When I was in grad school, a professor held a class called "Non traditional careers in the life sciences". Each student picked a non-traditional career option and found a few people in it, interviewed them, we had a questionnaire we prepared in the class and all of us got these questionnaires answered by whoever we were interviewing. It had questions like job satisfaction, pay, what the work involves, how to get in, etc. etc.
I am in the process of packing and moving and hope to unearth my notes from that class. It was a good way to get a feel about what else is out there. Will post more when I find those notes. But I just remembered what a great idea the class was. Any one who's ever going to be in academia or is already in, must think of conducting a class like this. Grad students in the life sciences, may be you could suggest this to a suitable prof.