Difference Between Biologist & Geologist

The work that biologists and geologists do can be similar at times, but these science professionals focus on different scientific fields and use their research for different purposes. Continue reading to learn more about how these careers differ.

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Comparing Biologist to Geologist

Biologists are life science professionals that study living things. Geologists study the earth and are classified as physical scientists. The work they do can impact biologists; for example, geologists may locate an area where oil can be drilled and biologists may study how the drilling is impacting local animals and vegetation.

Job Title Educational Requirements Median Salary (2016)* Job Outlook (2014-2024)*
Biologist Bachelor's Degree $71,890 4%
Geologist Bachelor's Degree $89,780 (for Geoscientists) 10% (for Geoscientists)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Responsibilities of Biologist vs Geologist

Biologists and geologists are scientific professionals who are involved with research. They may both spend time traveling to locations to collect samples and then perform tests on those samples. Biologists focus on organisms, and their work can be used to help identify environmental issues or provide insight about how water use in a specific area is affecting organisms. Geologists can use their skills for a range of practical applications, and as part of their work they may perform tasks such as locating things like gold that can be mined.

Biologist

A bachelor's degree is required to start a career as a biologist, although some positions require applicants to have a graduate degree. Those who want to advance in their career to the role of head biologist will need to complete graduate studies. Biologists are researchers who focus on studying organisms. It's possible that they will travel to specific locations to collect samples for their research, but they spend most of their time working in laboratories. As researchers, they must pay close attention to detail and document their work thoroughly.

Job responsibilities of a biologist include:

  • Present research data to others
  • Store information on computer programs
  • Collaborate with other biologists
  • Run tests on samples

Geologist

Geologists are classified as geoscientists, and they are required to have a bachelor's degree in geoscience or a comparable subject area, and a license may also be required. They study the earth and may identify where minerals are located or advise construction crews about things such as how to work effectively with a certain soil type. Travel is common in this field, and geologists may work evenings or weekends when they're traveling. They spend the rest of their time working in labs or offices.

Job responsibilities of a geologist include:

  • Inspect geology of specific areas
  • Take and test samples
  • Produce materials such as charts
  • Document their findings

Related Careers

If you are interested in a career as a biologist you may also want to consider being a marine biologist and focus on studying the organisms that live in the ocean. Another career option to consider if you're thinking about being a geologist is to be a civil engineer, since they are also involved in performing studies of the soil and rocks when preparing plans for infrastructure projects they're designing.

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