This particular branch of science offers a multitude of occupations once you obtain your bachelor of science degree in biology. However, you may be asking the question, “What can you do with a biology degree?”
There are also varying types of biology available to explore that will allow you to expand your knowledge in the field and, in turn, enhance your likelihood of getting a job in the field if studied.
Branches of Biology
There are many different categories of biology available for study today, and the information learned continues to grow as time progresses, and biologists continue to explore the subject. Below is a list of some types of biology currently studied today:
- Aerobiology: the study of organic particles in the air
- Agriculture: you examine the growth of crops and how livestock are raised
- Anatomy: You study the functions and forms in animals, plants, and other living organisms, sometimes strictly human body organs and functions
- Botany: Focuses solely on the study of plants
- Cell Biology: which, as its name implies, is the study of the individual cell
- Epidemiology: The study of factors that affect health conditions among multiple populations
- Marine Biology: You focus on ocean animals, ecosystems, plants, and more living things
- Neurobiology: The medical study of a person’s nervous system and its anatomy, pathology, and physiology
- Paleontology: The studying of prehistoric life and evidence leading to the subject such as fossils and geography
- Zoology: A subject in which you study the classifications, physiology, developments, and behaviors of animals, both domesticated and wildlife.
People all over the world are employed with jobs covering many of these subjects, and a wide range of schools exist where you can learn the ropes of these types of biology sciences to prepare yourself for a career in the field.
How to Get Your Bachelors Degree in Biology
Who knew biology could be such a broad subject? Many schools around the country offer biology degrees that will help you land the job of your dreams. If you like plants and animals and can at least tolerate other humans, this subject may be for you. A bachelor’s degree can take you, on average, from three to five years to complete.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
The biology department at MIT, located in Cambridge, MA, ranks number one on US News’ Best Biological Science Programs list. They rank within the top six for biochemistry, genetics, and even neurobiology. The school offers research opportunities for undergraduate biology students, and the website also has a page dedicated to career opportunities for graduate students to find work, as well.
Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA, offers programs in which you can earn a bachelor of science degree in computational biology and biological sciences. It is a highly rated private school with small classes and laboratory research programs for a variety of sciences.
Purdue University located in West Lafayette, IN, offers a wide range of agricultural programs and other biology-related fields, including biochemistry and biomedical engineering. It is a public school also featured on the Colleges with Unique or Highly Specialized Majors list at www.collegexpress.com.
Careers in Biology
Many jobs are available for people who major in or have majored in some branch of biology. In today’s society, jobs in specific academic fields are difficult to come by. Most available jobs seem to require field experience, so laboratory research in college is a great way to prepare for what you may be handling once you find a job in your field. Entry-level positions are few and far between anymore, but they’re out there. You just have to dig.
You may be wondering, “What can you do with a biology degree?” Below are a few ways in which you may use your biology degree to your advantage.
Biology Careers for Beginners
Here, you will find some entry-level job options and their potential salaries for someone with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Many jobs today require a bachelor’s degree in one field or another, and with a bachelors of science in biology, you could easily snag some of these positions.
If you major in biology in college as an undergraduate student, you have the option of becoming a teacher of that subject. It is possible for you to teach at elementary, middle, or high school levels.
Every school district needs a few biology teachers, so this is a reasonably desirable position. If you enjoy being part of a study group and helping people learn about your subject, then teaching is a path you should consider.
You’d have summers and holidays off, and your salary could average between $28,000 and $50,000 a year, depending on the grade level taught and the school district’s standards.
You can become a biological technician with just a bachelor of science degree in biology. Companies looking to hire biological technicians often look for someone who has taken advanced chemistry courses, as well as someone who has closely studied math and physics.
Biological technicians can work in a variety of fields of research, including but not limited to biotechnology, microbiology, and even medical research; it should be noted, however, that your research skills may be expected to be above average. Taking an internship in the field will also increase your chances of being accepted by companies for a position as a biological technician.
Biological technicians may make an average of $38,000 annually.
A bachelor of science degree in biology or a related field can earn you the position of a conservation scientist. If you are interested in making a difference in the field of natural resources, then a job as a conservation scientist may be just what you’re looking for.
Conservation scientists spend their time working on ways not only to protect our natural resources but to improve them, as well. They work together with farmers and the government to help farmers make the most of their land without causing harm to the environmental surroundings.
