Career Attributes

  • $45,740
  • 112,800
  • 3.4
  • 9.0%
More Attributes


Being a biologist takes a dedication to a particular subject. Many biologists, depending on their choice of field, spend most of their lives studying one thing. Aside from dedication and years of schooling, being a biologist requires some flexibility in life. While it is very possible to work a normal 40 hour work week, it is also common to have to frequently work more than 40 hours. Those involved in the nature fields (zoology, botany, ecology) have to be prepared to spend days, weeks or months living in primitive conditions in order to gather the research required to complete their study.

In most cases, a Ph.D is required to conduct independent research which is usually on a specialized topic of biology. Some of the basic research that is conducted involves studying bacteria and other infectious organisms for the purpose of understanding ways to develop improvements in the treatment and prevention of human health problems.

What are Biologists like?


Based on our pool of users, Biologists tend to be predominately investigative people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.

Biologists by Strongest Interest Archetype

Based on sample of 1749 CareerExplorer users

Are Biologists happy?


Biologists rank as moderately happy among careers. Overall they rank in the 61st percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.

Biologist Career Satisfaction by Dimension

Percentile among all careers

Education History of Biologists

The most common degree held by Biologists is Biology. 47% of Biologists had a degree in Biology before becoming Biologists. That is over 13 times the average across all careers. Molecular Biology graduates are the second most common among Biologists, representing 12% of Biologists in the CareerExplorer user base, which is 27.7 times the average.

Biologist Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Biologist, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of Biologists % of population Multiple
Biology 47.2% 3.6% 13.0×
Molecular Biology 12.0% 0.4% 27.7×
Environmental Science 8.9% 1.1% 8.2×
Neuroscience 8.2% 0.5% 15.1×
Ecology 6.6% 0.2% 36.0×
Biochemical Sciences 4.2% 0.5% 8.1×
Chemistry 4.2% 1.1% 3.9×
Psychology 3.5% 7.0% 0.5×
Community And Public Health 3.3% 0.8% 3.9×
Mathematics 2.3% 1.9% 1.3×
Animal Sciences 1.9% 0.4% 4.7×
Natural Resources Management 1.9% 0.1% 18.7×
Zoology 1.6% 0.2% 8.8×
Environmental Engineering 1.4% 0.1% 13.1×
English Literature 1.4% 4.9% 0.3×
Physics 1.4% 1.0% 1.4×
Genetics 1.2% 0.1% 11.5×
Pharmacology 1.2% 0.1% 9.0×
Computer Science 1.2% 3.0% 0.4×
Biological Engineering 1.2% 0.1% 16.3×
Philosophy And Religious Studies 1.2% 1.6% 0.7×
Public Policy 1.2% 0.4% 3.1×
Geology 1.2% 0.4% 3.3×

Biologist Education Levels

39% of Biologists have a doctorate degree. 25% of Biologists have a bachelor's degree.

No education 0%
High school diploma 12%
Associate's degree 0%
Bachelor's degree 25%
Master's degree 24%
Doctorate degree 39%

How to Become a Biologist

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Further Reading

  • Best Biological Sciences Schools

    A graduate degree in biological sciences gives students a broad base of knowledge in the life sciences. The discipline also offers many specialties, such as cell or molecular biology. These are the best schools for biological sciences.

  • How To Become A Biologist In 5 Steps

    Learn about steps you can take to become a biologist, including degree programs and specialization options.

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Career Attributes

  • $45,740
  • 112,800
  • 3.4
  • 9.0%
More Attributes