Entry-Level Biology Career Options and Salary
Many options for entry-level biology careers exist across different fields and are typically offered as technician positions. These professions vary in the level of education required, but all place a heavy emphasis on a background in biology. Learn about a handful of the entry-level biology career options and their median salaries below.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*|
|Environmental Science and Protection Technicians (Including Health)||$44,190||12%|
|Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians||$50,930||13%|
|Veterinary Technologists and Technicians||$32,490||20%|
|Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists||$60,520||8%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Career Information for Entry-Level Biology Jobs
A position as a biological technician is considered entry-level as it does not require any background in a related occupation, as long as your schooling involved laboratory experience. Biological technicians assist biologists and medical scientists by conducting a variety of lab tests and experiments. They are typically responsible for maintaining lab equipment, collecting biological samples for analysis, carefully documenting their work and presenting their results in detailed reports. Entry-level education for this position is typically considered to be a bachelor's degree, but some positions may only require an associate's degree.
Environmental Science and Protection Technicians
Environmental science and protection technicians are entry-level environmental careers that draw heavily on a background in the natural sciences, including biology. These technicians carefully monitor the environment for any signs of pollution or other problems that could ultimately affect human health. They do this by collecting air, water and soil samples and setting up monitoring equipment to collect data for analysis and then present the results to their clients to determine what actions need to be taken. Entry-level education for environmental science and protection technicians is usually an associate's degree, but some positions may require a bachelor's degree.
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians
Medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians do not need prior work experience in the field, but should have had coursework in biology and other life sciences. These professionals collect various biological samples, such as tissue, blood or other body fluids, to test and analyze using sophisticated lab equipment. They must carefully report their findings to physicians and update a patient's medical history to reflect new data. Technologists usually need a bachelor's degree while technicians need an associate's degree or postsecondary certificate. Both may be required to have a license in some states.
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians
An entry-level career as a veterinary technologist or technician may be a good fit for those with a background in biology who like animals, but do not have prior work experience in the field. These workers assist veterinarians in a variety of ways, including observing animals, restraining them during exams, caring for animals and preparing them for surgery. They may also administer medications or vaccines to animals as needed and perform a variety of laboratory tests to help diagnose and monitor their conditions. Veterinary technologists complete a 4-year program, while technicians take a 2-year program. Both may need to be registered, licensed, or certified according to their state's requirements.
Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists
Zoologists and wildlife biologists do not need work experience in a related occupation, but clearly require a background in biology. These scientists typically conduct research and experiments on a particular animal species to try and better understand an animal's behavior, physical or social characteristics, interaction with its environment and other factors. They collect and analyze data to present in scientific papers and reports that may be used to develop new and better ways to work towards the conservation of a particular species and/or habitat. Entry-level positions in the field typically require a bachelor's degree, but most research positions need a master's or doctorate degree.