Biologists utilizing genomics and genetics in relation to flora and fauna, commonly known as botanists, study plants and animals in their environments. They do so to understand the nature of survival among plant and animal populations, taking special note of particular traits that adapt species to harsh environmental challenges. By studying genetic qualities in this light, biologists learn how defenses work and how they might be adapted to other species.
New medicines can be derived from plants, so biologists work to identify properties that would benefit humans and other plants and animals. Biologists also help classify new species of plants and animals, further clarifying the boundless diversity of ecosystems worldwide.
Federal, state, and local governments employ slightly more than half of all biological scientists, while the rest work for universities and corporations. The growth of biotechnology is driving a steady demand for biologists. Many biologists are funded by grants, so ultimately the demand for biologists, particularly those with advanced degrees, will depend on the availability of funding.
Working Conditions & Context
Biologists typically work in laboratories, though working in the field is not uncommon. Depending on the nature of their research, they may work locally or travel great distances to explore new environments.
A typical Salary Range for this career is $34,260 - $105,340 annually.
The Median Income for this career is about $58,390 annually.
A Bachelor's degree is sufficient for non-research jobs, but a Master's degree is necessary for jobs in basic research, product development, management, and inspection. A Ph.D. is usually necessary for independent research, university-level teaching, and other advanced and administrative positions.
Certification & Licensing:
The Botanical Society of America
The American Institute of Biological Sciences
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics
** More than a minimum degree may be required for some careers.