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Biologist Salary (United States)

Biologists in the United States pull down an average of $50K annually. Total cash compensation to Biologists bottoms out near $31K and approaches $78K on the high end; the biggest paychecks include approximately $5K from bonuses and almost $6K from profit sharing. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Medical benefits are awarded to a strong majority, and a majority earn dental coverage. Male Biologists are just a bit more common than females ones, with males workers composing 50 percent of the field. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Biologists. This overview is derived from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
Biologist Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$33,918 - $82,780
(Median)
34K
50K
63K
83K
MEDIAN: $49,746
10%
50%
75%
90%
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Biologist Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$12.28 - $34.37
(Median)
12
16
21
26
34
MEDIAN: $21.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Salary
$33,918 - $82,780  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,121  
Profit Sharing
$202.73 - $6,214  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$31,284 - $77,563  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 431
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$15$30$45
Hourly Rate
$12.28 - $34.37  
   
Overtime
$21.84 - $42.62  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$30K$60K$90K
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,121  
   
Profit Sharing
$202.73 - $6,214  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$31,284 - $77,563  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 140
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Job Description for Biologist

Biologists analyze living organisms, and they may work in a number of settings. For example, they may work at a university conducting research or they might conduct research to aid with a company's industrial efforts. This work is generally indoors in a laboratory setting, although field work may be required for tasks such as mapping land, gathering samples from the land and water, and assisting with surveying. Travel is sometimes be required to monitor sites away from the office. Research projects and presentations may also require leaving for a week or so at a time.
Read More...
Biologist Tasks
  • Inform public, state, and federal representatives and agencies of test results.
  • Determine environmental effects of land and water use.
  • Conduct and analyze plant and animal biological data about relationships between organisms and their environment.
  • Prepare environmental impact reports.

Common Career Paths for Biologist

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At the upper end, Biologists who move into a Environmental Project Manager role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The typical income for Environmental Project Managers is $64K per year. Biologists most frequently advance into Environmental Scientist and Aquatic Biologist roles even though the median salaries are $3K lower and $6K lower, respectively.

Biologist Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Biologist

Overall, survey participants reported applying a fair number of skills to their work. Most notably, skills in Technical Analysis, Project Management, Research Analysis, and Technical Writing are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts of 10 percent, 5 percent, 5 percent, and 5 percent, respectively. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Data Analysis. Most people skilled in Data Analysis are similarly competent in Project Management and Research Analysis.

Pay by Experience Level for Biologist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience seems to be a major factor in determining the incomes of Biologists. Biologists in the early stages of their careers take home approximately $42K on average. The average for people in the five-to-10 year group is only a little larger at $52K. On average, Biologists make $65K following one to two decades on the job. Big financial gains seem to result from working for more than two decades; veterans in this group report earning $83K on average. One to nine years of experience is standard for most employees in this area; more than half of respondents fit between this range. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up nearly one in five of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise fewer than one in ten, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining nearly one in ten.

Pay Difference By Location

Bethesda
up arrow 29%
New York
up arrow 16%
San Diego
up arrow 15%
Anchorage
up arrow 7%
San Francisco
up arrow 3%
National Average
$49,000
Sacramento
up arrow 2%
Minneapolis
up arrow 3%
Indianapolis
up arrow 8%
Chicago
up arrow 9%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Bethesda offers some of the highest pay in the country for Biologists, 29 percent above the national average. Other urban areas shelling out big bucks include New York, San Diego, Anchorage, and San Francisco, where Biologists typically earn around 16 percent, 15 percent, 7 percent, and 3 percent more than usual. Chicago is the lowest-paying area, 9 percent south of the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Indianapolis and Minneapolis (8 percent lower and 3 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Biologist Salaries

National Average
$49,000

Skills That Affect Biologist Salaries

Technical Analysis
up arrow 10%
Technical Writing
up arrow 2%
National Average
$49,000
Data Analysis
up arrow 4%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 136 votes.

Gender

Female
50%
female alumni
 
Male
50%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
7%
1-4 years
39%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 89% dental benefits Dental: 67%
vision benefits Vision: 53% employee benefits None: 9%