Biology Professor

Last Updated:
July 19, 2023

Job Description Overview

A Biology Professor job description involves teaching courses in biology at the postsecondary level. These professionals are responsible for developing lesson plans, presenting material, and grading student work. With a focus on biology, they may teach topics such as ecology, molecular biology, botany, and more.

Biology Professors work in colleges or universities and are expected to maintain an active research program. They conduct experiments, publish scientific papers, and participate in seminars and conferences. They may also advise students on science-related issues and provide guidance for those pursuing graduate degrees.

To become a Biology Professor, you'll need a doctoral degree in biology or a related field. Candidates should have research experience and be able to teach in both lecture and laboratory settings. The job requires strong communication skills, including the ability to explain complex scientific concepts to students. If you have a passion for biology and an interest in teaching, a career as a Biology Professor may be right for you.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Teach students about the basics of biology, including cells, genetics, ecology, and evolution.
  • Develop and deliver instructional materials, such as lectures, labs, and exams, that align with educational standards.
  • Provide guidance, mentorship, and support to students who are struggling with classwork, tests, or other issues.
  • Conduct research and publish findings in academic journals related to biology, such as genetics, ecology, or conservation.
  • Participate in faculty meetings and departmental committees to discuss ongoing efforts to improve student learning and academic achievement.
  • Maintain and update course materials, such as syllabi, handouts, and instructional videos, to reflect current research and trends in biology.
  • Participate in professional development opportunities, such as conferences or workshops, to stay current in new advances in the field of biology and teaching methodologies.
  • Collaborate with other biology professors and faculty members on interdisciplinary projects that promote innovative approaches to teaching and learning.
  • Serve as an advisor for undergraduate and graduate students, and help guide them towards successful academic and professional careers.

Experience and Education Requirements

To become a Biology Professor, you'll need to have a combination of education and experience. Typically, one would need to have a doctoral degree in Biology or a related field. This usually takes about eight years of post-secondary education. In order to teach at a university, you need to have teaching experience as well, gained from teaching assistant positions, assistant professor positions, and other related roles. Generally, professors who have research experience are preferred, as this helps them in their job of teaching and mentoring students. Being a published author in scientific journals is also seen as an asset. Overall, a combination of a strong education and relevant experience is required to become a Biology Professor in the Education industry.

Salary Range

If you're curious about the salary range for a Biology Professor in the United States, here's what you can expect: on average, a Biology Professor earns between $55,000 and $150,000 per year. This wide range takes into account factors such as experience, level of education, location, and type of institution (such as community colleges versus prestigious universities). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median wage for Postsecondary Biology Teachers was $96,410 in May 2020. However, in countries like the United Kingdom and Canada, Biology Professors can earn similar salaries, with some making over $100,000 CAD annually.  Sources: 

  • Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook for Postsecondary Biology Teachers
  • Glassdoor: Average Biology Professor Salaries  
  • Payscale: Average Biology Professor Salary in Canada & UK

Career Outlook

The career outlook for a Biology Professor in the Education industry over the next five years looks to be growing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for postsecondary teachers, including biology professors, is projected to grow by 9% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is due to an increase in enrollment in higher education institutions and the need to replace retiring professors. 

Moreover, the demand for biology professors is also increasing due to the emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. Biology plays a critical role in STEM fields, and schools are placing more importance on integrating these areas into their curriculum. 

In conclusion, the career outlook for a Biology Professor is looking bright, with many opportunities for growth and job security. Aspiring biology professors should continue to pursue higher education and research to stay abreast of the latest developments in their field.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a Biology Professor do?

A: A Biology Professor teaches students about various aspects of biology such as cell biology, genetics, and ecology. They also conduct research and publish scholarly articles.

Q: What are the educational requirements for becoming a Biology Professor?

A: Typically, a Biology Professor must have a Ph.D. in biology or a related field and have experience in research, teaching, and mentoring students.

Q: What skills do I need to become a successful Biology Professor?

A: A successful Biology Professor must have excellent communication skills, be able to think critically, have a deep understanding of biology concepts, and be passionate about teaching and research.

Q: Do Biology Professors work outside of teaching classrooms?

A: Yes, many Biology Professors have to conduct research in laboratories, write research grant proposals, and publish research articles in academic journals.

Q: What kind of job opportunities are available for Biology Professors?

A: Biology Professors may work at colleges or universities, research institutions or work in the private sector in biotech, pharmaceuticals, or other related industries.  They may also take on additional responsibilities such as department chair, academic advisor or mentor or work in administrative positions such as Dean or Provost.

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