Looking for a diverse and dynamic career in STEM? Consider becoming a biologist. This STEM role offers a wide range of specializations and research areas. As a biologist, you’ll explore life on many levels—from the intricacies of microscopic cells to the complexities of whole ecosystems. Whether you’re passionate about genetics, ecology, or any of the numerous biology subfields, there’s a niche for you. Plus, a biology career lets you contribute to vital scientific research and environmental conservation. If you’re fascinated by the natural world and eager to make a scientific impact, then a career in biology could be your ideal path.
Working as a Biologist
What does a Biologist do?
Biologists study living organisms and their relationship to the environment. They conduct research to gain a better understanding of fundamental life processes, and apply that understanding to develop new products or procedures. The work of biologists can span multiple disciplines, such as botany, zoology, microbiology, ecology, and molecular biology, among others. Tasks may include laboratory experiments, data analysis, fieldwork, and even policy advocacy.
A day in the life of a biologist
A biologist's day can be incredibly varied depending on their specialty and workplace. Generally, they may start the day reviewing literature and planning experiments. Fieldwork could include collecting samples from natural habitats, whereas laboratory work may involve examining these samples under a microscope or conducting biochemical assays. Data analysis and reporting are usually done towards the end of the day. Biologists often collaborate with other scientists and may spend part of their day in meetings or consultations.
What tools does a biologist use?
Biologists use a broad range of tools and equipment. In a laboratory setting, this could include microscopes, centrifuges, pipettes, and various types of analytical software. In the field, biologists might use nets, traps, and measuring equipment to collect samples. Modern biologists also increasingly use computational tools, including specialized software for statistical analysis, data visualization, and even machine learning to interpret complex biological data.
What is the salary of a biologist?
The salary for biologists can vary widely depending on the level of education, experience, and geographical location. In the United States, for example, the median annual salary for a biologist is around $80,000. Entry-level positions may offer around $45,000 to $55,000 per year, while experienced biologists with specialized skills can earn over $100,000 per year.
Career path and growth opportunities
Biologists often start their careers in entry-level research positions or as laboratory assistants. With experience and further education, they can move on to roles like research scientists, project managers, or laboratory directors. Specializations like marine biology, environmental biology, or molecular biology offer additional avenues for career growth. Academic paths leading to teaching and research are also common.
Education and certification
A bachelor’s degree in biology or a related field is the minimum requirement for most entry-level jobs. Many biologists go on to pursue master's degrees or even doctorates, depending on their career goals. Various certifications, like Certified Wildlife Biologist or Molecular Biology Technologist, are available and may be required for certain specialized roles.
Networking and industry organizations
Networking can play a crucial role in career advancement for biologists. Professional organizations like the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) or the European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB) offer platforms for networking, professional development, and staying updated with the latest research.
Impact and societal relevance
Biologists play a vital role in society. Their work leads to advancements in medicine, helps tackle environmental challenges, and contributes to biodiversity conservation. Biologists help us understand the complexity of life, offering insights that can lead to more sustainable practices, innovative treatments for diseases, and strategies for preserving our planet.
How to become a Biologist
EducationBecoming a biologist can be a rewarding journey for those passionate about understanding life and its complexities. The first step in this career path is typically earning a bachelor's degree in biology or a related field like biochemistry or environmental science. Here, you'll gain foundational knowledge in subjects such as genetics, ecology, and cellular biology, often accompanied by hands-on lab work and field studies.
Post-graduationPost-graduation, you have the option of entering the workforce in entry-level positions, such as lab technicians or research assistants, to gain practical experience. However, for higher-level research roles or academic positions, pursuing a master's degree or even a Ph.D. is often necessary. Specializing in a sub-field like marine biology, microbiology, or genetics during postgraduate studies can give you a competitive edge.
TrainingCertifications like Certified Biologist (CBiol) or specialized training courses can further enhance your credentials.
NetworkingNetworking is also crucial; consider joining professional organizations like the American Institute of Biological Sciences or attending conferences to stay updated on the latest research and job opportunities.
Current job openings for Biologists
Check out the job listings on Vorsers for current opportunities.
- What does a Biologist do?
- A day in the life of a biologist
- What tools does a biologist use?
- What is the salary of a biologist?
- Career path and growth opportunities
- Education and certification
- Networking and industry organizations
- Impact and societal relevance
- How to become a Biologist
- Current job openings for Biologists