Careers with a Biology Degree

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What You Can Do with a Biology Degree

Completing a Bachelor of Science degree (BSc) in Biology helps prepare you for a wide variety of biology-related careers, such as those found in the environmental and biological sciences, the biotechnology sector, or in a medical profession.

 

Some careers you will be able to jump right into. These are typically positions with lower levels of responsibility, often referred to as “entry-level” jobs. Jobs with a higher degree of responsibility will often require further education, training and/or experience to qualify for. This typically includes many teaching, research and consulting positions.

 

Fortunately, if you are interested in a career that requires further education, an undergraduate biology degree also serves as a great foundation for advanced study in Biology and other graduate and professional programs, such as Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine and Law.

 

This Biology careers guide contains detailed occupational information on career paths relevant to this degree. Included are job descriptions, expected salaries, educational requirements and other pertinent information related to these careers. We’ve also included Biology-specific scholarships to help you pay for school!

 

 

Career Fields for Biology Graduates

There are many different forms of Biology careers. Here is a list of careers for which a Biology background is a requirement or at least quite useful:

 

• Agricultural science

• Biotechnology

• Chiropractic Medicine

• Dentistry

• Environmental Consulting

• Forensic Science

• Forestry

• Medicine

• Optometry

• Pharmacy

• Physiotherapy

• Research

• Teaching

 

 

 

 

 

Job Board for Biology Students & Grads

Biology Jobs

 

Job Boards for Related Fields:

Biochemistry Jobs

Botany Jobs

Chemistry Jobs

 

 

 

 

 

What is Biology? What Does it Teach You?

Biology is a scientific field wherein living things and their vital processes are studied. There are many different types of living things, and many different biological processes among them, thus there are many different areas of specialty within Biology. However, there are also commonalities in biology and biological processes shared by all living things.

 

Because of this diversity of life forms, as well as the commonalities shared among them, the study of biology at the undergraduate university level is taught one of two ways, depending on the school offering the program.

 

The first teaching approach involves focusing on the commonalities shared among all life forms. The second approach involves separating the study of plants (botany) from that of animals (zoology), and the study of structure of organisms (morphology) from that of function (physiology).

 

 

Method of Teaching in Biology Programs

Typically, undergraduate Biology programs involve teaching you the fundamentals of various biological concepts and practical research techniques during the first two years.

 

Upper level courses during the last few years of university tend to build on these concepts and techniques, allowing you to explore more advanced concepts and techniques. During this time, you may also choose an area of specialization within the field of Biology, depending on where their interests lie.

 

Many undergraduate Biology degree programs involve intensive lab experience, where you’re are taught hands-on skills such as the appropriate use of equipment, and various techniques for investigating living organisms and how they function.

 

Major projects may also be a requirement for you in your senior year. These projects may or may not involve the supervision of a Biology department faculty member. These projects allow you to directly apply the knowledge and skill set you’ve gained through coursework and lab work.

 

 

 

Who Hires Biology Graduates?

There are many employers, representing many different sectors of industry that are interested in the skills and knowledge of Biology majors. Below is an example of the types of employers that will be interested in the skill set you have as a Biology graduate.

 

• Chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies

• Companies in the agriculture, food, natural resource and utility industries

• Environmental and engineering consulting firms

• Federal, provincial/state and local government departments and agencies

• Healthcare and education institutions, such as hospitals and universities

• Medical and veterinary research organizations

 

 

 

Biology Graduate Average Salary Levels

The average salary you could earn with a biology degree varies based on a wide variety of factors, such as:  

 

• The type, size, and budget of your employer

• The discretion of your employer

• Your level of education and experience

• Your level of certification (if applicable)

• The region in which you work 

• How much overtime you are able to work (if applicable)

• The amount of responsibility inherent in your position

• Your level of experience (people with several years worth of experience can often earn substantially in their profession more than what’s listed below)  

 

Most importantly, however, the salary you could earn varies based on the career field you enter. Below is an overview of the average earnings of people in a few career fields that are relevant to a degree in biology.   

