Top 21 Biology Degree Jobs
Updated May 26, 2023
A man wearing a lab coat and gloves uses a pipette and test tube, standing next to a list entitled, "What Can You Do With a Biology Degree?" that includes these jobs:
• Agricultural technician
• Quality control technician
• Health educator
• Science teacher
• Physician liaison
Biology, the study of living organisms, is a complex field with many career possibilities. You can pursue a wide variety of biology-related careers in academia, writing and editing, laboratory research, health care and pharmaceuticals. Depending on your desired position and career path, pursuing more education beyond your four-year degree could be required.
Let's take a look at 21 popular jobs available with a biology degree ranging from lowest to highest earning potential.
Biology degree career paths
Here's 21 careers that require or recommend a bachelor's degree in biology.
National average salary: $29,324 per year
Primary duties: Health educators use their knowledge of exercise, nutrition, disease and more to educate communities about wellness and health. Health educators are often responsible for collecting and studying data on a variety of health concerns and creating informational materials and actionable training programs. Health educators often apply their communication and leadership skills to explain complex information in settings such as community centers, educational institutions, public health institutions and even private businesses.
Education requirements: A bachelor's degree is a minimum requirement for health educators. Some employers may also require the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential.
Read more: What Is a Health Educator? A Complete Guide
2. Park ranger
National average salary: $39,129 per year
Primary duties: A park ranger or park warden is entrusted with preserving and protecting local, state or national parks and the natural resources within them. The requirements for this career can differ based on location. The duties of park rangers are dynamic, and park rangers often serve as environmental experts, historians and law enforcement officers.
Education requirements: Bachelor's degree from an accredited university or college.
Read more: How to Become a Park Ranger
National average salary: $43,504 per year
Primary duties: Biological research assistants collect and prepare biological samples such as blood, food and bacteria for biologists or medical scientists. Biological technicians also assist scientists with other laboratory functions, such as maintaining equipment, documenting research results and performing fieldwork.
Educational requirements: A bachelor's degree in biology or associated field along with laboratory experience.
National median salary: $44,700 per year (BLS)
Primary duties: Agricultural or food science technicians help scientists track data, maintain laboratory equipment, oversee food production and analyze the quality of food products, crops and soil. Food science technicians often work for regulatory agencies or private businesses.
Educational requirements: An associate degree in biology, crop or animal science, chemistry or related field.
Read more: What Is an Agricultural Technician?
National average salary: $49,884 per year
Primary duties: High school teachers educate students on the fundamentals of biology. High school teachers teach students in grades 9-12 and typically possess strong communication, organization and time-management skills. Daily responsibilities for high school teachers often include creating lesson plans, lecturing, answering questions, assigning homework and grading examination material.
Education requirements: High school biology teachers are required to have a bachelor's degree with most public schools requiring state-issued certification or licensure, as well.
National average salary: $56,988 per year
Primary duties: Content writers research and explain complex material understandably and engagingly. You can submit your work as a freelance writer to magazines and publications, or you can choose to work in-house for an organization.
Educational requirements: A bachelor's degree is often required for full-time positions, while freelance opportunities can be available to those with a high school diploma and strong writing skills.
National average salary: $57,740 per year
Primary duties: Physician liaisons act as intermediaries between medical staff and a hospital or other health organization such as a nursing home. A primary aim of a physician liaison is to strengthen the relationship between the two groups.
Education requirements: A bachelor's degree in biology or similar science is required for physician liaisons. Experience or a minor in sales can also be helpful.
National average salary: $59,714 per year
Primary duties: An environmental scientist develops technology that protects ecosystems or the global environment. An environmental scientist could also act as an advisor for policy recommendations that pertain to the climate or environment.
Education requirements: A bachelor's degree in biology can qualify you for entry-level work in the field of environmental science. Many professionals, however, choose to pursue graduate-level work in environmental science to advance progress more quickly in their career.
Read more: What Is an Environmental Scientist?
National average salary: $61,101 per year
Primary duties: Forensic scientists assist in criminal investigations by collecting and analyzing biological evidence related to a case. Generally, forensic scientists specialize in either laboratory analysis or crime scene investigation.
Education requirements: A bachelor's degree in forensic science, biology, chemistry or natural science in addition to on-the-job training.
National average salary: $64,936 per year
Primary duties: Quality control lab technicians ensure the effectiveness and quality of a company's products. Quality control technicians primarily work for pharmaceutical manufacturers or food producers. This role can include overseeing the production or testing of materials purchased from outside vendors. These professionals often specialize in an area such as research, quality assurance or food storage.
