Biologist Salary (United States)

A typical Biologist in the United States can expect to take home roughly $49,444 annually. Pay begins at $31,284 on the low end and climbs to $77,563 per year near the top. With some bonuses and profit sharing proceeds approaching $5,121 each, total income generally ranges from $33,918 to $82,780 depending on individual performance. Career length and geography each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Medical and dental benefits are awarded to most, and more than half earn vision coverage. Women are just slightly outnumbered in the field, with male Biologists making up 50 percent of workers. Most Biologists like their work and job satisfaction is high. This outline is based on answers 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  
PayScale
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  
PayScale
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.
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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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Biologists may receive a large increase in pay with career advancement. Those who transition into an upper level Environmental Project Manager position may earn an additional $14,290 per year. More commonly, Biologists take pay cuts as they move into roles as Environmental Scientists or Aquatic Biologists, making $2,778 or $5,722 less per year, respectively.

Biologist Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Biologist

Typical Biologists report a focused set of job skills. 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. Skills that pay less than market rate include Data Analysis. The majority of those who know Data Analysis also know Project Management and Research Analysis.

Pay by Experience Level for Biologist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Biologists with a rich background of experience are typically rewarded with larger paychecks. Starting at $42K, salaries for Biologists new to the field show little growth early on, reaching just $53K after five to 10 years. Those who spend a decent amount of time in this profession—one to two decades—usually make about $65K. After 20 years of work in the field, Biologists typically earn $83K and go on to enjoy solid increases in earnings. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up 20 percent of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than 10, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining less than 10. More than half of the workforce has between one and nine years of experience.

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.
For those looking to make money, Biologists in Bethesda enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 29 percent above the national average. Those in search of high salaries should also consider checking out cities like New York, San Diego, Anchorage, and San Francisco, top-paying markets where Biologists rake in more than the national norm (+16 percent, +15 percent, +7 percent, and +3 percent). Chicago ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 9 percent below the national average. Employers in Indianapolis and Minneapolis also lean toward paying below-median salaries (-8 percent and -3 percent, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

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%
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