Biologist

Industry:
Science
Last Updated:
July 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

As a biologist, your job is to study living organisms such as plants, animals, and microorganisms. Biologist job descriptions vary depending on the specific field, but in general, as a biologist, you will use scientific methods to research and analyze biological systems. You might work in the field, collecting samples and data, or in a laboratory, conducting experiments and studying specimens.

Your work as a biologist could involve studying the properties of organisms, their behavior, and their interactions with each other and their environment. You might also research genetics, diseases, and other biological processes. As a biologist, it is important to have strong analytical skills, attention to detail, and the ability to interpret complex data.

Depending on your field of specialization, you might work for government agencies, non-profit organizations, universities, or private companies. Biologist job descriptions require at least a Bachelor's degree in biology or a related field, although higher degrees may be required for more advanced positions.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Observe, investigate, and document living organisms, ecosystems and their interactions with the environment 
  • Conduct experiments and analyze data to understand various phenomena in biology 
  • Develop and test hypotheses to answer questions and advance scientific knowledge 
  • Conduct fieldwork to study living organisms in their natural habitats 
  • Conduct laboratory work to study living organisms in controlled settings 
  • Write reports and scientific papers summarizing findings and conclusions 
  • Present findings in conferences and seminars to share and discuss research with the scientific community 
  • Collaborate with other scientists and professionals to achieve research goals 
  • Teach and mentor students and other aspiring biologists 
  • Follow safety protocols and regulations to maintain a safe working environment.

Experience and Education Requirements

To be a biologist, you usually need to have a degree in biology or a related field. This means you need to go to college for four years to learn about cells, organisms, and ecosystems. You also need to study chemistry, physics, and math to understand how the natural world works. In addition to education, you also need experience working in a lab or out in the field. This helps you apply what you learned in school to real-world situations. You might work on research projects, collect data, or analyze samples. All these skills are important to finding a job as a biologist in the science industry.

Salary Range

Biologist salary range varies depending on their area of expertise and level of education. In the United States, the expected salary range for biologists is between $42,000 to $104,000 per year, with a median salary of $69,000 according to data from Payscale.com. However, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, Biological Scientists earned an average salary of $82,220 per year in May 2019. Entry-level biologists with a bachelor's degree can expect to start at around $40,000, while those with advanced degrees such as a Ph.D. can earn more than $100,000. In Canada, the salary range is at C$44,000 to C$102,000 per year, as per Neuvoo.ca. 

Sources:

https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Biologist/Salary

https://www.bls.gov/ooh/Life-Physical-and-Social-Science/Biological-technicians-and-technologists.htm

https://neuvoo.ca/salary/?job=Biologist

Career Outlook

If you're interested in a career as a biologist, the outlook is positive over the next five years. Biologists study living organisms and their interactions with the environment, which is essential to fields like medicine, agriculture, and conservation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that job openings in the life, physical, and social science occupations will grow by 5% from 2019 to 2029. This rate is about the same as the average for all occupations. Biologists are needed to develop new products, processes, and technologies to better understand the world around us. There will be opportunities for biologists in academia, government, and the private sector. So, if you love science and want to help make a positive impact on the world, consider a career as a biologist. 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/home.htm.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a biologist do?

A: Biologists study living organisms and their characteristics. They research everything from genetics to ecosystems.

Q: Where do biologists work?

A: Biologists work in a variety of settings, including research labs, fieldwork locations, universities, and government agencies.

Q: What skills do I need to be a biologist?

A: Biologists need strong problem-solving skills, attention to detail, and the ability to analyze data. Strong communication skills and an aptitude for mathematics are also helpful.

Q: What education do I need to become a biologist?

A: To become a biologist, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in biology or a related field, such as zoology or ecology. A graduate degree may be required for certain positions.

Q: What job opportunities are available for biologists?

A: Biologists can work as researchers, professors, wildlife biologists, and environmental consultants, among many other positions. There are many diverse opportunities within the field of biology.


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