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Careers in Biology

Choosing a future career can be difficult, especially when the decision is made at a young age. Many people know, prior to applying to college, that they have a passion for science and associated fields. This passion can lead to strong future careers in some type of science work. A major that can lead to a future in the science industry is biology. Biology, in short, is the study of living organisms; how they develop and grow, maintain life, where do they come from and what they do. In short, biology is the study of what living things do.

Areas of Study and options

Biology offers a wide range of possibilities for a career, especially since it has so many different focuses in the field of study. Options in biology can range from molecular and cellular biology to botany and toxicology; the possibilities are endless. To enter in to a career in biology, however, prerequisites must be met. As biology has such a wide range of areas of focus, an undergraduate degree typically just qualifies for general, overall biology. In order to specify a focus in the field, further educational studies, like a postgraduate degree, are required. The furthering education allows for stronger, longer study in the specific area of biology, as well as gain the student more experience working in the biology field. Most careers will require a postgraduate degree or some type of extensive training or field experience in order to enter into a position of work.

Entry Level Options

As with most recent graduates, a job is highly preferred to be gained near or upon graduation. Career choices in biology are limitless; as a newly career-focused biologist, an entry-level job is typically a first choice. Within the United States, top entry-level positions that commonly arise in a job search are technicians and research assistants. Biology technicians typically conduct experiments and record data throughout the process; an entry-level technician ranges from around $37,000-$42,000, depending on the company and workload required. A research assistant works under the supervision of a head biologist; tasks can range from simply taking notes and entering data to conducting experiments, assisting the biologist in travel and research, and interpret results provided. The salary for a research assistant is much lower, usually starting near $23,000, but can easily grow depending on the level of research and corporation providing employment. A research assistant position is generally for gaining experience and possibly leading to a position working at a different level within that lab or company.

Environmental scientists and Nutritionists

Other popular career options in biology are environmental scientists and nutritionists. Environmental scientists and conservation scientists focus on the areas of biology pertaining to nature and the environment and how best to preserve our world. A majority of the time, these biologists work through the government to conduct research; much of their time is spent working in the field, outdoors, completing hands-on experiments and research. A salary for a typical environmental scientist falls around $60,000. Nutritionists, an ever-growing position with today's society, typically start around $45,000. Nutritionists are biologists that focus on the preservation of the human body (and occasionally other creatures); they work with people to describe how the body is affected by certain things and how, in turn, the body affects its surrounding environment.

Much like choosing an area of focus within biology for education, the possibilities are endless for a career choice. Undergraduate and postgraduate experience typically spends a large amount of time on research and experimentation within the specific area of focus. The skills taught within the research and experiment process falls into a broad category, qualifying the student in question for many positions outside of the field of biology. Skills learned through experimentation and research can be applied to almost any career in a general field.

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