how to become a biologist

What does a Biologist do?

A biologist studies living and dead organisms. Some biologists focus in a certain area to research, such as wildlife biologists, marine biologists, or microbiologists. All of these biologists have the same fundamental education in biology and then specialize in a field they enjoy. No matter the type of biologist, they all should have a natural curiosity to learn about life. Watch a video to learn what a biologist does:

How to Become a Biologist

how to become a biologist

A bachelor’s degree would be the minimum requirement to gain an entry-level job as a biologist. You would most likely take courses in genetics (the study of the properties or features of an organism), evolution (the study on how living organisms are thought to have developed), and physiology (the study of the way in which a living organism or bodily part functions).

Most biology students though, continue on to earn a master’s degree with a focus on the specialized area of biology they wish to pursue. You will also want as much experience as possible, so working an internship before graduating may make job hunting easier upon graduation.

Biologists have many benefits in their jobs, including the opportunity to solve social and economic issues. They love new discoveries so this career field never gets dull. Biologists also like the benefit of being involved in world-class research. Many biologists agree that they like the advantages of working in attractive settings, like laboratories, universities, or medical environments. They also work with other professionals and are able to enjoy a career with collaborative interaction.

Job Description of a Biologist

A biologist may be tasked to study how life is impacted by the environment in which it lives. Alternately, they may also be asked to analyze how an epidemic can spread among a species. Though they may work indoors, they also may split their time working outdoors to study living organisms. They may also find themselves collecting biological specimens from organisms to study in a lab. The would likely present their findings to others through reports and the sharing of data. They would also be the knowledge expert to make recommendations on items such as wildlife conservation or environmental policies.

Biologist Career Video Transcript

From the smallest microorganism to the giant blue whale, every living thing is of interest to biologists, who study the basic principles of plant and animal life. Biologists use the scientific method, testing their ideas or hypotheses through experimentation, to investigate questions about the origin of life, its development, and the relationships between living things, as well as a creature’s anatomy and how it functions in its environment. Whether they’re working in a lab, out in the field, or at a university, biologists collect and analyze biological data, although the specifics of their research are as varied as the creatures in nature. For example, some biologists may work almost exclusively with computer models, while others may spend months collecting and studying specimens at sea. Many specialize in working with plants, animals, or the environment. Biologists need strong communication skills. Their work is often as much about interacting with people and institutions as it is focusing on DNA or anatomy. A career in biology generally requires a bachelor’s degree in the field. Many biologists attend graduate school to earn more advanced research positions or professorships.

One of my favorite jobs is working with farm animals and on any center day I could go down and collect a sample in the morning time and then go back in the afternoon and collect another sample, for instance milk and then I can look at any changes that have occurred throughout the day. Our main goal is to protect human and animal health and by doing that I mean it gives us all here I think a lot of satisfaction knowing that we’re helping out everyone, including your animals at home. I guess I always really enjoyed doing science fair projects. My advice would just be to go out and try and volunteer and go to participate in the science fair and go to camps during the summer.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists.

National Center for O*NET Development. 19-1020.01. O*NET OnLine.