How to Become a

Neuroscientist

The complete career guide to be a Neuroscientist: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $93,730
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 8.2%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Growing Industry
    Career Attribute

Neuroscientists conduct research to develop medications to treat neurological disorders.  They research how the nervous system behaves, develops and functions.


What is a Neuroscientist?

The following responsibilities are common for Neuroscientists:

  • Research the brain, spine and nervous system through clinical trial and experiments
  • Conduct research, tests and experiments on cell tissue samples
  • Identifies working and non-working components of a patients nervous system
  • Monitors brain and nerve activity through electrodes and imagers
  • Diagnosis nervous system abnormalities or behaviors and develops medication to help the afflictions

A Day In The Life

A neuroscientist is a medical scientist that researches and investigates the brain, spinal cord and central nervous system and the diseases and disabilities associated with it.  They also formulate medications to help with theses ailments.

Each day they face a set of complex tasks related to the nervous system and brain.  Research is the foundation of all neuroscience.  Scientists specializing in neuroscience develop procedures, instruments and medications to assist neurologists.

Some pursue careers in medicine and become doctors or nurses.  They then specialize in a certain part of the nervous system like the brain or spinal cord.  While others focus their research on psychiatric disorders and specific behaviors.

Typical Work Schedule

This is a full-time, 40 hour work week position.  Some overtime may be required.

Projected Job Growth

With the rise of the elderly population, there will also be an unfortunate rise in diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinsons.  The need for neuroscientis is vital for helping research and cure diseases and ailments of the nervous system.

Typical Employers

Neuroscientists typically work in research office or labs.  Some work in hospitals or clinics to evaluate and treat patients, while others work for universities and colleges as professors.


How To Become a Neuroscientist

Aspiring neuroscientists should begin their education with a Bachelor’s degree in biology.  The undergraduate courses should include biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics.  The undergraduate program with prepare them for their coursework in the graduate program.

Students will then continue on to obtain their PhD in a neuroscience program.  These programs contain a rigorous core curriculum of clinical and field rotations and laboratory work.  Course work for the PhD program includes, data analysis, biological models, mathematical models and neuropharmacology, brain disorders, psychology, etc.


Neuroscientist Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range

$57,640

Average

$93,730

High Range

$155,180

National Hourly Wage

Low Range

$28/hr

Average

$45/hr

High Range

$75/hr

How do Neuroscientist salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Neuroscientist's can make an average annual salary of $93,730, or $45 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $57,640 or $28 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #82 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally


Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Neuroscientist. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.


Highest Education Among Neuroscientists

  • 61.7%   Doctorate
  • 28.9%   Masters
  • 7.5%   Bachelors
  • 0.5%   Associates
  • 0.9%   College
  • 0.3%   High School
  • 0.1%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs

107,900

2024 Est. Jobs

116,800

Job Growth Rate

8.2%

Est. New Jobs

8,900

How does Neuroscientist job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 8,900 jobs for a total of 116,800 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 8.2% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #268 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally


What Companies Employ The Most Neuroscientists

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences 37,100 2,500 3%
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state 19,400 800 1%
General medical and surgical hospitals; private 10,700 800 1%

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