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Biologists Career

Career Description

Research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, development, anatomy, and functions.

What Job Titles Biologists Might Have

  • Biologist
  • Environmental Analyst
  • Research Scientist
  • Scientist

What Biologists Do

  • Collect and analyze biological data about relationships among and between organisms and their environment.
  • Supervise biological technicians and technologists and other scientists.
  • Program and use computers to store, process, and analyze data.
  • Prepare technical and research reports, such as environmental impact reports, and communicate the results to individuals in industry, government, or the general public.
  • Develop and maintain liaisons and effective working relations with groups and individuals, agencies, and the public to encourage cooperative management strategies or to develop information and interpret findings.
  • Prepare requests for proposals or statements of work.
  • Represent employer in a technical capacity at conferences.
  • Study and manage wild animal populations.
  • Study aquatic plants and animals and environmental conditions affecting them, such as radioactivity or pollution.
  • Study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, development, anatomy, and function.
  • Teach or supervise students and perform research at universities and colleges.
  • Plan and administer biological research programs for government, research firms, medical industries, or manufacturing firms.
  • Measure salinity, acidity, light, oxygen content, and other physical conditions of water to determine their relationship to aquatic life.
  • Prepare plans for management of renewable resources.
  • Communicate test results to state and federal representatives and general public.
  • Review reports and proposals, such as those relating to land use classifications and recreational development, for accuracy, adequacy, or adherence to policies, regulations, or scientific standards.
  • Research environmental effects of present and potential uses of land and water areas, determining methods of improving environmental conditions or such outputs as crop yields.
  • Identify, classify, and study structure, behavior, ecology, physiology, nutrition, culture, and distribution of plant and animal species.
  • Develop methods and apparatus for securing representative plant, animal, aquatic, or soil samples.

What Biologists Should Be Good At

  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

What Biologists Should Be Interested In

  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

What Biologists Need to Learn

  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Diploma iconThis career requires a graduate degree.
Median Salary: $71,890

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.