 

Please Note: The salary information listed below is meant only to serve as a guideline. In many cases, workers in these fields can earn a much lower, or much higher, salary than is stated below.   

 

Agrologist

Alberta: $92,817 (ALIS)

Canada: $65,334 (PayScale)

United States: $62,910 (BLS)

 

Anatomist

Alberta: $84,998 (ALIS)

Canada: N/A

United States: $82,090 (BLS)

 

Audiologist

Alberta: $100,381 (ALIS)

Canada: $70,580 (indeed)

United States: $75,920 (BLS)

 

Beekeeper

Alberta: $73,770 (ALIS)

Canada: N/A

United States: $69,620 (BLS)

 

Biological Technologist

Alberta: $71,632 (ALIS)

Canada: $59,480 (indeed)

United States: $43,800 (BLS)

 

Biologist
Alberta: $84,998 (ALIS)

Canada: $63,381 (indeed)

United States: $69,960 (BLS)

 

Biomedical Engineer

Alberta: $98,254 (ALIS)

Canada: $63,240 (indeed)

United States: $88,040 (BLS)

 

Botanical Field Technician 

(See “Biological Technologist”)

 

Botanist

(See “Biologist”)

 

Cardiac Imaging Technologist

Alberta: $71,200 (ALIS) 

Canada: $64,420 (indeed)

United States: $55,570 (indeed)

 

Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist

Alberta: $71,200 (ALIS)

Canada: N/A

United Sates: $43,923 (BLS)

 

Chiropractor

Alberta: N/A

Canada: $69,700 (indeed)

United Sates: $68,640 (BLS)

 

Clinical Technician

Alberta: $77,398 (ALIS)

Canada: N/A

United States: $51,770 (BLS)

 

Conservation Officer

Alberta: $70,214 (ALIS)

Canada: $51,049 (PayScale)

United States: $58,570 (BLS)

 

Crime Lab Assistant

Alberta: $62,913 (ALIS)

Canada: N/A

United States: $57,850 (BLS)

 

Dentist

Alberta: $154,564 (ALIS)

Canada: N/A

United States: $158,120 (BLS)

 

Doctor (General Practice)

Alberta: $230,100 (ALIS)

Canada: $271,000 (Global News - Via Canadian Institute of Health Report

United States: $208,000 (BLS)

 

Ecologist

(See “Biologist”)

 

Elementary School Teacher

Alberta: $78,971 (ALIS)

Canada: $51,702 (PayScale)

United States: $56,900 (BLS)

 

Entomologist 

(See “Zoologists”)

 

Epidemiologist

Alberta: $84,988 (ALIS)

Canada: N/A 

United States: $69,660 (BLS)

 

Food and Drug Inspector

Alberta: $80,949 (ALIS)

Canada: $44,418 to $111,523 (Canadian Food Inspection Agency)

United States: $64,660 (BLS)

 

Forensic Lab Analyst

(See “Crime Lab Assistant”)

 

Funeral Director

Alberta: $59,900 (ALIS)

Canada: $46,979 (PayScale)

United States: $56,300 (BLS)

 

Geneticist

(See “Biologist”)

 

High School Teacher

Alberta: $73,966 (ALIS)

Canada: $58,000 (PayScale)

United States: $59,170 (BLS)

 

Ichthyologist 

(See “Zoologist”)

 

Laboratory Manager

Alberta: N/A

Canada: $63,590 (PayScale)

United States: $60,174 (indeed)

 

Mammalogist

(See “Zoologist”)

 

Marine Biologist

(See “Zoologist”)

 

Microbiologist

Alberta: $84,988 (ALIS)

Canada: N/A

United States: $69,960 (BLS)

 

Molecular Biologist

(See “Microbiologist”)

 

Naturalist

(See “Biologist”)

 

Ornithologist

(See “Zoologist”)

 

Orthopaedic Technician

Alberta: N/A

Canada: N/A

United Sates: $66,240 (BLS)

 

Paleontologist

Alberta: $87,546 (ALIS)

Canada: $85,000 (Glassdoor)

United States: $62,280 (BLS)

