Job type

Biologist

£14k - £70k

Typical salary

38 – 40

Hours per week

Biologists study living things, like animals and plants.

More info

  • 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.

DAY-TO-DAY DUTIES

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

DAY-TO-DAY ENVIRONMENT

You could work in a laboratory, at a research facility or at a university and you may need to wear protective clothing.

You'll need

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.

CAREER PROSPECTS

You could move into management, teaching, the media, administration and scientific journalism.