Immunologists are research scientists or practicing specialists who study, analyze and/or treat disease processes that involve the immune system.



Immunologists particularly are interested in diseases that affect natural immunity. These include such diseases as allergies, sinus inflations, pneumonia and abscesses that occur repeatedly even with treatment.

Career Opportunities

Scientific Research: One of the most important aspects of immunology is research. Because many immunologists research and analyze the immune system, new findings and treatments can be discovered for persistent illnesses. Immunologists in this branch of immunology work in laboratories that enable them to study and test interactions of chemicals, cells and genes in the body to better understand what is necessary for an immune system to function properly.

Physicians and Pediatricians: This is the more commonly known branch of immunology. Pediatric immunologists, also known as pediatric allergists, find and treat problems associated with allergies and immune system malfunctions. Pediatric immunologists specialize in children ranging from infants to teenagers. They typically work in children’s hospitals, community hospitals, private offices and university medical centers.

College Teaching and Research: Many immunologists find their place teaching as opposed to practicing. While this branch of immunology still provides a strong participation in research, it requires a personality suited to instructing as well as guiding.


Educational Requirements

For all branches of immunology, a strong knowledge of the fields of biology, chemistry and mathematics is necessary. Jobs in immunology require an advanced degree — specifically a Ph.D. or an M.D. For medical laboratory technician or clinical laboratory technologist position in immunology, a B.S. in a scientific field is suitable. A Ph.D. is required to do one’s own research, while physicians and pediatricians are required to have an M.D. as well as at least three years of primary care residence training and two to three more years of specialty training and study in an immunology program, followed by certification.


Salary Range

Because there are different branches in the field of immunology, an average salary is difficult to determine. It is typical for immunologists’ salaries to range from $40,000 to more than $200,000 per year, depending on specialty, where they work and the area of the country in which they live. In most cases, immunologists working in hospitals and for private companies have higher salaries, especially those with an M.D. as opposed to a Ph.D. In general, immunologists working in the private sector or for hospitals have salaries of more than $100,000 per year.


Want to know more?

All Star Jobs-Immunology Technologist

American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology


Get Connected

Belonging to professional organizations & LinkedIn groups can provide you with networking, informational interviewing, & job shadowing opportunities, as well as assist you with finding internships and jobs.

Immunology LinkedIn Group

International Immunology Interest LinkedIn Group

List of Professional Organizations

The Career Connector for Purdue College of Science Students & Alumni


Get Experience

Research & Internship Listings


Find a Job

The American Association of Immunologists Career Page

Job Search Sites Related to Your Major


Information retrieved from


Purdue University College of Science, 150 N. University St, West Lafayette, IN 47907 • Phone: (765) 494-1729, Fax: (765) 494-1736

Student Advising Office: (765) 494-1771, Fax: (765) 496-3015 • Science IT, (765) 494-4488

© 2015 Purdue University | An equal access/equal opportunity university | Copyright Complaints

Trouble with this page? Disability-related accessibility issue? Please contact the College of Science Webmaster.