Biologists

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About the Job

Research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, development, anatomy, and functions.

It is also Called

  • Wildlife Biologist
  • Scientist
  • Research Scientist
  • Research Fisheries Biologist
  • Research Biologist
  • Research Associate
  • Research Analyst
  • Rare/Endangered Species Specialist
  • Plant Ecologist
  • Physiologist

What They Do

  • Develop pest management and control measures, and conduct risk assessments related to pest exclusion, using scientific methods.
  • Study reactions of plants, animals, and marine species to parasites.
  • Develop methods and apparatus for securing representative plant, animal, aquatic, or soil samples.
  • Identify, classify, and study structure, behavior, ecology, physiology, nutrition, culture, and distribution of plant and animal species.
  • Research environmental effects of present and potential uses of land and water areas, determining methods of improving environmental conditions or such outputs as crop yields.
  • Review reports and proposals, such as those relating to land use classifications and recreational development, for accuracy, adequacy, or adherence to policies, regulations, or scientific standards.
  • Communicate test results to state and federal representatives and general public.
  • Prepare plans for management of renewable resources.
  • Measure salinity, acidity, light, oxygen content, and other physical conditions of water to determine their relationship to aquatic life.
  • Plan and administer biological research programs for government, research firms, medical industries, or manufacturing firms.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IR.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Realistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Recognition and Independence in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

LMI Region

Wages

In 2013, the average annual wage in United States was $77,630 with most people making between $39,700 and $124,680

Outlook

0.99%
avg. annual growth

During 2010, this occupation employed approximately 101,000 people in United States. It is projected that there will be 115,000 employed in 2020.

This occupation will have about 1,000 openings due to growth and about 35,000 replacement openings for approximately 36,000 total annual openings.