Education requirements: A high school diploma along with on-the-job training lasting anywhere from one month to one year.
National average salary: $65,759 per year
Primary duties: Pharmaceutical sales representatives promote and sell new medications to doctors and other medical professionals for them to then prescribe to patients. In this role, communication skills are essential, along with a working knowledge of pharmacology. This career frequently appeals to professionals with an interest in the business side of medicine.
Education requirements: A bachelor's degree is required while a minor in marketing, sales or advertising is also encouraged.
12. Food scientist
National average salary: $74,160 per year (BLS)
Primary duties: Food scientists create food additives that improve storage methods and safety. Food scientists often conduct laboratory tests and analyze products to ensure quality. These scientists frequently work with government agencies, food manufacturers and research institutes.
Education requirements: Food scientists are often required to have a bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university. Many pursue advanced degrees to enable specialization and career growth.
National average salary: $77,469 per year
Primary duties: Typically, an ecologist studies the relationship between organisms and their environment. The duties of an ecologist can involve fieldwork, data collection, analysis and reporting. Many ecologists focus on threatened environments or endangered species. Ecologists may choose to specialize in one environment, such as a wetland, tundra or forest.
Education requirements: A minimum of a bachelor's degree in ecology, biology, botany, zoology or a closely related field. More advanced degrees related to ecosystems can be required.
National median salary: $80,150 per year (BLS)
Primary duties: A genetic counselor advises and guides individuals undergoing genetic testing. Genetic counselors explain the results and impacts of tests to their clients so that the clients can understand and act on this information. Genetic counselors frequently, though not exclusively, work with individuals who are at risk for or diagnosed with genetic disorders. Many genetic counselors work to develop a strong knowledge of biotechnology and genomics, as well as compassionate communication skills.
Education requirements: Genetic counselors generally are required to have a master's degree in genetics or genetic counseling and be board certified.
Related: What Is Genetic Counseling?
National average salary: $80,649 per year
Primary duties: Geographers analyze the Earth's animal and human inhabitants, as well as the dynamics of the natural environment. Physical geographers study formations such as mountains and glaciers while human geographers study the boundaries formed by economies, governments and cultures.
Educational requirements: A bachelor's degree is required. Some positions, such as federal positions, prefer a master's degree. Work experience is usually required for more advanced positions.
Read more: How To Become a Geographer
National average salary: $82,253 per year
Primary duties: Biologists conduct experiments and analyses on organic matter or organisms. Field specializations include marine biology, genetic biology, developmental biology and evolutionary biology. The emphasis of this career is research.
Educational requirements: Bachelor's degree in biology or related field.
National average salary: $82,695 per year
Primary duties: Physical therapists assist patients in managing pain and improving mobility. They also play an important role in patient rehabilitation, injury prevention and the treatment of chronic injuries.
Education requirements: A bachelor's degree in biology will enable admission to a DPT program.
Related: How to Become a Physical Therapist
National average salary: $109,074 per year
Primary duties: An occupational health and safety specialist designs strategies to help prevent workplace injuries. Additionally, they protect employees by inspecting work environments to ensure that companies comply with government regulations regarding safety and waste.
Education requirements: A bachelor's degree in occupational health and safety or a related technical or scientific field.
National average salary: $112,834 per year
Primary duties: Nurse practitioners can work both independently and in collaboration with physicians to order medical tests, diagnose health problems and prescribe medications. They provide preventive and primary care and can specialize in care for pregnant women, patients with mental illness, children and more.
Education requirements: Many ARPN programs require a bachelor's degree in nursing, however, graduate-level programs requiring a Bachelor's Degree in Biology or related health science are also available.
Related: 17 Nurse Practitioner Specialties
National average salary: $212,392 per year
Primary duties: Dentists examine, treat and diagnose patients' teeth, gums and other parts of the mouth. A dentist often repairs fractured teeth, fills cavities and takes patient x-rays. educate patients on how to care for and maintain their oral health.
Education requirements: While dental schools do not require a specific major, biology or related bachelor's degree can prepare applicants for an advanced dental program.
Read more: How To Become a Dentist
National average salary: $218,881 per year
Primary duties: Physicians, or doctors, diagnose and treat illnesses or injuries. Additionally, physicians record medical histories, examine patients and prescribe medications. They can also order, perform and interpret diagnostic testing.
Education requirements: Physicians have rigorous education and training requirements. Physicians generally need a bachelor's degree, a medical school degree and three to seven years in residency and internship programs depending on their specialty.
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