Biological Sciences Degree & Career Guide
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What Is Biological Science?
Biological science is the study of life, from single-celled organisms to complex plants and animals. Biological scientists study living organisms to better understand life processes. They also study the ways organisms interact with their environments. Applied research is problem-oriented, while people perform basic research for the sake of learning.
Biological science jobs include forensic biologists, cytotechnologists, and medical technologists. Biochemists and business biologists are two other potential careers. Forensic biologists work with law enforcement, while business biologists generally work with chemical or pharmaceutical companies. Biotechnologists work in a laboratory setting and help develop environmental products or medical treatments.
Frequently Asked Questions About Biological Sciences
Is being a biological scientist worth it?
According to Payscale, as of March 2022, biological scientists earned an average base salary of $81,850 per year. Most biological science careers require at least a bachelor's degree, while research positions may require a doctoral degree. Whether it is worth it depends on the cost of the degree, the salary earned after graduation, and the amount of satisfaction a job in the field brings a graduate.
For example, if it cost $115,000 for tuition, room, and board and you lost $120,000 in wages while attending school for four years, your total cost was $235,000. If you earn $80,000 per year after graduation, you have increased your income by $50,000. So, your degree will pay for itself in 4.7 years.
What are the best biological science degrees?
The best biological science degree is the one that best matches your desired career after graduation. If you want to become a biological scientist, a bachelor's in biology is a good choice. If you want to work with plants to improve agriculture, a bachelor's in agriculture can prepare you for related careers. Other options include a degree in environmental science or marine biology.
Any of these biological science degrees could lead to a career as a biological scientist. But you may want to pick a more specialized degree if you dream of becoming a marine biologist or an agricultural researcher.
What are the best biological science jobs?
Professionals can pursue various biological science jobs. Biological scientists can work with many different types of organisms. Forensic biologists work with law enforcement personnel to help solve crimes. Cytotechnologists detect diseases in microscopic cells. Which biological science career is the best depends on your interests as much as the average salary.
If you have a passion to use your biology knowledge to solve crimes, you may consider forensic biology. If you want to do research on cells in a government agency, biochemist jobs may interest you.
How much do biological scientists make?
Different biological science careers have different salaries, but they generally range between $50,000-$80,000 per year. According to April 2022 Payscale data, the average marine biologist's salary was $52,130. The average salary for a forensic scientist was $56,250, while the average biologist's salary came to $58,030. Medical technologists earned an average salary of $59,560, and as of March 2022, biology scientists earned an average of $81,850.
What are the highest-paying biological science careers?
The highest-paying biological science careers are biology scientist, cytotechnologist, biochemist, and medical technologist. According to Payscale data from February-April 2022, cytotechnologists earned average annual salaries of $73,650 , biochemists earned $65,070 on average, and medical technologists earned $59,560 on average.
Some of these careers may require additional training. For example, biochemists need a strong background in both chemistry and biology. Medical technologists may also need medical training.
How can I become a biological scientist?
You can become a biological scientist by earning at least a bachelor's degree in biological science or another type of biology. For example, you might become a biological scientist after earning your microbiology or marine biology degree. Some positions, especially research positions, may require a doctoral degree in biology.
Once you have earned your degree, you can start applying for biological science jobs. You may need to start with an entry-level position and work your way up to a higher-paying job within the biological science field.