What Jobs Can You Get With a Biology Degree?
In a world brimming with life and living matter, one may not be inclined to wonder what jobs you can get with a biology degree, but for the benefit of the curious, there are diverse career options available for biology majors, some which include positions as lab microbiologists, biological technicians, biophysicists, biochemists and zoologists.
A degree in biology provides the basis for a quick passage into the health and science sector where you can get various jobs that you can do.
According to USAToday College, Biology ranks fourth most popular course studied in the U.S with career options ranging from laboratory assistants, teachers, lab technicians for Bachelor’s holders, to medical doctors, educators and veterinarian for Master’s and Doctorate degree holders.
A biology degree has a positive job outlook for those with intent of focusing and working as biochemists and biophysicists as the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics pegs their growth rate at 8% with 34,100 possible jobs available from 2014-2024.
This is in contrast to positions as zoologists/microbiologists, which both have a 4% job growth rate and 21300 and 22400 possible available jobs respectively from 2014-2024.
It can be said that job prospects with a biology degree are numerous but with different remuneration, according to the area of focus.
Job options available for biology degree holders vary from those with Associate degree to those with Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Ph.D. degrees. So many jobs are available that the question, “What can you do with a biology degree?” does not need much stress to answer.
What can you do with a Biology Associate’s Degree?
Associate degree holders in biology are usually at the bottom of the ‘job chain’. Not to be put off by the idea of being at the bottom, it is interesting to note that there are several decent-paying jobs one can get with just an Associates in biology.
Some of the job positions include:
- Biological technician, whose duty involves sampling, testing and analyzing of biological data
- Medical laboratory technician, who helps in the analysis and diagnosis of diseases and illnesses
- Medical assistant, who aids doctors in taking patient’s vital signs and making appointments
- Veterinary Technologist, whose job entails preparing animals for surgery, collecting laboratory samples, and providing aftercare services
- Conservation technician, whose role involves collecting samples and conducting tests, with the aim of improving or maintaining natural habitats like rivers, forests, and farms.
The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 pegged the respective median salaries of the above jobs at $41,650, $50,550, $30,590, $31,800 and $60,220 annually.
To increase earning potential and for professional advancement, biology Associate degree holders usually go for further studies to obtain a Bachelor’s degree.
This increases their career value in highly competitive job market and furnishes them with a wide range of skills such as research skills, problem-solving skills, ability to properly use scientific method and new technologies to work faster and better.
With these skills and more, they can go ahead and provide solutions in areas such as environment, forestry, agriculture, health, and education.
What can you do with a Biology Bachelor’s Degree?
Job positions you can get with a Bachelor’s degree in biology include: research biologist, science writer, biology teacher, veterinarian, and medical research assistant.
Their job specifications include:
- Research biologist, collecting samples from animals, plants and analyzing them
- Science writer, producing bio-journals and academic writings
- Biology teacher, teaching the basics of biology to high school students
- Veterinarian, assisting in the treatment of animal diseases by collecting samples and conducting laboratory tests
- Medical research assistant, testing/handling of specimen, analysis/report of test results; assisting lab scientists in conducting quantitative and qualitative analysis of organic/inorganic material; testing of samples and interpretation of data; collecting evidence from crime scenes, analyzing them to help solve crime; and performing administrative duties in a physician’s office.
The 2014 U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted a median salary range of $63,230-$91,960 for various Biology fields, except teachers who earn an average of $57,620-$59,330 annually.
Students with Bachelor’s in biology often go ahead to obtain Master’s or Doctorate degree in a bid to attain the highest level in their careers and to overcome the stiff competition for jobs.
This is peculiar to those looking to secure permanent positions as researchers in colleges and universities.
With advanced degree in biology you can lead research teams and supervise projects.
What can you do with a Biology Master’s or Doctorate Degree?
Job positions for advanced biology degree holders include: bacteriologists, clinical microbiologists, environmental microbiologists, mycologists, parasitologists, virologists, and their respective duties entail:
- Bacteriologists, studying the properties of bacteria
- Clinical microbiologists, performing laboratory tests on plants, animals and humans
- Environmental microbiologists, studying how micro-organisms interact with the environment
- Mycologists, studying how to use fungi to benefit the society
- Parasitologists, investigating outbreak of diseases and how to control them
- Virologists, studying the effect of virus on infected organisms.
The average salary range of a biology Ph.D. holder according to Payscale is $48,819-$120321 for both male and female earners annually.
Having a biology degree can be said to have more pros than cons if any as it prepares you for employment in a myriad of industries, ranging from the pharma industry to biotech, agricultural, healthcare industry, government research, to the administration sector. Whatever your degree type, you are sure of getting a good paying and fulfilling job.