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5 Highest Paying Careers in Neuroscience

5 Lucrative Neuroscience Careers

  • Machine Learning Engineer
  • Neurosurgeon
  • Neuroscience Researcher
  • Pharmaceuticals Scientist
  • Cognitive Neuroscientist

The field of neuroscience is growing by leaps and bounds with every passing year. Intersecting with every other academic discipline from music and mathematics to sales and leadership, neuroscience is rapidly becoming a strong foundation and cornerstone of how we think and manage our lives, businesses, and personal affairs. Because of its rapid expansion and increasing financial resources, neuroscience is also proving to be one of the best-paid academic fields students can pursue at every academic level. Here are five of the highest paying careers in neuroscience.

1. Machine Learning Engineer

For neuroscience students who enjoy mathematics and programming, the role of the machine learning engineer is truly a fascinating one. Connecting thorough knowledge of the human brain, cognition, learning patterns, and memory with systems and machine design, machine learning engineers are responsible for building machine learning and deep learning systems, developing and implementing tests to measure and calibrate machine learning, and develop programs that permit machines to learn and act independently of human direction when needed. According to, the average salary for a machine learning engineer is over $114,000 per annum.

2. Neurosurgeon

The medical field of neurosurgery is one of the most challenging, and subsequently is also one of the highest paid branches of the surgical profession. Neurosurgeons must pair intimate knowledge of the brain and nervous system to diagnose nervous system and brain disorders accurately, along with an extremely high proficiency in surgical techniques, and may operate on patients suffering a broad range of medical issues from cancerous brain tumors to nervous system debilitation. Neurosurgery is easily the best-paid career path in neuroscience, and on average neurosurgeons earn more $400,000 per annum.

3. Neuroscience Researcher

Neuroscience researchers intensively research the development and function of the brain, nervous system, and spinal cord. Their findings assist the development of a wide array of other fields, including medicine, psychology, social work, and even marketing. Neuroscience researchers must obtain a Ph.D. in a specialized neuroscience field before entering practice as a researcher, though neuroscientists with a less advanced degree may be employed in neuroscience research labs and companies as assistants and interns. Neuroscience researchers earn over $82,000 a year.

4. Pharmaceutical Scientist

Pharmaceutical scientists pair knowledge of neuroscience with a high level of expertise in chemistry or biochemistry to improve upon existing drugs, develop new ones, and chart the rate of success with a broad range of pharmaceutical drugs. From antidepressants and antipsychotics to mood stabilizers and chronic pain drugs, pharmaceuticals are heavily dependent on the work of neuroscience scientist specializing in drug development, and subsequently, the role of the pharmaceuticals researcher is a highly paid one. In addition to a range of benefits that vary by company, pharmaceutical scientists earn around $85,000 a year, and often receive bonuses for development and success of new drugs.

5. Cognitive Neuroscientist

Cognitive neuroscientists connect the fields of psychology and neuroscience. They help to develop treatments for neurological illnesses or disorders, behavioral disorders, and cognitive therapies utilizing the principles of neuroscience. Most cognitive neuroscientists are specialized, and those specializations range from a specific area of the brain or nervous system to various psychiatric or psychological disorders. On average, cognitive neuroscientists earn over $64,000 per annum.

Related Resource: 30 Most Influential Neuroscientists Alive Today

Each of these jobs represents the highest paying careers in neuroscience – and each offer ample opportunity to earn an excellent salary while helping to improve the future for neuro patients all over the world.