- A diverse range of specialism areas you can choose to enter
- You could be based in a laboratory, a classroom, in industry, or on a research ship at sea
- Fieldwork can sometimes take place in challenging conditions
As a biologist, your tasks will depend on your specialism. You could specialise in an area like biotechnology, ecology, immunology, marine biology, microbiology, or molecular biology.
You could use your skills in a variety of ways:
- In agriculture (to improve productivity in livestock or crops)
- In the environment (to clean polluted rivers)
- In conservation (to protect plants and animals)
- In medicine (to develop new methods to diagnose, monitor and treat illness or disease)
- In industry (to prevent food contamination or create ways to dispose of waste safely)
You may also:
- Design and carry out experiments
- Make observations
- Write reports and publish scientific papers
- Teach students if you're based at a university or teaching hospital
- Supervise support staff
You could work in a laboratory, at a research facility or at a university and you may need to wear protective clothing.
To become a biologist, you'll need to be thorough and pay attention to detail, have analytical thinking and the ability to use your initiative.
You'll usually need a relevant degree and often a postgraduate master's qualification in a subject like, biology biological science ecology and marine biology. You'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), including maths and a science, 2 or 3 A levels, including a biological science for a degree.
Employers may also want you to have experience in your area of interest and possibly be working towards a PhD.
You may also be able to become a biologist through a higher or degree apprenticeship as a laboratory scientist. Alternatively, you could start your career as a laboratory technician and train as a biologist while working by doing a relevant qualification.
For your professional career development, you could join the Royal Society of Biology. If you wish to work as a clinical biologist then you could get a degree in life sciences, followed by the NHS Scientist Training Programme.
You could move into management, teaching, research, the media, administration and scientific journalism. Your salary prospects may vary according to the area in which you specialise.