Biologist Career Path

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Biologist Career Path

A biologist is a person who investigates living organisms’ structure, function, behavior, and evolution. Universities, research institutes, hospitals, and zoos are among the places where they might work. Genetics, ecology, and physiology are just a few of the themes that biologists might investigate.

A biologist is a biologist who does biological study. Whether it’s a single cell, a multicellular organism, or a community of interacting populations, biologists are fascinated by life on Earth. They usually specialize in a single branch of biology (for example, molecular biology, zoology, or evolutionary biology) and conduct research in that area (e.g., studying malaria or cancer).

The goal of basic research biologists is to advance our understanding of the natural world. They use the scientific method to perform their research, which is an empirical approach for testing theories. Their discoveries could be useful for a specific purpose, such as biotechnology, which aims to generate medically beneficial items for humans.

1. Who is a Biologist?

A biologist is a scientist who studies life and living organisms, including their physical structure, anatomy, behavior, interactions with their environments, development, evolution, and distribution. They study the ways that organisms are similar to each other and different from one another. Biologists might spend all their time studying one type of organism, such as whales or trees. They might specialize in a particular group of organisms, such as insects or fungi. Or they might study a particular problem such as global warming or acid rain.

2. What Does a Biologist Do?

A biologist uses the principles of biology to solve problems in different fields, including agriculture, medicine, and environmental science. A biologist might perform experiments in a lab, study the growth of bacteria outdoors, or analyze changes in animal populations. A biologist might also work with people to protect endangered species or plan ecological communities that are environmentally sound.

Scientists with advanced degrees in biology can become professors or researchers who direct graduate students and lab technicians in conducting experiments and making observations about living things. Other biologists might work in management positions for national parks or zoos where they design habitats for animals and help with breeding programs. Some biologists teach at colleges or high schools, while others work with non-profit organizations on issues such as conservation or food production.

3. What Education is Required to be a Biologist?

A biologist is a scientist who studies living things. It’s not always easy to figure out what education is required, but it typically includes completing an undergraduate degree in biology or zoology and then earning a graduate degree in one of the specialties. For example, someone interested in molecular genetics might pursue a Ph.D. in biochemistry or cell biology. Those pursuing careers as wildlife biologists may complete degrees in wildlife management and conservation science. Becoming a professional biologist will require at least ten years of study and training, including post-graduate work on the job under the supervision of experienced scientists.

The need for biologists is expected to grow rapidly over the next few decades due to global environmental changes such as climate change and expanding populations worldwide. In fact, by 2020, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that there will be 22 percent more biological scientists in this country than today.

If you are interested in becoming a biologist, check out biology undergraduate programs to find one that works for you or explore online degree options at accredited colleges and universities.

Biologist Career Path

4. Best Universities in the US for Biologist Student

The following list of universities is ranked according to the best undergraduate biology programs in the United States. These are not necessarily universities with the most popular or famous programs, but rather those that offer quality education.

We hope this helps you find a college that fits your needs and interests!

  • University of California-Berkeley–UC Berkeley’s Department of Integrative Biology offers undergraduate curricula in ecology, evolution, organismal biology, molecular and cell biology, plant sciences, animal behavior, and conservation, among others. The department has some 23 faculty members who have published over 1,000 peer-reviewed papers on topics ranging from population genetics to neurobiology. UC Berkeley also offers graduate degrees in integrative biology for qualified students interested in continuing their studies.
  • University of Michigan-Ann Arbor–The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at U-M’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts offers undergraduate degrees for students majoring in ecology or evolutionary biology. A new program in bioinformatics is tailored to give students with limited background knowledge in this field the tools they need to contribute to biological research.
  • University of California system–The UC system consists of a number of universities that offer strong programs for aspiring biologists. The Universities at Los Angeles (UCLA), San Diego (UCSD), Davis, Irvine, and Santa Barbara are all considered great choices. The programs at these universities are diverse, but each college emphasizes field research where students can work on science projects in the US or abroad.
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison–Programs for aspiring biologists are offered through UW Madison’s Department of Zoology, which is part of its College of Letters and Sciences. These include separate undergraduate degrees in zoology as well as those that integrate study into other areas such as ecology or microbiology.
  • Harvard University–Harvard’s Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology offers a number of undergraduate degrees, including those for biology majors. Undergraduate students who major in this department have the opportunity to become involved with research projects through the Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology or the Marine Biological Laboratory at nearby Woods Hole.
  • Stanford University–Stanford’s School of Humanities and Sciences houses several departments that offer undergraduate degrees for science students such as those interested in becoming biologists. The school’s Department of Biology gives its students opportunities to conduct independent research as well as participate in ongoing projects involving many different organisms ranging from humans to nematodes.
  • Princeton University–Princeton’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology gives its students opportunities to conduct independent research through summer internships at different field sites within the US as well as abroad. This program is open to undergraduates with strong backgrounds in biology who are interested in continuing their studies at the graduate level.
  • Yale University–Yale’s Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) Department offers excellent programs for prospective biologists both at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The department’s faculty members are on the cutting-edge of research outlined in top scientific journals, offering students opportunities to learn about biological processes firsthand.
  • University of Chicago–The Committee on Evolutionary Biology offers a program for undergraduates interested in becoming field biologists. Their curriculum gives them an opportunity to develop quantitative skills through coursework as well as independent studies, which involve working with faculty mentors on different projects each year.
  • Cornell University–In addition to its School of Integrative Plant Science, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell offers a number of undergraduate concentrations for students interested in biology. These include plant science, ecology, and evolutionary biology, entomology, microbiology, molecular genetics, and development, as well as evolution, behavior, and organismal biology.
Biologist Career Path

