Biologist

Alternative titles for this job include

Biologists study living things, like people, animals and plants.

Average salary (a year)

£15,609 Starter

to

£70,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays occasionally

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become a biologist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

University

You'll usually need a relevant degree and often a postgraduate master's qualification in a subject like:

  • biology
  • biological science
  • ecology
  • marine biology

Employers may also want you to have experience in your area of interest and possibly to have or be working towards a PhD.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including biology for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More Information

Apprenticeship

The following degree apprenticeships may be relevant to this role:

  • Level 6 Laboratory scientist
  • Level 7 Research scientist
  • Level 7 Bioinformatics scientist

These qualifications will be taken whilst working in a relevant environment.

It is anticipated that the Level 6 apprenticeship will typically take around 60 months to complete.

The Level 7 apprenticeships are likely to have a higher entry criteria and will typically take 30 months to complete.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship

More Information

Work

You could start your career as a laboratory technician and train as a biologist while working by doing a relevant qualification.

More Information

Career tips

Laboratory experience would be useful for this career.

Professional and industry bodies

You could join the Royal Society of Biology for your professional career development.

Further information

You'll find more details about careers, courses and training in biology through the Royal Society of Biology and Into Biology.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of biology
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • maths knowledge
  • excellent written communication skills
  • analytical thinking skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to work well with your hands
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your tasks will depend on your specialism and you could:

  • improve productivity in livestock or crops
  • clean polluted rivers
  • protect plants and animals
  • develop new methods to diagnose, monitor and treat illness or disease
  • prevent food contamination or create ways to dispose of waste safely
  • design and carry out experiments
  • make observations, write reports and publish scientific papers
  • teach students, if based at a university or teaching hospital
  • supervise support staff

Working environment

You could work in a laboratory, at a research facility or at a university.

You may need to wear protective clothing.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

You could move into management, teaching, the media, administration and scientific journalism.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Courses In England

HNC Applied Science (Biology)

  • Provider: WAKEFIELD COLLEGE
  • Start date: 01 September 2022
  • Location: Wakefield

BTEC Applied Human Biology

  • Provider: RAINHAM SCHOOL FOR GIRLS
  • Start date: 31 August 2022
  • Location: GILLINGHAM

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