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Working as a Biologist

Biologists are all about science. Well, actually they're all about bacteria, viruses, algae, fungi and parasites, but that's basically what we said.

The majority of your day at work will consist of conducting scientific experiments. Sounds pretty cool, right? Then you get to analyze the results. If that doesn't sound like a solid day, then we don't know does.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a biologist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $27.07 an hour? That's $56,306 a year!

What Does a Biologist Do

There are certain skills that many biologists have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed observation skills, critical-thinking skills and emotional stamina and stability.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a biologist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 8.5% of biologists included procedures, while 6.6% of resumes included cell culture, and 4.5% of resumes included natural resources. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the biologist job title. But what industry to start with? Most biologists actually find jobs in the professional and construction industries.

How To Become a Biologist

If you're interested in becoming a biologist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 53.6% of biologists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 32.5% of biologists have master's degrees. Even though most biologists have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a biologist. When we researched the most common majors for a biologist, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on biologist resumes include doctoral degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a biologist. In fact, many biologist jobs require experience in a role such as research assistant. Meanwhile, many biologists also have previous career experience in roles such as internship or laboratory technician.

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Average Salary$56,306

Biologist Jobs

Biologist Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Biologist. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Biologist Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Biologist resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Biologist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Biologist

Top Careers After Biologist

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Average Salary for a Biologist

Biologists in America make an average salary of $56,306 per year or $27 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $80,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $39,000 per year.
Average Salary
$56,306

Best Paying Cities

Average Salary
Salary Range50k - 86k$66k$66,290
Salary Range48k - 78k$62k$61,598
Salary Range47k - 78k$61k$61,143
Salary Range48k - 77k$61k$61,116
Salary Range48k - 75k$61k$60,617
Salary Range47k - 76k$60k$59,957
$40k
$86k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Biologist 3
Biologist 3
State of Nevada
State of Nevada
10/29/2020
10/29/2020
$51,28110/29/2020
$51,281
Biologist
Biologist
CTG
CTG
10/21/2020
10/21/2020
$48,00110/21/2020
$48,001
Biologist
Biologist
Kelly Services
Kelly Services
10/20/2020
10/20/2020
$43,82710/20/2020
$43,827
Biologist II
Biologist II
Randstad
Randstad
10/16/2020
10/16/2020
$65,99110/16/2020
$65,991
Biologist
Biologist
Randstad
Randstad
10/10/2020
10/10/2020
$41,74010/10/2020
$41,740
See More Recent Salaries

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Biologist Demographics

Gender

male

48.6%

female

45.9%

unknown

5.4%

Ethnicity

White

75.6%

Asian

10.4%

Hispanic or Latino

7.9%

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

59.8%

French

6.7%

German

5.5%
See More Demographics

Biologist Education

Degrees

Bachelors

53.6%

Masters

32.5%

Doctorate

6.0%

Top Colleges for Biologists

1. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA

Tuition and fees
$14,184
Enrollment
30,845

2. Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Tuition and fees
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

3. Duke University

Durham, NC

Tuition and fees
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

4. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA

Tuition and fees
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

5. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

Tuition and fees
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

6. University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

Minneapolis, MN

Tuition and fees
$14,760
Enrollment
31,451

7. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI

Tuition and fees
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

8. Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Tuition and fees
$55,188
Enrollment
15,105

9. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL

Tuition and fees
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

10. Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Tuition and fees
$53,740
Enrollment
5,567

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Biologist

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Biologist

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 8.5% of biologists listed procedures on their resume, but soft skills such as observation skills and critical-thinking skills are important as well.

  • Procedures, 8.5%
  • Cell Culture, 6.6%
  • Natural Resources, 4.5%
  • Data Collection, 4.0%
  • GPS, 3.7%
  • Other Skills, 72.7%
  • See All Biologist Skills

Best States For a Biologist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a biologist. The best states for people in this position are Alaska, Massachusetts, California, and Texas. Biologists make the most in Alaska with an average salary of $73,999. Whereas in Massachusetts and California, they would average $61,031 and $60,920, respectively. While biologists would only make an average of $60,640 in Texas, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Alaska

Total Biologist Jobs:
6
Highest 10% Earn:
$94,000
Location Quotient:
1.35
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. West Virginia

Total Biologist Jobs:
6
Highest 10% Earn:
$95,000
Location Quotient:
0.58
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Massachusetts

Total Biologist Jobs:
268
Highest 10% Earn:
$95,000
Location Quotient:
3.28
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Biologist Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a biologist. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

At Zippia, we went through countless biologist resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Write a Biologist Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless biologist resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

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Top Biologist Employers

1. Kelly Services
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$29,557
Biologists Hired: 
72+
2. ATCC
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$63,753
Biologists Hired: 
44+
3. National Institutes of Health
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$63,470
Biologists Hired: 
41+
4. Merck & Co.
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$81,209
Biologists Hired: 
30+
5. Monsanto
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$67,948
Biologists Hired: 
29+
6. Eli Lilly and Company
5.0
Avg. Salary: 
$87,193
Biologists Hired: 
21+

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Recently Added Biologist Jobs