BETATry an improved version of this page
- More about how to get into this career
- We've included current opportunities to help you with your next steps
Biologists study living things, like animals and plants.
1. Entry requirementsYou’ll usually need a relevant degree and a master’s qualification in a biological science. Employers may also want you to have experience in your area of interest and, if you don't already have one, be working towards a PhD.
You may be able to become a biologist through a Higher Apprenticeship for Life Sciences and Chemical Science Professionals.
2. Skills required
- practical scientific skills
- problem-solving skills
- accuracy and attention to detail
- excellent communication skills
- IT skills
3. What you'll do
You could specialise in an area like:
- marine biology
- molecular biology
You could use your skills in a variety of ways:
- in agriculture, to improve productivity in livestock or crops
- in the environment, to clean polluted rivers
- in conservation, to protect plants and animals
- in medicine, to develop new methods to diagnose, monitor and treat illness or disease
- in industry, to prevent food contamination or create ways to dispose of waste safely
You may also:
- design and carry out experiments, make observations, write reports and publish scientific papers
- teach students, if you’re based at a university or teaching hospital
- supervise support staff
Starter: £14,000 to £15,000
Experienced: £23,000 to £45,000
Highly Experienced: £42,000 to £70,000
These figures are a guide.
5. Working hours, patterns and environmentYou’ll usually work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, with occasional evening and weekend shifts. You could be based in a laboratory, a classroom, in industry or on a research ship at sea.
Fieldwork can sometimes take place in challenging conditions.
6. Career path and progressionYou could move into management, teaching, the media, administration and scientific journalism.
You may be interested in:
Last updated: 11 September 2018