Biologists are scientists who focus on all kinds of life, including plants, animals, and the ecosystems in which they coexist.

They investigate how living things adapt to environmental changes, aim to preserve healthy ecosystems that support lifeforms, and investigate how plants and animals have developed over time.

Who are the biologists?

People who work as biologists frequently have the following duties:

  • Do research on lifeforms to gain a greater knowledge of how they interact with one another, with their habitats, and how they have developed.
  • Investigate the origins of diseases in various lifeforms, create novel products to encourage agricultural growth, or do applied research to create medications.
  • Investigate the effects of environmental changes on various lifeform populations.
  • To better lifeforms, combat genetic problems, and avoid disease, conduct genetic experiments.
  • Isolate and analyze genomes to determine the origins of genetic abnormalities and diseases.

What a Day Is Like

Because it includes the study of all lifeforms, how they function, how they interact with one another, and the ecosystems that support various lifeforms, biology is a broad field.

Biologists can work in a variety of sectors and specialize in a wide range of scientific approaches to biology because the field is so diverse.

Biologists create hypotheses, carry out research, and publish findings in all jobs; nevertheless, the objectives of a biologist’s study differ widely depending on the employer and industry.

For instance, some biologists carry out fundamental studies to comprehend lifeforms. These scientists may do research to find novel life forms, examine how life has changed as a result of environmental and other changes, or develop evolutionary hypotheses.

These biologists might be employed by governmental organizations and provide information on the effects of climate change on various lifeforms, the effects of particular hunting methods on wildlife, or the potential consequences of new construction projects on the ecosystems that support plants and animals.

Other biologists engage in applied research, using the results to advance society. As an illustration, some biologists investigate genomes to determine the origins of genetic illnesses and diseases.

Their discoveries might result in genetic illness treatments. Others might be involved in agriculture and research the best ways to mass-produce and reproduce high-performing crops.

To find new medications that treat illness and disease, some people may also investigate how various plants and creatures might be employed in pharmaceuticals.

Regular Work Hours

Full-time positions are the norm for biologists. Nevertheless, individuals could have to work odd hours depending on their employers and the sectors they work in.

Numerous biologists have regular 9 to 5 jobs; others travel for employment and could perform overnight or evening shifts.

Specializations in Biology

Biologists can choose to specialize in a wide range of fields, including:

  • To better understand the features, diseases, and problems that are passed down through generations of lifeforms, geneticists study genetics.
  • Botanists concentrate their study and research on plants, exploring their various applications or identifying as-yet-undiscovered plant species.
  • In order to understand how different lifeforms adapt to changes in their environment and to predict how such changes will effect the lifeforms in impacted ecosystems, ecologists study the ecosystems of various lifeforms.
  • Marine biologists specialize in the study and research of aquatic life, including fish, coral, and other marine organisms.
  • Zoologists specialize in studying land animals and frequently hold jobs in zoos or conservation-related fields.
  • When studying lifeforms at the molecular level, microbiologists try to understand how molecules might be changed or modified to enhance good traits or eradicate disease.

Common Employers     

Common employers of biologists include federal and state government organizations, scientific consulting firms, research and development firms, colleges and universities, and pharmaceutical corporations.

Making a Career in Biology

How you go about becoming a biologist primarily relies on the kind of job you want to conduct. The minimum educational requirement for all biology occupations is a bachelor’s degree, while different specializations have different educational requirements.

A major in general biology is an option for aspiring biologists, or they can choose one that is more concentrated on the area of speciality they are interested in.

Aspiring zoologists can opt to study zoology or animal science degrees, aspirant ecologists can choose to seek degrees in ecology. Aspiring marine biologists can choose to pursue degrees in marine biology.

With a bachelor’s degree, you are qualified to work in entry-level roles and assist with experiments and research in laboratories, but you must obtain a master’s degree to carry out independent research or advance to higher-level positions.

You may choose to concentrate on biology, microbiology, marine biology, ecology, or another relevant topic for your master’s degree, depending on the specialization you’re interested in for your job. You can work as a biologist at a mid-level with a master’s degree.

A Ph.D. is required to carry out independent biological research or to instruct biology at the college level.

At the bachelor’s and master’s degree levels, a general biology degree would have been sufficient, but your education at the doctoral level should be tailored to the area of your job that interests you.

You will gain a complete understanding of the subjects you must know in order to do research in the field from a Ph.D. degree.

You will also gain practical research skills that you may use later on in your career when you start your own independent research projects and experiments.

Data about biologists’ salaries

The information below will help you learn more about this profession. The editorial material and recommendations on this page are based on our research, while the income and growth information is based on newly released Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Low Range for National Annual Salaries

  • $57,160 Low to High Range $77,190 $112,820

Nationwide minimum wage

  • Low $27/hour, Average $37/hour, and High $54/hour

How do biologists’ wages compare to those at other American jobs? According to the most recent data on employment across the country, biologists can earn an average yearly salary of $77,190, or $37 per hour.

Depending on the state you live in and even when just starting out, they can make as little as $57,160, or $27 per hour.

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