What do they do?

Research and study cellular molecules and organelles to understand cell function and organization.

Also known as:

Molecular Biologist, Research 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 Molecular and Cellular Biologists

Search

Colleges with the most graduates that become Molecular and Cellular Biologists

Search

Looking for colleges that offer a specific major? Use the College Match Tool to find your best-matched schools and discover your estimated Net Price!

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 Molecular and Cellular Biologists

Select Type of Degree:

  • #1
    • Degrees Granted

      79,503
    • Female Students

      53,804
    • Male Students

      25,699
    • Median Starting Salary

      $40,800
  • #2
    • Degrees Granted

      9,290
    • Female Students

      6,486
    • Male Students

      2,804
    • Median Starting Salary

      $42,090
  • #3
    • Degrees Granted

      3,734
    • Female Students

      3,077
    • Male Students

      657
    • Median Starting Salary

      $47,533
  • #4
    • Degrees Granted

      3,455
    • Female Students

      2,184
    • Male Students

      1,271
    • Median Starting Salary

      $42,090
  • #5
    • Degrees Granted

      1,827
    • Female Students

      1,374
    • Male Students

      453
    • Median Starting Salary

      $47,533

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

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.
  • 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.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • 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.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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).
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Number Facility - The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Record research or operational data.
  • Plan biological research.
  • Write grant proposals.
  • Prepare proposals or grant applications to obtain project funding.
  • Analyze biological samples.
  • Research microbiological or chemical processes or structures.
  • Read documents to gather technical information.
  • Proofread documents, records, or other files to ensure accuracy.
  • Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.
  • Instruct college students in physical or life sciences.
  • Direct scientific activities.
  • Evaluate new technologies or methods.
  • Direct medical science or healthcare programs.
  • Supervise scientific or technical personnel.
  • Operate laboratory or field equipment.
  • Research crop management methods.
  • Establish standards for medical care.
  • Develop biological research methods.
  • Coordinate cross-disciplinary research programs.
  • Manage scientific or technical project resources.
  • Develop new or advanced products or production methods.
  • Inspect equipment to ensure proper functioning.
  • Develop technical or scientific databases.

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

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Join thousands of students and parents learning about finding the right college, admissions secrets, scholarships, financial aid, and more.