Top 21 Biology Degree Jobs

By Indeed Editorial Team

June 9, 2021

This article has been approved by an Indeed Career Coach

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

1. Park ranger

National average salary: $14.33 per hour

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 be 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.

Companies with this position: State of Tennessee, State of New Mexico, U.S. Army

2. Agricultural or food science technician

National average salary: $15.45 per hour

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's degree in biology, crop or animal science, chemistry or related field.

Companies with this position: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Minnesota Valley Testing Laboratories, Nobel Research Institute

3. Biological technician or research assistant

National average salary: $15.88 per hour

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.

Companies with this position: U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

4. Quality control technician

National average salary: $16.26 per hour

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 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.

Companies with this position: Badger Meter, Ohly Americas, Helgesen Industries

5. Content writer

National average salary: $17.29 per hour

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.

Companies with this position: ROI Revolution, Alorica, BrandYourself

6. Health educator

National average salary: $19.76 per hour

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.

Companies with this position: Mayo Clinic, Planned Parenthood, UCSF Medical Center

7. High school science teacher

National average salary: $45,516 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.

Companies with this position: Local school districts, charter schools, online schools

8. Physician liaison

National average salary: $52,553 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.

Companies with this position: Honor Health, UMC Health System, Essentia Health

9. Food scientist

National average salary: $55,380 per year

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.

Companies with this position: Idahoan Foods, Forsman Farms, Cargill

10. Environmental scientist or specialist

National average salary: $64,532 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.

Companies with this position: Ecology and Environment, Inc., Coneco Engineers & Scientists, PDC Energy

11. Forensic scientist

National average salary: $66,979 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.

Companies with this position: State of New Mexico, District of Columbia, Quest Diagnostics

12. Biologist

National average salary: $68,548 per year

Primary duties: Biologists conduct experiments and analysis on organic matter or organisms. A wide range of 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.

Companies with this position: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Cherokee National Businesses, SWCA Environmental Consultants

13. Pharmaceutical sales representative

National average salary: $71,613 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.

Companies with this position: Ashfield Healthcare, Pharma Sales, Almirall

14. Ecologist or wetland scientist

National average salary: $73,347 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 closely related field. More advanced degrees related to ecosystems can be required.

Companies with this position: U.S. Army, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, U.S. Department of the Interior

15. Geographer

National average salary: $73,965 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.

Companies with this position: Radiant Solutions, U.S. Department of Commerce, Chenega Corporation

16. Genetic counselor

National average salary: $80,860 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.

Companies with this position: Navicent Health, Children's Specialty Group, VCU Health System

17. Physical therapist

National average salary: $81,073 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.

Companies with this position: OSU Wexner Medical Center, Olympic Sports & Spine, Pleasanton Physical Therapy

18. Occupational health and safety specialist

National average salary: $90,117 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.

Companies with this position: Resource Management Concepts, Inc., TPC Group, Dynegy

19. Nurse practitioner

National average salary: $106,523 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.

Companies with this position: Middletown Medical, Knox County Health Department, Alpha Medical

20. Dentist

National average salary: $183,106 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.

Companies with this position: U.S. Department of Justice, Columbia Dental, University of California, Irvine

21. Physician

National average salary: $186,300 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.

Companies with this position: Northwest Health Services, Columbus Community Hospital, University of Wisconsin – Madison

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