8 Things You Can Do with a Biology Degree (and 3 Alternatives)

Biology plays a key role in our understanding of the complex forms of life, which involves humans, plants and animals. Understanding these elaborate details of life helps understand the proper way of caring for ourselves, plants and animals in the right way. Biology also helps explain the link between humanity and the world and it also sprouts interest in the lives of living organism in the hopes of preserving them. Biology is the study of life that touches aspects, such as the function, growth and development of living systems, ranging from the global climate to the human body.

what can you do with a biology degree

Biology Major

As per the National Center for Education Statistics, biology remains a popular subject choice with approximately 90,000 biology bachelor’s degrees granted in the financial year of 2010 to 2011 out of the 1.72 million, accounting for 5.25% of the total number of degrees issued. Biology majors learn to employ scientific methods, use scientific tools and set up experiments. They work on laboratory procedures and techniques along with gathering, organizing and analyzing data. These majors carry complex statistical and mathematical computations with scientific terminology and concepts.

Your Job Options with a Biology Degree

Biology is a basic subject for job opportunities in the health and science sectors but there are a number of routes you can take with this degree.

Higher Education Lecturer

Biology lectures at a university can find the opportunity to establish a long-term and successful academic career that involves teaching, conducting research and leading research groups. The starting wage for a higher education lecturer ranges from  salaries for Higher Education lecturers range from $40,000 to $52,000.

Microbiologist

A microbiologist studies microscopic forms of life. Microbiologists explore the characteristics and growth of microscopic living forms, like bacteria, fungi, algae, or other types of parasites. They are likely to earn an annual salary of $75,000 or more.

Nature Conservative Officer

This is the ideal job for you if you care deeply for the environment and want to work towards making a real and tangible difference. As a nature conservative officer, you have to work for managing, protecting, and enhancing the local environment. This can include woodland, forests, grassland, moorland, coastal areas, rivers and mountains. Part of the job is to also develop policies which may have both local and national impact. Careers within this segment differ and include:

  • Biodiversity officers or project officers
  • Conservation technicians and assistants
  • Sustainable development

Starting salaries range from $22,000 to $29,000, whereas senior level salaries with experience can go up to as much as $24,000 to $36,000. Wages are higher in the consultancy or private sector as developers frequently contact environmental experts to help them with their planning applications.

Pharmacologist

This career is suited for people with a degree in science and good technical skills that will enable a person to work in a cutting-edge field, developing and researching new and present drugs. The aim of pharmacologists is to understand how medicines work so they can be used safely and effectively. They also carry out research to help drug development and discovery.

The job involves studying the interaction of drugs with the biological systems to predict how a certain medicine will impact humans. Pharmacologists often have to work with other scientists and share results with colleagues through reports, meetings and conferences.

You can choose from the following fields of pharmacology:

  • Neuropharmacology
  • In Vivo Pharmacology
  • Cardiovascular Pharmacology
  • Veterinary Pharmacology
  • Psychopharmacology

Higher educational lecturers with experience in pharmacology can earn more than $67,000 while senior level work with experience can earn from $42,000 to upwards of $90,000. On the other hand, with a PhD studentship, you can earn around $17,500 a year.

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Physician Associate

If what you are looking for is a role in dealing with patients without becoming a doctor, the job of a physician associate is for you. By completing this course, you can become a trained health professional, offering critical support to doctors and dealing with patients on a regular basis. A physician associate is not the same as a physician assistant, and requires associates to work directly under the supervision of doctor and handle small tasks, such as patient examination, treatment and diagnosis.

The average yearly salary of a physician associate is around $43,000. Normal salaries range from $36,000 to $38,000, but senior physicians with experience in the industry can earn between $39,000 and $59,000.

Secondary School Teacher

A job opportunity as a secondary school teacher offers you a chance to teach biology and prepare them for their future. The responsibilities of a secondary school typically includes supporting, observing and recording the performance of pupils aged 11 to 18. Lessons will be planned according to the national curriculum, keeping in mind the assigned objectives.

You need to be updated first with the developmental aspects, new methods, national objectives and resources. You will also be responsible for networking and communicating with other professionals as well as parents, both formally and informally. Salaries typically start from around $28,000 and keep increasing with the level of experience.

Research Scientist

If you love working on and planning experiments, being a research scientist might just be the job for you. Researchers within life sciences are basically involved in conducting and planning experiments and assessing results, either for broadening scientific horizons in general or with a specific purpose, for example commercial applications or developing new products.

Life sciences cover a broad variety of scientific disciplines, such as:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Plant Sciences
  • Cancer Studies
  • Microbiology
  • Biotechnology
  • Physiology
  • Biotechnology
  • Stem Cell Research
  • Genomics
  • Pharmacology
  • Neurosciences

PhD studentship in life sciences typically comes with an annual stipend of $17,500 but can go higher than this rate. Research scientists who have an MPhil, MSc or PhD normally earn between $30,000 and $43,000. Senior research scientists with experience can easily earn between $36,000 and $55,000. Researchers or university professors with high responsibility levels can earn between $61,000 and $85,000.

Soil Scientist

A soil scientist interprets, gathers and assesses information about the biology, physics and chemistry of soils to influence and inform issues, such as:

  • Biodiversity
  • Agricultural production
  • Climate change
  • Land remediation
  • Human health
  • Environmental quality

Soil science is an incorporated science, covering different scientific disciplines. Hence, soil scientists can work in a variety of fields, including:

  • Government policy
  • Research for private and public sector institutions
  • Consultancy
  • Assistance with subsequent laboratory and archaeological excavations
  • Overseas development
  • Landscape design
  • Site remediation and reclamation
  • Forensics
  • Conservation

The salary package of a soil scientist starts from $19,000 and can go up to $27,000, whereas salaries of experienced employees start from $29,000 and go up to $63,000. Wages generally depend on the sector you are working in, your qualification and experience and the type of organization. Soil scientists working for commercial environmental consultancies and the private sector generally earn more than their counterparts as employed by voluntary organizations and the government bodies.

Jobs Where a Biology Degree Can Come In Useful

Psychologist

Human behavior, which is the focal point of psychology, is mainly understood in the terminology of biological processes like hormones and genes, functioning of the brain, and the changes in structure and/or function.

Science Writer

Science writers study, write and edit scientific information, news, features and articles. They write for professional publications, businesses, trade publications, technical journals, general media and specialist journals. Writers should be able to comprehend complicated scientific information, practices and theories. They also should be able to deliver their thoughts in a clear, precise and accurate manner that people can understand without any hassle.

Acupuncturist

An acupuncturist is a health practitioner who takes steps for the best way to manage a disease. The focus is on the overall health rather than the individual condition and the goal is to enhance the person’s general wellbeing.

Acupuncture is an old form of therapy based on the theory that the body is dependent on vital energy, called qi, being in complete balance. Due to illness or pain, acupuncturists see this as a sign that the body is out of balance. In order to rectify this imbalance, needles are inserted into acupuncture points, which in turn restore the flow of qi and trigger the body’s natural healing procedure.

The right handling of qi can treat a number of physical and emotional conditions, like:

  • Musculo-Skeletal Disorders
  • Circulatory And Respiratory Disorders
  • Gynaecological Disorders
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • Stress-Related And Neurological Disorders
  • Relief from Allergies And Pain

Biology is a powerful academic subject that can open a number of career doors and challenge your senses in a way that you are always motivated to jump forward. You are restricted to not only research-based work but can partake in fun fields, like biologist technician and conservation scientist.

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