 

Pharmacist

Alberta: $98,037 (ALIS)

Canada: $103,926 (Glassdoor)

United States: $124,170 (BLS)

 

Physiologist

(See “Anatomist”)

 

Public Health Planner

Alberta: N/A

Canada: $75,760 (indeed)

United States: $77,426 (indeed)

 

Registered Nurse

Alberta: $80,129 (ALIS)

Canada: $73,980 (indeed)

United Sates: $70,000 (BLS)

 

Regulatory Affairs Manager

Alberta: N/A

Canada: $82,478 (indeed)

United States: $105,290 (Glassdoor)

 

Regulatory Affairs Specialist

Alberta: N/A
Canada: $58,942 (PayScale)
United States: $67,510 (Glassdoor)

 

Research Assistant

Alberta: $41,027 (ALIS)

Canada: $32,796 (Glassdoor)

United Sates: $26,560 (BLS)

 

Sales Representative
Alberta: $62,683 (ALIS)
Canada: $61,624 (indeed)
United Sates: $60,340 (BLS)

 

Science Writer

(See “Technical Writer”)

 

Sexual Health Educator

Alberta: N/A

Canada: N/A

United Sates: $45,360 (BLS)

 

Soil Scientist

Alberta: $75,812 (ALIS)

Canada: $75,000 (PayScale)

United States: $69,170 (BLS)

 

Sports Medicine Physician

Alberta: $94,842 (ALIS)

Canada: N/A

United Sates: $423,392 (BLS)

 

Technical Writer
Alberta: $58,979 (ALIS)
Canada: $56,634 (PayScale)
United States: $57,549 (BLS)

 

University Professor

Alberta: $74,877 (ALIS)

Canada: $157,610 (indeed)

United Sates: $76,000 (BLS)

 

Veterinarian

Alberta: $100,080 (ALIS)

Canada: $72,689 (PayScale)

United States: $98,230 (BLS)

 

Wastewater Treatment Engineer

Alberta: $99,194 (ALIS)

Canada: N/A

United States: $86,800 (BLS)

 

Wildlife Biologist

(See “Zoologist”)

 

Zoologist

Alberta: $84,988 (ALIS)

Canada: N/A

United States: $62,290 (BLS)  

 

 

The name in brackets next to the salary data for each region is the sources from which the data was obtained. Please note, the salary data that is sourced from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) represents median salary figures, rather than average salary figures.

 

 

Biology Degree Salary Data References

ALIS: Alberta Learning and Information Service (alis.alberta.ca), sponsored by the Government of Alberta. For an overview of their salary survey methodology, please visit here.

PayScale: Private organization owned by PayScale Incorporated (payscale.com). For an overview of their salary survey methodology, please visit here

BLS: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov), sponsored by the federal government of the United States of America. For details regarding their salary survey methodology, please visit here.

Glassdoor: indeed is a private organization owned by Glassdoor incorporated (glassdoor.com). For an overview of their salary survey methodology, please visit here.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency: For the career profile of “Food & Drug Inspector” 

 

 

 

 

Career Guides Related to a Biology Degree

The knowledge and skills you can gain by studying biology at the university level serve as an excellent foundation for the following careers (not an inclusive list):

 

