. [Note: research may be purely clinical working with patients, etc]
  • Instructor, lecturer, or guest lecturer (may also have a research position)
  • Dean (may also teach and do research)
  • Run an academic program (advisor, coordinator, etc)
  • High school, junior high, elementary science teacher
  • Run a (neuro)science program at a youth education center (city-wide program for public schools, create a program for private schools, summer programs, etc)
  • Teach Neuroscience to medical students
  • Teach public about Neuroscience (non-profit organization, Allen Brain Institute, etc)
  • Teach Neuroscience to adults (continuing education programs, run seminars for companies who want employees to understand brain/health better, train hospital employees about the brain)
  • Work to improve funding for science education
  • Teach Neuroscience abroad (developing nation or other)  

Health-Related Careers

  • Clinical psychologist (e.g., specialize in behavioral neuroscience)
  • Physician (MD or DO)-neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, optometry…
  • MD-PhD (clinical practice and research)
  • Nurse (for example, in neuro ward, neuro-oncology, pediatric neurology, etc); Nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant
  • Speech & language therapist (especially important for neurological patients with damage to left hemisphere, or children with neurodevelopmental disorders)
  • Occupational therapist for adults (especially important following stroke, loss of basic function to take care of ones self, etc)
  • Physical therapist for children (teach how to compensate/alleviate developmental disorders, e.g SPD, autism, ADD, motor disorders, etc)
  • Audiologist (assess hearing function in children, babies, adults)
  • Nutritionist (a neuro background give you a unique perspective on how nutrient and metabolism affect the nervous system)
  • Social worker (a neuro background would help you to understand the specific issues affecting neurological patients upon re-entering their environment following hospitalizations)
  • Clinical research- could work at a number of levels, from technician to research scientist
  • Pharmacist (specialize in how drugs mimic neurotransmitter in the brain)
  • MRI technician, histopathologist, public health, biostatistician, epidemiologist, medical forensics, develop neuroprosthetics
  • Technician for other neurological procedures e.g. deep brain stimulation; genetic counseling
  • Radiation physicist (calculates precisely how radiation should be used to target tumors)
  • Administrator or coordinator (neurology ward or team or neurology residents)
  • Run a public service project in an underserved area with limited medical care
  • Veterinarian

Global Health

  • Run a clinical research project in another country (or work for one)
  • Run a public service project in a developing nation (or work for one)
  • Work for the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)- specialize in neurological disease
  • Global health reporting and/or data collection- focus on neurological health
  • Careers at UN, NGOs, MSF, OXFAM, USAID, World Bank

Business & Law

  • Neuroeconomist or economics consultant
  • Chief-Scientific Officer (CSO), Executive Director or other high-level at private company, non-profit foundation, government institution, or academic program
  • Marketing or advertising consultant (What is going on in the brain during decision making?)
  • Equity consultant, analyst or broker for an equity firm, venture capitalist or hedge fund (Is a biotech or pharmaceutical company a good investment?)
  • Spokesperson for a neuro-company; education public on research going on within the company
  • Patent lawyer (e.g., draft a patent application to secure intellectual property rights for a neurobiological technique or product developed at Princeton)
  • Lawyer (specialize in neurodegenerative disease cases, child development, etc)
  • Consultant

Government & Policy

  • Work for a governmental office (CDC, NIH, FDA, etc) that oversees public policy toward neurological disease, the aging brain, etc
  • Capitol Hill Staffer (work in congressional office, science/health-related initiatives)
  • Congressional advisor (advise on policy for the care of children with neurodevelopmental disease, intellectual disabilities, autism, epilepsy, etc)
  • Advise on policy for the care of persons with psychiatric problems, etc
  • Grants administrator and/or reviewer (Program manager- NSF, NIH)
  • Global Health Organizations

Writing & Publishing

  • Scientific journal editor (Neuron, Cell, Nature, Science, Nature Neuroscience, etc)
  • Scientific journalist (correspondent or columnist)
  • Science book publishing (writing, editing, recruitment of writers)
  • Creative writing about the brain – for children or adults
  • Write biographies of famous neuroscientists
  • Web design and writing for the NIH or other neuroscience organizations
  • Science education blogger
  • Produce science education material web/print (Scholastic, Nature Education, etc)

Consulting (advising with a neuro background)

  • Management consulting (specialize in biotech, pharma or healthcare companies); private consulting firm
  • Lobbyist (for foundations, biotech, etc)
  • Library (medical or other)

Non-profit Research or Foundations

  • Grants specialist –evaluate research portfolio, set funding priorities
  • Patient outreach
  • Discovery specialist for a research foundation (coordinate academic and biotech research to cure a specific disease)

Creative Sector

  • Graphic designer for any company/ organization on this list
  • Design web-based scientific education material (NIH, Scitable, University Science Centers, Startup companies)
  • Science consultant for the media (TV, movies, books, etc)
  • Artist specializing in how the brain perceives things
  • Architect who specializes in how the brain perceives spaces, color, texture, emotion, etc
  • Toy designer- use knowledge to make brain developing toys
  • Musician/instructor (understanding hearing and the brain and its role in composition, performance)
  • Write neurosci-fi screenplays
  • Web design, art, and/or writing for any neuroscience organization

Quant fields

  • Investing, real estate, etc,
  • Big data (e.g., Google, Calico)
  • Artificial intelligence, brain-machine interfaces

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