Biologist Career Information

Biologists work and specialize across a wide range of fields within biology. Biologists work in so many different areas, here is a list of the most popular:

  • Entomology
  • Botany
  • Microbiology
  • Zoology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biophysics
  • Environmentalism
  • Ecology
  • Wildlife management
  • Genetics
  • Disease studies
  • Marine biology
  • Mycology

Each of these fields has its own specialties. Since the start of the 21st century, biology has expanded rapidly as a result of new technology and discoveries, notably in genetics. A further factor in the huge development of the science has been that biological studies have changed from being comparatively passive academic processes to industrial and environmental applications.

The Work Environment

This very diverse field creates its own work environments according to needs and functions. A biologist's work environment is very much based around the nature of their work. There are two basic forms of the biologist's work environment:

  • Field work: This very broad term covers all aspects of a biologist's work outside the lab environment. They can work in caves, labs, college facilities, underwater, or in trees. Zoologists, entomologists, botanists and mycologists spend a lot of time in the natural habitats of their subjects. Over a career, anything up to 50% of their time may be in the field. Global travel is a major component in some areas of biology. 
  • Lab/college/research environment: This is usually a scientific, commercial or academic work environment. Some biologists specialize in these fields, rather than the direct field work of other types of biology. Researchers have a particularly complex combination of possible work environments, often needing direct contact with the field work, but also being highly committed to research programs and their related time management issues.

Wages

Depend on the field of study, contracts, grants, and qualifications. Commercial products and intellectual property form part of the income of many biologists. The hours are essentially "on demand", with research programs working on specific guidelines, deadlines and other protocols.

The Career Environment

The big boom in demand for biologists has greatly increased job and career mobility. The vastly increased exposure of biology since the start of the century through news and media products has created a niche market for these products. In academic employment, biology teachers are also in demand. This situation has created a lot of flexibility in both career options and career progression. Although many biologists are specialists, unlike most other specialists, their skills transfer to a large range of options. 

A zoologist, for example, has this range of career choices:

  • Academic jobs like lecturing, teaching, or training
  • Field research
  • Media presentation
  • Environmental zoology
  • Grants based work
  • Commercial study work for corporations

Most biologists are able to operate several of their options at once. This creates multiple income streams, and adds considerable weight and quality to their career portfolios of achievements. 

Biologists are all self-motivated, highly committed professionals. They can achieve a lot through this characteristic, and as experts in their fields, know how to apply their skills effectively in career terms.