Although cryonics has been growing at an average rate of about 10% a year for the past two decades, it is still a very small field. There are fewer than 20 people employed full-time in various companies and organizations directly involved in cryonics, although many more people are involved in scientific research that is relevant to cryonics.
There are basically two tracks that can potentially lead to a career in cryonics: the medical track, and the science/engineering track. Medical professionals valuable to cryonics include paramedics, perfusionists, nurses and physicians. Expertise within these fields is essential to the modern practice of cryonics. Alcor employs various combinations of these professionals on either a full-time or contract basis.
Scientists and engineers are necessary to develop and validate cryonics procedures, and build specialized equipment to implement them. The scientific research areas most relevant to cryonics are cerebral resuscitation (to develop better methods of initial treatment of cryonics patients), organ cryopreservation (to develop better methods of long-term preservation), and neuroscience (to validate preservation methods). The academic fields of biochemistry, physiology, and neuroscience are good preparation for research in these areas.
Organ cryopreservation is a small specialty of the field of cryobiology, which is the study of life at low temperatures generally. Any student contemplating a career in cryobiology should be aware that cryonics is a highly controversial subject among cryobiologists. For more information about the field of cryobiology, see the non-corporate links in The Science of Cryobiology section our links page.
Any career decision involving cryonics should be made from the perspective of finding a field that it is interesting and remunerative in its own right, with cryonics or cryonics research regarded as a possible future application of your skills.