masters in cognitive neuroscience salary

Last Updated on August 28, 2023

The Masters in Cognitive Neuroscience is a unique interdisciplinary program offered through the joint efforts of the Departments of Psychology and Computer Science & Engineering. Students completing this program will develop an understanding of how cognitive abilities arise from the biophysical properties of neurons, and how they are implemented in the neural circuitry. The program offers equal weight to both psychology and neuroscience methods and develops a broad foundation necessary for real-world application in industry or research settings.

As all of us want to know the average salary of a cognitive neuroscience masters degree, we did some research and crunched the numbers to find out. The results are only the average salaries for all cognitive neuroscience degrees in general and not the average salary for Masters in Cognitive Neuroscience specifically.

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cognitive neuroscience degree

This study guide provides students, academicians and researcher all the necessary knowledge on Masters in Cognitive Neuroscience. The study guide covers a detailed explanation of Cognitive Neuroscience (CN), most common sub-fields of CN and their application and investment potential as one of the most in-demand fields in science today.

Cognitive Neuroscience combines the fields of psychology and neuroscience to study human mental processes such as attention, learning, memory, perception, language and consciousness. Cognitive neuroscientists use brain imaging techniques to understand cognitive processes at the cellular level.

Cognitive neuroscience combines three disciplines in one field, according to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology: neuroscience, which is the study of the nervous system; cognitive science, the study of the mind’s processes; and computation, the technology used in computers or information technology. Many people with degrees in cognitive neuroscience work in fields such as computer systems development or research, although there are other career options.

The Cognitive Neuroscience specialization prepares students for research careers in brain science laboratories and technology-related jobs, both directly related to cognitive neuroscience and a variety of other fields including medicine, law, education, and business.

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cognitive neuroscience jobs

Career Possibilities

Case Western Reserve University notes that careers in cognitive neuroscience include telecommunications, medical analysis, computer-human interaction, artificial intelligence, linguistic analysis and human performance testing. If your goal is to work in computer programming in these areas, you should obtain technical training in data analysis. The university notes that a master’s or doctorate in the field will increase your competitive advantage during job hunting and may increase your starting salary. Other possible careers if you do not have the additional technical training include marketing, technical writing and consulting.

1. Further Education

A master’s in cognitive neuroscience could be an end in itself or the preparation for a doctorate. The University of Texas at Dallas notes that experimental psychology is one field that incorporates cognitive neuroscience. Penn State University treats psychology and cognitive neuroscience as combined rather than separate disciplines. Although psychologists diagnose and treat mental illness, some also perform research on the mind and how it works. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that clinical, counseling and research psychologists must have a doctorate. Entrance requirements and prerequisites vary for different programs. The average annual salary for all types of psychologists was $73,740 in 2012, according to the BLS.

2. Software Development

The BLS provides more detail on some of the possible careers for an individual with a master’s degree in cognitive neuroscience. Software development can include program development, interface development — which allows different programs to communicate with one another — or designing the underlying systems that allow software programs to operate on a computer. Although a bachelor’s is the minimum qualification for a career as a software designer, a master’s might be more beneficial for some particularly complex kinds of programming, such as those related to artificial intelligence. Software developers in applications earned an average of $93,280 in 2012 and those in systems development earned $102,550, according to the BLS.

3. Teaching

Teaching is a career option for those educated in cognitive neuroscience. Although a doctorate is typical for teachers in a university setting, teachers in community colleges often need only a master’s degree. Community colleges are also a good setting for those who prefer to teach rather than to spend most of their time conducting research. In the university setting, it is more common for professors to conduct research and supervise graduate teaching assistants who perform most of the actual teaching. A teacher with a degree in cognitive neuroscience might teach classes in computation, data analysis or one of the other specialty areas in her field, in addition to cognitive neuroscience. The BLS reports teaching salaries varied according to discipline, but the average for the field was $73,770.

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cognitive neuroscience jobs salary

What is the median salary for a cognitive neuroscientist?$88,790 Cognitive neuroscientists (categorized by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as medical scientists) earned a median salary of $88,790 as of May 2019.

19 high-paying neuroscience careers

Here are 19 high-paying careers related to the field of neuroscience:

1. Epidemiologist

National average salary: $78,052 per year

Primary duties: An epidemiologist studies the effects, transmission patterns and causes of diseases. The goal of an epidemiologist is to reduce the spread of diseases or minimize the risks associated with a particular disease. Responsibilities include gathering data on a disease’s transmission and patterns, conducting research or experiments and sharing their findings with the public. Most epidemiologists work for public health agencies or for research institutions. An epidemiologist familiar with neuroscience can offer insights into a particular disease’s effects on the brain or nervous system.

