There are currently an estimated 112,800 biologists in the United States. The biologist job market is expected to grow by 9.0% between 2016 and 2026.
How employable are biologists?
CareerExplorer rates biologists with a D employability rating, meaning this career should provide weak employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 16,500 biologists. That number is based on 10,100 additional biologists, and the retirement of 6,400 existing biologists.
Are biologists in demand?
Opportunities for biologists vary depending on the state of local and national economies. Job growth in North America will likely be focused in the areas of biotechnology and molecular biology. Agriculture and environmental protection agencies of federal governments are expected to produce jobs for biologists to manage natural resources, help farmers improve crop yields, and prevent or correct the negative effects of pesticides and other chemicals. Some of these openings will occur as senior-level biologists retire in the coming years. An increase in biochemistry jobs is projected due to further study of chronic diseases and medical treatments and pharmaceutical developments prompted by the needs of aging baby boomers. The most employable entry-level researchers, engineering technicians, medical health technologists, and high school biology teachers have a four-year undergraduate degree, most commonly a Bachelor of Science in biology. A Master’s Degree in biology or any of the life sciences is required for management positions in the fields of applied research and product development. Biologists wishing to conduct independent research or teach in a university environment are expected to have a Doctorate Degree. Competition for research positions will continue to be robust, as currently about one in four grant proposals are approved for long term research. Budget changes at national institutes of health may impact extensions of existing projects or limit funds allocated to new research. Some jobs may be lost to lower-wage countries.