Biologist Salary (United States)

A typical Biologist in the United States can expect to take home roughly $49,444 per year. Pay generally spreads from $31,284 to $77,563 per year. Overall cash earnings of Biologists stretch from $31,284 near the bottom to $77,563 near the top, and the heftier packages can encompass around $5,121 each from bonuses and profit sharing. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. A strong majority enjoy medical while more than half get dental coverage in this occupation. Vision coverage is also available to more than half. Women are just slightly outnumbered in the field, with male Biologists making up 50 percent of workers. The majority of Biologists claim high levels of job satisfaction. 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' salaries may rise greatly in accordance with career advancement. Those who assume a higher-end position such as a Environmental Project Manager may get paid an extra $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

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. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Data Analysis. Most people familiar with 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 generally obtain higher salaries for more plentiful past experience. Biologists in the early stages of their career don't see a large increase in pay for the first decade—salary tends to grow from $42K to just $53K. Pay amounts to $65K after 10 to 20 years. Wages continue to improve for Biologists after 20 years in the field, and salaries border $83K. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up around one in five of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than 10 percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining less than 10 percent. Workers in this area tend to have one to 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.
Bethesda offers some of the highest pay in the country for Biologists, 29 percent above the national average. Also paying near the top of the field are New York, San Diego, Anchorage, and San Francisco, where Biologists annually earn 16 percent, 15 percent, 7 percent, and 3 percent more than the national average. Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Chicago, 9 percent below the national average. Below-median salaries also turn up in Indianapolis and Minneapolis (-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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