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Dec 18, 2017 8:00:00 AM | By: Debra Cascio

Career Spotlight: Toxicology

Among science careers, toxicology is perhaps the most diverse. This field can bring you into an endless variety of careers within environmental, agricultural, pharmaceutical and health organizations along with a long list of food and consumer product companies and even the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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This is because toxicology combines various different fields including biology, chemistry, pharmacology, medicine and nursing to study the safety and biological effects of drugs, chemicals, agents, and other substances on living organisms, most commonly humans, according to the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Because toxicologists are considered a type of "medical scientist," a bachelor in biomedical sciences degree from National University offers students the solid foundation in the basic sciences they need to succeed in this field. A BS degree includes classes in physiology, anatomy, epidemiology and biochemistry. At National University, you are also free to choose your own curriculum based on your future career plans.

Toxicologists make a median annual salary of about $82,000 and tend to have various levels of degrees including 50 percent with PhDs, 25 percent with master's degrees and 25 percent with bachelor's degrees, according to ACS.  

Toxicologists with bachelor's degrees can expect to spend most of their time in a laboratory while those with higher-level degrees might spend their time in an office planning experiments and interpreting data.

Earlier this year, Science Magazine featured a successful toxicologist who found her calling at the Hershey Company where she helps ensure the safety of the company's various types of candy. Originally, Alexandria Lau wanted to be a medical doctor. With her interest in science and medicine, she found toxicology was a better fit that still allowed her to positively impact people's health. Read more about her journey to a career in toxicology here.

What do you think about this diverse field? Does a career in toxicology sound like a right fit for you? 

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