What do they do?

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

Also known as:

Aquatic Biologist, Aquatic Scientist, Biological Scientist, Biologist, Botanist, Horticulturist, Marine Biologist, Research Biologist, Research Scientist, Scientist

Typical Wages

Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Biological Scientists, All Other is projected to show little or no change from 2020 to 2030.

Projected Employment in VA

No Data Available
  • 1.3%

    Change

    Ranks #39 in job growth rate
    70

    Job Openings

    Ranks #18 in net job growth

Best colleges for Biologists

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Colleges with the most graduates that become Biologists

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Education Level

Percent of workers in this field with these degrees:

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree  (22%)
  • Master's degree  (32%)
  • Bachelor's degree  (45%)
  • Associate's degree  (<1%)
  • Some college, no degree  (<1%)
  • High school diploma equivalent  (<1%)
  • Less than high school diploma  (<1%)

Typical College Majors

Most Popular Majors that prepare Biologists

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People in this career often have these skills:

  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve 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.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Mathematical Reasoning - The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Prepare research or technical reports on environmental issues.
  • Communicate results of environmental research.
  • Develop collaborative relationships between departments or with external organizations.
  • Conduct research of processes in natural or industrial ecosystems.
  • Collect environmental data or samples.
  • Plan biological research.
  • Supervise scientific or technical personnel.
  • Classify organisms based on their characteristics or behavior.
  • Examine characteristics or behavior of living organisms.
  • Write grant proposals.
  • Communicate with government agencies.
  • Provide technical information or assistance to public.
  • Research environmental impact of industrial or development activities.
  • Prepare proposal documents or grant applications.
  • Analyze chemical compounds or substances.
  • Develop plans to manage natural or renewable resources.
  • Instruct college students in physical or life sciences.
  • Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.
  • Review plans or proposals for environmental conservation.
  • Research diseases or parasites.
  • Develop biological research methods.

This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 28.1 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Logo Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

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