What Job Can You Get With a Major in Biology?
Employment opportunities for biology majors depend upon a number of factors, including area of specialization and degree level. Graduates holding a bachelor's degree tend to find work in quality control and environmental consulting, while those with a graduate-level degree tend to work in advanced research positions or in academia.
Career Options for Biology Majors
Biology can be divided into three major areas: cellular and molecular, organismal and field biology. Within these branches are several sub-disciplines, including microbiology, botany, and zoology. Because biology is composed of many branches and sub-disciplines, career options for biology majors can vary greatly. Biologists specializing in microbiology may work in areas, such as biomedical research, medicine or public health. Biologists specializing in zoology work in areas like animal behavior, botany, marine biology and ecology.
Career options for biology majors also vary according to degree level. Graduates holding a bachelor's degree often work as laboratory and environmental technicians, food and dairy quality control specialists, animal technician, environmental consultants and greenhouse curators. A degree in biology can also serve as good preparation for careers in healthcare, including positions as a veterinarian, dentist, podiatrist or pharmacist. Some of these positions require substantial additional schooling beyond the bachelor's degree.
A major in biology can also lead to further education at the graduate level. Those holding a master's degree in biology can work in occupations, such as research associate, research scientist, biologist, microbiologist and environmental scientist. Those with a Ph.D. tend to work in independent research or academia. Job options include biotechnology research scientist, postsecondary professor, assistant professor and scientific researcher.
Salaries of Biology Degree-Holders
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), veterinary technologists and technicians made a median salary of $31,070, while microbiologists earned a median annual income of $67,790 as of May 2014. The BLS also reported that during this time, postsecondary biology teachers earned a median salary of $74,580 and environmental scientists made a median wage of $66,250 per year.