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Biologists

Biologists

Overview
Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
Experience

Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

Education

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

Job Training

Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.

Examples

These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include pharmacists, lawyers, astronomers, biologists, clergy, neurologists, and veterinarians.

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

Salary Salary

Salary at 10th Percentile: $49K
Salary at 25th Percentile: $64K
Median Salary: $85K
Salary at 75th Percentile: $105K
Salary at 90th Percentile: $137K

Demand
Career Demand by State Career Demand by State Legend
Core Tasks

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.

Collect and analyze biological data about relationships among and between organisms and their environment.

Program and use computers to store, process, and analyze data.

Plan and administer biological research programs for government, research firms, medical industries, or manufacturing firms.

Study aquatic plants and animals and environmental conditions affecting them, such as radioactivity or pollution.

Supervise biological technicians and technologists and other scientists.

Identify, classify, and study structure, behavior, ecology, physiology, nutrition, culture, and distribution of plant and animal species.

Write grant proposals to obtain funding for biological research.

Communicate test results to state and federal representatives and general public.

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.

Study and manage wild animal populations.

Measure salinity, acidity, light, oxygen content, and other physical conditions of water to determine their relationship to aquatic life.

Prepare requests for proposals or statements of work.

Prepare plans for management of renewable resources.

Represent employer in a technical capacity at conferences.

Teach or supervise students and perform research at universities and colleges.

Study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, development, anatomy, and function.

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.

Develop methods and apparatus for securing representative plant, animal, aquatic, or soil samples.

Study reactions of plants, animals, and marine species to parasites.

Develop pest management and control measures, and conduct risk assessments related to pest exclusion, using scientific methods.

Technology Skills
Technology
Example
Hot Technology
Analytical or scientific software
The MathWorks MATLAB
Business intelligence and data analysis software
TIBCO Spotfire
Data base user interface and query software
Structured query language SQL
Development environment software
National Instruments LabVIEW
Graphics or photo imaging software
Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
Internet browser software
Web browser software
Map creation software
ESRI ArcGIS software
Object or component oriented development software
R
Office suite software
Microsoft Office
Operating system software
UNIX
Presentation software
Microsoft PowerPoint
Spreadsheet software
Microsoft Excel
Word processing software
Microsoft Word
Tools Used
Tool
Example
Computer Equipment and Accessories
Desktop computers
Consumer electronics
Global positioning system GPS receivers
Fishing and aquaculture equipment
Plankton nets
Industrial process machinery and equipment and supplies
Benchtop lyophilizers
Laboratory and scientific equipment
Agar plates
Laboratory supplies and fixtures
Glass graduated cylinders
Measuring and observing and testing instruments
Dissecting microscopes
Medical sterilization products
Gas autoclaves
Office machines and their supplies and accessories
Scientific calculators
Personal safety and protection
Safety goggles
Photographic or filming or video equipment
Video imaging systems
Top 10 Knowledge Required
Biology
96%
Importance

Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

English Language
84%
Importance

Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Mathematics
81%
Importance

Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Chemistry
70%
Importance

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.

Law and Government
70%
Importance

Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.

Administration and Management
68%
Importance

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.

Customer and Personal Service
66%
Importance

Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Computers and Electronics
64%
Importance

Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Clerical
63%
Importance

Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.

Geography
63%
Importance

Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.

Top 10 Skills
Science
93%
Importance

Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Active Listening
80%
Importance

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking
80%
Importance

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension
80%
Importance

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Speaking
80%
Importance

Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Writing
80%
Importance

Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Active Learning
78%
Importance

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Complex Problem Solving
78%
Importance

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Mathematics
75%
Importance

Using mathematics to solve problems.

Judgment and Decision Making
73%
Importance

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Top 10 Abilities
Inductive Reasoning
83%
Importance

The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Category Flexibility
80%
Importance

The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

Deductive Reasoning
80%
Importance

The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Oral Comprehension
80%
Importance

The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Oral Expression
80%
Importance

The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Written Comprehension
80%
Importance

The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Written Expression
80%
Importance

The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Information Ordering
78%
Importance

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).

Mathematical Reasoning
78%
Importance

The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.

Near Vision
78%
Importance

The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Top 10 Work Activities
Interacting With Computers
94%
Importance

Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Analyzing Data or Information
92%
Importance

Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
91%
Importance

Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Documenting/Recording Information
89%
Importance

Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems
89%
Importance

Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Processing Information
89%
Importance

Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Getting Information
88%
Importance

Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others
87%
Importance

Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
86%
Importance

Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
86%
Importance

Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Detailed Work Activities

Develop collaborative relationships between departments or with external organizations.

Conduct research of processes in natural or industrial ecosystems.

Collect environmental data or samples.

Communicate with government agencies.

Provide technical information or assistance to public.

Classify organisms based on their characteristics or behavior.

Examine characteristics or behavior of living organisms.

Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.

Plan biological research.

Research environmental impact of industrial or development activities.

Analyze chemical compounds or substances.

Instruct college students in physical or life sciences.

Supervise scientific or technical personnel.

Prepare research or technical reports on environmental issues.

Communicate results of environmental research.

Review plans or proposals for environmental conservation.

Prepare proposal documents or grant applications.

Develop plans to manage natural or renewable resources.

Develop biological research methods.

Research diseases or parasites.

Write grant proposals.

Work Context
Electronic Mail

How often do you use electronic mail in this job?

Freedom to Make Decisions

How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?

Structured versus Unstructured Work

To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?

Face-to-Face Discussions

How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?

Indoors, Environmentally Controlled

How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Responsibility for Outcomes and Results

How responsible is the worker for work outcomes and results of other workers?

Importance of Being Exact or Accurate

How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?

Contact With Others

How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?

Coordinate or Lead Others

How important is it to coordinate or lead others in accomplishing work activities in this job?

Education
Majors   based on the broader career Biological Scientists, All Other
Major
Biology, General
Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Botany/Plant Biology
Cell/Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences
Microbiological Sciences and Immunology
Zoology/Animal Biology
Genetics
Physiology, Pathology and Related Sciences
Pharmacology and Toxicology
Biomathematics, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology
Biotechnology
Ecology, Evolution, Systematics, and Population Biology
Neurobiology and Neurosciences
Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other
Applied Mathematics
Nutrition Sciences
Human Biology
Marine Sciences
Research and Experimental Psychology
Interests
Investigative
100%
Importance

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.

Realistic
58%
Importance

Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Conventional
48%
Importance

Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Enterprising
43%
Importance

Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Artistic
24%
Importance

Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Social
19%
Importance

Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Top 10 Work Styles
Attention to Detail
92%
Importance

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Cooperation
92%
Importance

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Integrity
91%
Importance

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Analytical Thinking
88%
Importance

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Initiative
84%
Importance

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Dependability
82%
Importance

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Stress Tolerance
80%
Importance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility
77%
Importance

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Leadership
76%
Importance

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Persistence
76%
Importance

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Work Values
Achievement
81%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Recognition
77%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Independence
67%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Relationships
62%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Working Conditions
62%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Support
43%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.