2. Occupational therapist

National average salary: $84,201 per year

Primary duties: An occupational therapist helps their patients learn or recover skills related to mobility, such as using their hands or legs. They typically work with patients who have chronic illnesses, disabilities or severe physical injuries. An occupational therapist’s goal is to help their patients perform tasks and skills necessary for daily life. Duties include examining patients, creating individualized treatment plans and helping patients make lifestyle changes that can better accommodate their needs. Occupational therapists with a neuroscience background may better understand some of the underlying mental conditions that contribute to physical rehabilitation and motor skills.

Read more: Learn About Being an Occupational Therapist

3. Neurorehabilitation manager

National average salary: $87,853 per year

Primary duties: Neurorehabilitation managers supervise the practices, procedures and teams of medical professionals at a neurorehabilitation program. Neurorehabilitation focuses on helping people with injuries, disabilities or conditions related to the nervous system. The nervous system helps send messages to and from the human brain to other parts of the body. Depending on the unique needs of the patients, neurorehabilitation may include behavioral skills training, help with daily living tasks like eating or bathing and mobility exercises. A neurorehabilitation manager oversees healthcare professionals like neurologists, psychologists, case managers and physical therapists.

Neurobiologist working on a computer - Stock Image - F032/8257 - Science  Photo Library

4. Psychologist

National average salary: $94,629 per year

Primary duties: Psychologists study and research mental conditions, habits, processes and disorders. A psychologist’s primary goal is to understand how the human mind works and affects human behaviors, emotions, thought processes or patterns. They may work in research facilities, academic institutions, government agencies or consulting firms. Psychologists may specialize in a specific area related to the human mind, such as abnormal or social psychology.

Read more: Learn About Being a Psychologist

5. Clinical psychologist

National average salary: $98,806 per year

Primary duties: A clinical psychologist is a more advanced psychologist position. Clinical psychologists receive additional training and credentials so that they can evaluate, diagnose and treat patients with mental health conditions or challenges. Clinical psychologists apply the principles and findings of general psychology to provide help to their patients. Duties may include distributing personality tests, giving counseling to patients and making personalized treatment plans.

Read more: Learn About Being a Clinical Psychologist

6. Research scientist

National average salary: $103,718 per year

Primary duties: A research scientist aims to discover new findings or interpret information in a different way within their chosen scientific field. This may include carefully reviewing recent scientific publications, designing new research experiments, conducting clinical trials or writing reports of their discoveries. A research scientist in the field of neuroscience tries to conduct research and experiments related specifically to the human nervous system or brain. They often specialize in a particular subfield, like neuroanatomy or behavioral neuroscience.

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7. Veterinarian

National average salary: $105,397 per year

Primary duties: A veterinarian provides medical care to animals. Veterinarians evaluate, diagnose and treat a variety of animal medical concerns or conditions. A veterinarian may specialize in treating a type of animal or in providing specialized veterinary care, such as pharmacology or animal behavior. Veterinarians with a background in neuroscience may have unique insights into how neurological functions can affect animal behaviors, emotions, needs and medical conditions.

Read more: Learn About Being a Veterinarian

8. Nurse practitioner

National average salary: $111,094 per year

Primary duties: Nurse practitioners assess, diagnose and treat patients with a variety of medical conditions or concerns. A nurse practitioner holds an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse License (APRN) that allows them to perform both nursing and medical duties, such as evaluating diagnostic test results and prescribing medications. Nurse practitioners can choose to specialize in a certain type of medicine, like pediatrics or acute medical care. Familiarity with neuroscience can help nurse practitioners understand their patients’ medical needs or conditions in relation to the human mind or nervous system.

Read more: Learn About Being a Nurse Practitioner

9. Speech-language pathologist

National average salary: $112,030 per year

Primary duties: Speech-language pathologists help their patients learn or recover the ability to speak and communicate with others. Many speech-language pathologists also assist patients with health concerns related to muscles in the throat, like swallowing. A speech-language pathologist often specializes in working with a particular type of patient, such as people with developmental delays, the elderly or individuals recovering from strokes. A background in neuroscience can help speech-language pathologists because the nervous system plays a key role in skills like vocalizing, communicating and swallowing.

Read more: Learn About Being a Speech Pathologist

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10. Pharmacist

National average salary: $117,621 per year

Primary duties: Pharmacists mix, measure, compound and dispense prescription medications to their patients. A pharmacist possesses expert knowledge about how various medications can help patients and how they may interact with other medications. In addition to the proper mixing and dispensing of medications, duties include advising patients on potential side effects of medications, providing vaccinations and helping patients find over-the-counter solutions to their medical needs. Pharmacists familiar with neuroscience can better understand the effects various medications may have on a patient’s body, mind and existing medical conditions.