Agrologist

Anatomist

Audiologist

Beekeeper

Bio-Analyst

Biological Technologist

Biologist

Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical Ethics Researcher

Biophysicist

Biostatistician

Biotechnology Researcher

Blogger

Botanical Field Technician

Botanist

Cardiac Imaging Researcher

Cardiac Rehabilitation Specialist

Cell Biologist

Chiropractor

Clinical Data Analyst

Clinical Research Associate

Clinical Research Coordinator

Clinical Technician

Conservation Officer

Crime Lab Assistant

Dentist

DNA Analyst

Doctor

Ecologist

Elementary School Teacher

Entomologist

Entrepreneur

Environmental Analyst

Environmental Lawyer

Epidemiologist

Food and Drug Inspector

Forensic Lab Analyst

Funeral Director

Genetic Counselor

Genetic Technologist

Geneticist

Health Educator

Herpetologist

High School Teacher

Horticulturalist

Ichthyologist

Immunologist

Industrial Hygienist

Laboratory Manager

Mammalogist

Marine Biologist

Medical Illustrator

Medical Laboratory Technologist

Medical Librarian

Medical Scientist

Medical Writer

Microbiologist

• Military Officer

Molecular Biologist

Molecular Biophysicist

Mycologist

Nanotechnologist

Naturalist

Neurologist

Ornithologist

Orthopaedic Technician

Osteopathic Physician

Paleontologist

Pest Control Technician

Pharmacist

Physiologist

Plant Geneticist

Project Assistant

Public Health Director

Quality Control Specialist

Registered Nurse

Regulatory Affairs Manager

Regulatory Affairs Specialist

Research Assistant

Sales Representative

Science Advisor

Science Writer

Sensory Scientist

Sexual Health Educator

Soil Conservationist

Soil Scientist

Sports Medicine Physician

Technical Writer

Toxicologist

University Professor

Veterinarian

Wastewater Treatment Engineer

Water Quality Analyst

Wildlife Biologist

Wildlife Manager

Zoologist

 

Please Note: Some of the above listed careers require additional education, training and/or experience. Click on careers that are of interest to you to find out more about the qualifications you’ll need.

 

 

 

Job Postings Related to Your Biology Degree!

Whether you're a student looking for a job to help you pay for school, or a graduate looking for an entry or mid-level job, our job board has opportunities directly and indirectly related to your degree.

 

Browse Biology Jobs

 

 

 

Areas of Specialty Within Biology

There are many different areas of specialty within Biology due to the vast amount of living things on the planet, and the many different biological processes that exist among them. These areas of specialty include:

 

• Biochemistry

• Bioinformatics and Biostatistics

• Biophysics

• Cell and Molecular Biology

• Ecology

• Entomology

• Genetics

• Immunology

• Marine Biology

• Microbiology

• Neuroscience

• Nutrition and Food Science

• Pharmacology

• Physiology

 

 

FIND A SCHOOL >

 

Gaining Experience for Biology Careers as a Student

Getting an internship (also known as a practicum, field placement or co-op work opportunity) in a career field related to your Biology degree is the best way to gain work experience you’re still in school.

 

An internship allows you to develop professional competencies while earning school credit. But you’re not the only one who wins. In return, employers get valuable temporary team members.

 

These sorts of opportunities can also result in being hired by the sponsoring employer once you’ve graduated. If you’ve done quality work and made a good impression, chances are that organization will want to retain you on a full-time basis once you’ve graduated. 

 

 

How Do I Find a Biology Internship?

You may have the opportunity arranged for you by your school, if it is an academic requirement to participate in an internship. If it's not a requirement, and your school doesn't outright arrange it for you, an internship coordinator at the school will likely at least point you in the right direction as far as finding one.

 

If it is not a requirement to work an internship, you should still try to find an internship, because of their many benefits. Speak with your professors, other Biology department staff as well as your school’s guidance and career counselors to help you find a suitable opportunity.

 

Please Note: If you’re seeking an internship from an outside source, be cautious. Many internship opportunities operate in the grey area of employment law, and are designed to use students as free labour in order to perform mundane tasks.

 

 

Biology Degree Scholarships

If you’re a Biology major looking for help in paying for school, then you’re in luck! Our scholarships database has Canadian and American scholarships that are specific to Biology, scholarships for science students in general, and scholarships that are open to any field of study.

 

Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any and all scholarships for which you qualify, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships in Canada and the United States that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants.

 

 

Professional Associations for Careers in Biology

To find out more about careers directly related to your Biology degree, consult the following professional association websites. They offer career-related information, and many have opportunities for student membership, as well as job placement and mentoring opportunities.

 

Canada

Association of Professional Biology

Canadian Society of Environmental Biologists

Canadian Society of Microbiologists

 

United States

American Institute of Biological Sciences

The American Society for Cell Biology

The American Society for Microbiology

The American Society of Human Genetics

 

 


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