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...
These professionals work with fellow researchers in the field and in the office under the supervision of a head biologist. They must be able to communicate well with co-workers and supervisors. Additionally, because they need to write many reports, they must have excellent skills in analyzing and presenting data in a written form. Biologists often work on multiple projects at once, so multitasking capabilities are a must.
Generally, biologists need at least a bachelor's degree in biology or a related field; most biologist positons require post-baccalaureate education (such as a master's or doctoral degree) as well. These professionals must have excellent attention to detail in charting their data and experimental design. This includes having excellent note-taking and data-logging abilities, generally including basic computer skills to log data.
- Conduct and analyze plant and animal biological data about relationships between organisms and their environment.
- Prepare environmental impact reports.
- Inform public, state, and federal representatives and agencies of test results.
- Determine environmental effects of land and water use.
Common Career Paths for Biologist
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Popular Employer Salaries for Biologist
Heading up the field in terms of compensation, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers the most; Biologists earn $97K on average there.
Popular Skills for Biologist
Biologists report using a wide range of professional skills. Most notably, facility with Molecular Biology, Project Management, and Technical Writing are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 27 percent, 20 percent, and 13 percent, respectively. Those familiar with Data Analysis also tend to 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.
In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Relatively untried employees who have less than five years' experience have a median salary of $41K. Those who have been around for five to 10 years can expect to take home more — $52K on average. Biologists see a median salary of $63K after reaching one to two decades on the job. More than 20 years of experience seem related to solid financial gains; veterans in this group report earning a median of $87K.
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