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What does a Biologist do?

Learn all about Biologist duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Biologist.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A biologist studies living organisms and their interactions with the environment. They use their knowledge to solve problems in areas such as healthcare, agriculture, and conservation.

Biologist job duties include:

  • Conduct field research in a variety of locations, such as rain forests, deserts, and wetlands
  • Collect plant, animal, and microbial samples using various methods, such as hand-netting, trapping, and tree-climbing
  • Preserve samples in appropriate solutions or media for future study
  • Analyze samples using techniques such as DNA sequencing and microscopy
  • Identify and classify organisms using scientific classification systems
  • Write scientific papers to document research findings and present results at conferences
  • Teach biology classes at the high school or college level
  • Supervise undergraduate and graduate students engaged in research projects
  • Work with government agencies to develop environmental policies

Biologist Job Requirements

Most biologists have a bachelor's degree in biology or a related field. Some biologists have a master's degree or a Ph.D. Biologists who work in research positions usually need a Ph.D. Biologists who work in government agencies, colleges and universities, and some large companies may need only a bachelor's degree or a master's degree. Many biologists have a teaching certificate. Most biologists have several years of experience working in their chosen field before they become full-time faculty members.

Biologist Skills

  • Analytical skills
  • Research skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Organizational skills
  • Writing skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Observational skills
  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Time management skills

Related: Top Biologist Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Biologist

There are many steps that one must take in order to become a biologist. The first step is to get a bachelor's degree in biology or a related field. After completing a four-year degree, many biologists choose to pursue a master's degree or doctorate in biology. These advanced degrees allow biologists to specialize in a particular area of interest and conduct research. Many biologists also choose to work in the field of education, teaching biology at the high school or college level.

In order to be successful in this career, it is important to have strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Biologists must be able to understand and apply scientific concepts and principles. They must also be able to communicate their findings clearly and effectively, both in writing and orally. Strong interpersonal skills are also important, as biologists often work on teams with other scientists.

Related: Biologist Resume Example

Related: Biologist Interview Questions (With Example Answers)