Alternative titles for this job include

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

Average salary (a year)

£15,609 Starter


£50,000 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


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

  • biology
  • biological science
  • ecology
  • marine biology

Employers may also want you to have experience in your area of interest and possibly 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


The following degree apprenticeships may be relevant to this role:

  • Level 6 Laboratory Scientist
  • Level 7 Research Scientist
  • Level 7 Bioinformatics Scientist

The level 6 apprenticeship typically takes around 60 months to complete.

The level 7 apprenticeships are likely to have a higher entry criteria and 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


You could start your career as a laboratory technician and train as a biologist by working and doing a relevant qualification at the same time.

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 can find more details about careers, courses, training and research in biology from:

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

With experience you could:

  • become a manager
  • teach in schools, colleges or universities
  • go into science communication, such as media and scientific journalism
  • work freelance as a scientific consultant

If you work in academic research, you could also start to lead research projects and become a senior research fellow or professor.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Laboratory Science (Chemistry) Apprenticeship

  • Wage: £17,000.00 Annually
  • Location: Whiteknights Campus, Pepper Lane, Reading

Analytical Support Laboratory Scientist Apprenticeship - Accord Healthcare

  • Wage: £15,000.00 Annually
  • Location: Barnstaple

Courses In England

HND Applied Science – Applied Biology

  • Start date: 01 September 2023
  • Location: Wakefield

BTEC Applied Human Biology

  • Start date: 31 August 2023
  • Location: GILLINGHAM

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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