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Career Choices for Graduates of Biology Degree Programs

Career News April 26, 2014

The level of degree and area of specialization are some factors that affect students who majored in biology employment opportunities. Graduates of graduate-level degree programs usually work in academia or advanced research positions, while those with bachelor’s degrees find work in environmental consulting and quality control.

Career Choices for Biology Majors

Zoology and botany are two major areas that divide the field of biology. There are many sub-disciplines within these branches; these include molecular and cellular biology. Given the many branches that comprise biology, there can be a high variance in career options for biology majors.

Biologists whose specialized area of concentration is molecular biology can seek entry-level occupations in various areas including public health, medicine and biomedical research, among others. Those whose specialized area of concentration is zoology can seek entry-level careers in such fields as microbiology, forestry, marine biology, biotechnology, botany, and animal behavior.

The degree level of biology majors can also determine the nature of career choice they may enjoy. Graduates who hold a bachelor’s degree seek occupations as high school biology teachers, microbiologists, greenhouse curators, environmental consultants, food and dairy quality control specialists, and laboratory and environmental technicians.

Graduates who hold a master’s degree can seek careers working as environmental project managers, assistant professors, molecular biologists, product developers and inspectors, and research associates. Those who hold a Ph.D. can seek work in academia or independent research. They may choose from work options such as a scientific researcher, assistant professor, postsecondary professor and biotechnology research scientist.

Students, armed with a degree in biology, are prepared to seek occupations in healthcare, and choose from positions such as a pharmacist, podiatrist, dentist or veterinary assistant.

Salary Levels of Biology Majors

As of 2010, microbiologists with a Bachelor of Science (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) degree took home an average annual salary of $34,971, while high school biology teachers grossed $43,616 per annum. At the lower end of the income ladder, bachelor’s degree graduates who have less than 12 months of work experience average a salary of $34,000 annually, while at the higher end are those with work experience of 20 years or more, who take home $72,000 per year.

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