5. What Should I Major in to Become a Biologist?

The best majors to become a biologist are usually in the sciences, like biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, and physics. They don’t necessarily have to be especially in biology, but it often helps.

Depending on your major, you may have to take physiology, genetics, anatomy, embryology, cell biology, and other science classes. You may also need English or communications-type classes if you want to be able to write about biological discoveries. Other classes can be beneficial, too but are not always necessary.

6. What is the Best Way to become a Biologist?

The most common path in becoming a biologist is through an undergraduate degree program in biology. Many students receive their bachelor’s degrees in biology, but some students choose to pursue other fields in order to complement their interest in biology.

Many colleges and universities do not offer specific undergraduate degree programs in biology but instead require students wishing to major in the field to complete coursework or research through other related majors that include chemistry, mathematics, and physics. For example, many colleges and universities require students to complete coursework through a major in chemistry, mathematics, or physics.

7. How Much Does a Biologist Earn?

A biologist typically earns between $28,000 and $86,000 per year, depending on the specific industry and experience level of the individual. A high school graduate with no experience can expect to make around $28,000 per year, while a college graduate with two to five years of experience can expect to make between $44,000 and $86,000 per year.

A biologist with more than fifteen years of work experience can expect to be paid around $51,000 per year. Individuals who are just starting out in this field will often begin as laboratory technicians or lab assistants.

The highest-paying biologist jobs are in the medical field. Biologists who work in the medical field can earn a salary of up to $200,000.

Another high-paying field for biologists is teaching. Biology professors can earn a salary of up to $100,000.

Government jobs are also a viable option for biologists. The US Fish and Wildlife Service employs biologists to work on environmental issues, and the average salary for these biologists is $75,000.

Many other options are also available for those who have a degree in biology. Biologists who work in the environmental protection, food production, pharmaceutical, and medical device fields can also earn a salary of up to $80,000.

8. Types of Biologists

Biological Sciences encompass the study of living things, their structure, and function. Biological scientists encourage an understanding of how life works. This can be done by studying the changes in cells, genes, or other physical processes or by Functioning as a doctor to study how organisms grow and help organisms get better when they are ill.

  • A general biologist will often take on any field as long as they have a bachelor’s degree in biology with a specialization in that area.
  • A molecular biologist is usually one who specializes in genetics and studying DNA.
  • A behavioral ecologist specializes in animal behavior and ecology.
  • A marine biologist is someone who studies ocean life, such as coral reefs and fish populations.
  • A biotechnologist studies the process of genetically modifying an organism.
  • A zoologist cares for zoo animals and acquires knowledge about them, such as their habitat and diet.
  • An ecologist is an environmental scientist who studies how ecosystems work by looking at factors like climate change and pollution that affect living things. Environmental scientists develop solutions by looking at the impact that humans have on wildlife and habitats.
  • A conservationist helps with preserving and increasing biodiversity so we can share our planet with other organisms. Conservationists promote environmental protection and the development of sustainability practices.

9. Is Biologist a Good Degree?

You can make a very good living as a biologist. Biologists are in demand for many different industries, including the pharmaceutical industry. You will also find biologists working in environmental protection agencies or research labs. They might be teaching at universities, directing conservation efforts, or doing fieldwork to collect data on animal populations and habitats. The range of opportunities available to biologists is wide and varied.

A degree in biology will open up many paths for you that would otherwise remain closed; it is not easy to break into this competitive profession without some training beyond high school level education. Whether you want to focus on wildlife ecology, molecular genetics, botany-or any other aspect of the natural world-a bachelor’s degree program in biology has what you need!

10. Are Biologists in Demand?

There is a great demand for biologists in both the public and private sectors. Biologists are needed in research and development, teaching, environmental protection, and many other fields.

From 2020 to 2030, the employment of zoologists and wildlife biologists is expected to expand at a 5% annual rate, which is slower than the average for all occupations. Despite little job growth, an average of 1,700 openings for zoologists and wildlife biologists are expected each year over the next decade.

Biologist Career Path


The biologist career path is one that takes time to master, but it can be very rewarding. If you’re looking for a job in the science field and enjoy working with plants or animals, this might just be your calling! The best way to determine whether this career path is right for you would be to look at your interests and see if they align with one of these areas.

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