Conservation scientists can also work in state and local parks, analyzing and assessing the damage done from natural catastrophes like forest fires or tornadoes and helping the land revert back to its previous state.
Conservation scientists may make an average of $56,000 each year for their contributions to preserving the environment.
A food scientist is one of the few types of scientists who can become such with only a bachelor’s degree. Most other scientist positions require a master’s or Ph.D. of some sort.
One type of food scientist focuses its time on the study of crops and livestock. These scientists spend their days researching ways to help others better understand the growth processes of crops and livestock. They rely on financial assistance from the government and many schools and private organizations to be able to perform their research.
Other food scientists don’t do as much research. Some of them work for the government, enforcing the health and safety regulations in food processing plants across the country. These food scientists often perform regular inspections and report back to higher-up management, and they also can use specific tools to check certain foods for contamination.
People who hold these positions can make an average of $58,000 annually for their work.
Biology Careers with Further Education
As with any particular subject, further study of your major or related subjects will enhance the amount and type of work for which you qualify.
A master’s degree and/or a doctorate will provide you with a career boost, and in turn, you will qualify for a higher yearly salary.
Some examples of higher paying biology-related jobs and their salaries are listed here.
Being a pharmacist allows you to handle countless types of medications on daily. To do so, you need to focus your studies not only on biology but also on anatomy, chemistry, and physiology.
Once in a pharmaceutical position, you would fill orders prescribed by a wide variety of doctors, from surgeons, physicians, and dentists, among others. A pharmacist’s job is to make sure patients receive the correct type and amount of medication prescribed by doctors. To handle and disperse such a variety of drugs, pharmacists, like doctors, need to know the ins and outs of hundreds of medications, such as their side effects and whether they affect the functions of other drugs patients may be taking.
Pharmacists can make over $111,000 a year for their efforts separating and dispersing drugs daily to help heal patients or help control threatening health conditions patients may face.
Becoming a podiatrist takes a lot of time and effort. Podiatrists are doctors who focus strictly on issues affecting the lower legs, ankles, and feet of their patients. They have the power to perform x-rays, prescribe medication to alleviate pain in the legs and/or feet, and they occasionally perform surgeries to fix extreme patient problems.
Because of all the extra knowledge they have in their field and responsibilities that come with that knowledge, podiatrists can make around $117,000 a year.
To become an allergist, you need to obtain an undergraduate degree and attend and finish medical school. This can be costly, but the job pays off in the end. Allergists need to know all types of allergic diseases and how to provide treatment for each.
Working one-on-one with patients allows the allergist to get a feel for his or her patients’ conditions to accurately diagnose and treat them. Many people suffer from conditions like asthma and allergies to specific medications and foods, and allergists are required to provide them with the correct solutions or temporary relief.
Because of all this, allergists can earn over $166,000 annually.
Additional careers for a biology degree
Here are some unique careers that a typical person may not realize that you can get into with a biology degree. Some of these may require additional schooling and/or training.
- Registered Nurse (RN)
- Occupational Therapy Assistant
- Practical or Vocational Nurse
- Nutritionist or Dietitian
- Pharmacy Technician
- Cardiovascular Technologist
- Medical Laboratory Technician or Technologist
- Dental Hygenist
- Respiratory Therapist
- Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or Paramedic
- Veterinary Technician
- Radiologic Technologist
- Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
- Fitness Trainer
- Massage Therapist
- Surgical Technologist
- Physical Therapy Assistant
Companies with Biology-related Occupations
This list is to provide you with just a few companies that employ people with degrees in biology. For more information on openings and job descriptions, please click the links provided.
- Regeneron – founded in 1988, focuses on developing new medications
- The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy – established in 1932, restores and protects land to preserve its beauty and functionality
- Mayo Clinic – formed in the 1860s, focuses on medical care, education, and research
- University of Maryland Eastern Shore – founded in 1886 as Delaware Conference Academy, now a member of the University System of Maryland
- North Dakota State University – one of the top research universities in the United States
Answering the Question, “What Can You Do With a Biology Degree?”
If you’re in the process of choosing a college major as an undergraduate student, these are just a few options you will have once you earn your bachelor of science degree in biology. Take your time and study hard. Look into different branches of biology to see what is most appealing to you and what you’ll be able to do once you graduate with experience in that particular field of study.
If you are looking into something like marine biology, you may need to consider a masters degree upon completion of your bachelors in biology, and there are many graduate study programs out there to fulfill your dream.