Read more: Learn About Being a Pharmacist

11. Neurosurgeon

National average salary: $132,736 per year

Primary duties: Neurosurgeons examine, diagnose and treat medical conditions related to the brain and the nervous system. These medical conditions may include strokes, tumors, disorders related to blood vessels and brain abnormalities. Neurosurgeons specialize in performing complex surgeries on areas such as the brain, spinal cord, nerves and back or neck. Neurosurgeons work closely with a team of nurses, technicians and other medical professionals to ensure that their patients receive high-quality and comprehensive care.

Read more: Learn About Being a Neurosurgeon

12. Biotech consultant

National average salary: $133,731 per year

Primary duties: A biotech consultant offers advice to organizations looking to create biotech products or services. Biotech refers to an area of biology focused on using living creatures to develop new products or services, such as medications, food, biological weapons or computing programs. Biotech consultants may work as part of a larger consulting agency or as independent contractors. Duties may include explaining complex scientific concepts in a more comprehensible way, offering advice related to scientific product regulations and analyzing large datasets related to an organization’s product or service development.

Neuroscientist Profile | Salary, Prospects and more | Uni Compare

13. Biostatistician

National average salary: $143,739 per year

Primary duties: A biostatistician collects, analyzes and interprets data sets gathered from living organisms, like animals or patients undergoing clinical trials. Biostatisticians design experiments, conduct research or clinical trials and then evaluate their results. They often use advanced mathematics and statistics throughout each stage of the research or experiment process. Their goal is to help make discoveries or improve approaches and policies in public health care, biology or medicine.

Read more: Learn About Being a Biostatistician

14. Machine learning engineer

National average salary: $149,549 per year

Primary duties: A machine learning engineer plans, designs and develops artificial intelligence (AI) programs and systems. Machine learning refers to a specific branch of AI that focuses on AI capable of learning and improving on its own over time. Machine learning engineers may develop programs and systems related to speech or image recognition, personalized recommendations and financial analysis. A machine learning engineer can benefit from a background in neuroscience because many underlying principles of machine learning relate to how the human brain works. For example, some types of machine learning imitate the basic processes of how humans make decisions.

15. Neurologist

National average salary: $193,281 per year

Primary duties: Neurologists specialize in examining, diagnosing and treating patients with medical conditions related to the brain and nervous system. A neurologist may order and evaluate the results of medical diagnostic tests, create individualized treatment plans and help patients recover from or adapt to their conditions. Neurologists are like neurosurgeons in that both are medical professionals who specialize in helping patients with conditions of the brain or nervous system. However, a neurosurgeon has a license to perform surgical procedures. Neurologists, meanwhile, may focus more on helping patients through counseling or making lifestyle adjustments, such as by using adaptive tools.

Read more: Learn About Being a Neurologist

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16. Psychiatrist

National average salary: $236,918 per year

Primary duties: A psychiatrist is a type of doctor who specializes in mental health. Psychiatrists evaluate, diagnose and treat their patients’ mental health issues and conditions. Duties may include using various behavioral or personality examinations, prescribing medications or other treatment measures and helping patients prevent or adapt to their mental health issues. A psychiatrist often works closely with psychologists, physicians, mental health counselors and other medical professionals to help determine a patient’s unique mental health needs and treatment protocols.

Read more: Learn About Being a Psychiatrist

17. Physician

National average salary: $240,896 per year

Primary duties: A physician provides medical care to their patients. They evaluate a patient’s needs by performing examinations or running diagnostics tests, such as blood analysis or X-rays. A physician then diagnoses and creates a treatment plan for their patients. General physicians assess their patients’ overall medical well-being. Alternatively, some physicians choose to specialize in a specific field of medicine, like allergies, emergency care, neurology or dermatology.

Read more: Learn About Being a Physician

18. Hospitalist

National average salary: $265,442 per year

Primary duties: A hospitalist is a type of physician who specializes in caring for patients in the hospital. Hospitalists may examine patients when they’re first admitted to the hospital and help with their diagnosis or treatment. A hospitalist rarely continues caring for patients after they’ve left the hospital, but may coordinate or communicate with other medical professionals to ensure the patient receives the aftercare and follow-up procedures or treatments they need. A hospitalist can choose to specialize in providing care to a specific type of hospitalized patient. Neurohospitalists, for example, focus on inpatients with neurological concerns or conditions.

19. Optometrist

National average salary: $280,165 per year

Primary duties: An optometrist is a medical professional who specializes in vision and eye-related conditions. Duties include recording a patient’s medical history, evaluating a patient’s ability to see and creating prescriptions for glasses or contact lenses. Optometrists also diagnose and treat some eye conditions, like dry eyes or optical nerve damage. An optometrist with a background in neuroscience may better understand how the mind sends signals to and from the various parts of the eye.

Read more: Learn About Being an Optometrist

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