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Biological Scientists

Biological scientists work to gain a better understanding of how organisms affect their environment. These scientists are responsible for deducing and researching the relationship of all creatures with one another and how that relationship may benefit man-kind.

What to Expect

Biological scientists study life and use their knowledge to develop new products and processes that are designed to create new products or processes. The goal is for information and how to use that information to create a better life not only for the human race but for the world as a whole.

The research performed by biological scientists can be divided into two categories; applied or basic. Applied research is most often used for product development. This type of research helps to develop drugs, biofuels, and diagnostic tests and procedures used in medicine. Applied research forces the scientist to work towards a specific goal thus reducing the amount of freedom they are afforded. On the other hand basic research allows a greater range of freedom.

Basic research is not geared towards a specific set of goals but towards the general acquisition of knowledge. The scientist that perform this type of research study living organisms so that they are better understood and to develop methods of applying the knowledge gained to the betterment of the human race.

Scientist doing basic research commonly works for government agencies or universities while scientist doing applied research will be working for companies and institutions such as fuel companies.

Biological scientists can specialize in any number of areas such as;

•Marine biology
•Biochemistry
•Biophysics
•Microbiology
•Physiology
•Botany
•Zoology
•Ecology

For the most part biological scientists work in labs or in offices. Some can work in the field. Many of these scientists depend on grants to perform research or on the company they work for in the cases of those working on applied research.

Education, Training, and Certification

It is common for biological scientists to be required to maintain a PhD in their field of study. It is possible for scientist working in applied research to work only with a bachelor’s degree. If, however, you wish to work in independent research you will need a PhD.

While a Master’s degree may serve should you desire a teaching position or a consulting position, advanced degrees are required for those seeking to study specialized subfields.

The exact education and training required depends on the field of study that interests you. Make sure to seek out advice from academic advisors on a university or college level to see what requirements you must meet.

Employment Options

Biological scientists have a number of employment options. Many choose teaching positions in university, college, or even high school levels. Others work within the government employed by institutions such as the;

•U.S. Department of Agriculture
•National Institutes of Health
•The Defense Department
•U.S Department of the Interior

Other scientists are employed by pharmaceutical companies and in the medical field.

Employment Outlook

This field will continue to experience growth in the years and decades to come. There will be a demand for those scientists capable of more advanced research and study as well as those that specialize in applied research.

The demand for new and better medicine as well as better ways to preserve the environment through the use of eco-friendly technology, the demand for skilled biological scientists will continue.

There will be stiff competition for basic research grants though those seeking teaching positions or consulting positions will not have such competition.

Projected Salary

Salary and wages depend on the field and specialty of the scientist. For example, those scientists with a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences start around $35,000. On the other end physiologists that work with the Federal Government may receive $100,000.

The editors of McGraw-Hill and the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor  Statistics, The Big Book of Jobs, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2012-2013  ©2009 by the McGraw-Hill Companies, Material "Adapted"

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