There are certifications available such as environmental or toxic waste specializations, many bioliogists work in the field or in research labs. Many, though may work in private industry utilizing training from an advanced degree in biology.
Most biological scientists need a Ph.D. degree in biology or one of its subfields to work in research or development positions. A period of postdoctoral work in the laboratory of a senior researcher has become common for biological scientists who intend to conduct research or teach at the university level.
Education and training. A Ph.D. degree usually is necessary for independent research, industrial research, and college teaching, as well as for advancement to administrative positions. A master’s degree is sufficient for some jobs in applied research, product development, management, or inspection; it also may qualify one to work as a research technician or a teacher. The bachelor’s degree is adequate for some nonresearch jobs. For example, graduates with a bachelor’s degree may start as biological scientists in testing and inspection or may work in jobs related to biological science, such as technical sales or service representatives. Some work as research assistants, laboratory technicians, or high school biology teachers. (See the statements elsewhere in the Handbook on clinical laboratory technologists and technicians; science technicians; and teachers—preschool, kindergarten, elementary, middle, and secondary.) Many with a bachelor’s degree in biology enter medical, dental, veterinary, or other health profession schools.
In addition to required courses in chemistry and biology, undergraduate biological science majors usually study allied disciplines such as mathematics, physics, engineering, and computer science. Computer courses are beneficial for modeling and simulating biological processes, operating some laboratory equipment, and performing research in the emerging field of bioinformatics. Those interested in studying the environment also should take courses in environmental studies and become familiar with applicable legislation and regulations. Prospective biological scientists who hope to work as marine biologists should have at least a bachelor’s degree in a biological or marine science. However, students should not overspecialize in undergraduate study, as knowledge of marine biology often is acquired in graduate study.
For More Information, Contact:
American Institute for Bioligical Sciences
1444 I Street, NW, Suite 200
Washington, DC 20005
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