Careers in Biology


Looking for an entry level job or internship in biology? This is an overview of how to approach the search and a list of companies that might have relevant entry level and internship opportunities.

Hopefully, for your own good, you’ve seen Disney and Pixar’s A Bug’s Life. It’s an animated film featuring a misfit ant (Flik) who searches for “warriors” to save his colony from greedy grasshoppers. Ultimately he recruits a group of bugs that turns out to be an inept circus troupe. However, despite the title, none of the characters are actually bugs, scientifically speaking. True bugs are only found in the Orders Hemiptera and Homoptera. None of the characters are members of either order, which is a something a Biologist might be able to tell you. A Biologist studies the actions and processes of living organisms.

Biology Careers

Photo Credit: Flickr user whologwhy


  1. What a Biologist Does
  2. A Typical Day for a Biologist
  3. Salary and Career Ladders for a Biologist
  4. Best Locations for a Biologist
  5. Pros and Cons to Being a Biologist
  6. What You Need to Know to be a Biologist
  7. Biology Job Resources
  8. Careers Related to Biology
  9. Companies with Jobs and Internships in Biology

What a Biologist Does

A Biologist is a scientist that studies the basic principles of plant and animal life and the effects of varying environmental and physical conditions. Biologists can work in basic research, trying to discover underlying mechanisms that govern how organisms work, or applied research, attempting to develop or improve medical, industrial or agricultural processes. There are a few specific areas that Biologists elect to specialize in:

  • Research: Research biologists study the natural world, using the latest scientific tools and techniques in both laboratory settings and the outdoors, to understand how living systems work.
  • Environmental management and conservation: Biologists in management and conservation careers are interested in solving environmental problems and preserving the natural world for future generations. Park rangers protect state and national parks, help preserve their natural resources, and educate the general public. Zoo biologists carry out endangered species recovery programs.
  • Health care: Biologists may develop public health campaigns to defeat illnesses such as tuberculosis, AIDS, cancer, and heart disease. Others work to prevent the spread of rare and deadly diseases, such as the Ebola virus.
  • Education: Life science teachers enjoy working with people and encouraging them to learn new things, whether in a classroom, a research lab, the field, or a museum.

A Typical Day for a Biologist

While a typical day for a Biologist varies, it might include some of these tasks:

  • Preparing equipment
  • Going to the field
  • Assigning tasks to others
  • Collecting samples
  • Photographing samples
  • Conducting tests
  • Collecting and analyzing data on a computer
  • Teaching
  • Writing about research for publication
  • Reading other scientific papers

Salary and Career Ladders for a Biologist

The median salary for a Biologist in the United States is $44,881 per year. As you gain more experience in the field, you can earn closer to $80,000 per year in the private sector. If you work in government, academia, or the nonprofit sector you can earn around $70,000. With about 30 years of experience under your belt, you can expect to make around $103,000 per year. You might even specialize in a particular area. For example, Pharmacy Technicians (average annual salary $19,124 to $28,237), Research Technician (average annual salary $28,944 to $38,703), Medical Research Assistant National (average annual salary $28,461 to $38,785), Chemical Laboratory Technician (average annual salary $30,965 to $45,863), Veterinary Technician (average annual salary $22,886 to $33,921), Medical Assistant (average annual salary $22,866 to $31,252), Clinical Laboratory Technologist (average annual salary $42,172 up to $56,719), High School Biology Teacher ($33,856 to $53,526), or Research and Development Laboratory Technician (average annual salary $33,949 to $48,937).

Best locations for a Biologist

  • Los Angeles, California
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Houston, Texas
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • New York, New York
  • Seattle, Washington
  • Portland, Oregon

Pros and cons to Being a Biologist

  • Great pay
  • Doing research to expand scientific knowledge about living things, that can benefit everyone
  • Long-term projects allowing you to delve into one area in depth
  • Working under pressure
  • Securing grant funding can be tedious
  • When the data doesn’t show you what you want to see, it can be frustrating

What You Need to Know to be a Biologist

To be a Biologist you should get a Bachelor’s Degree (generally 4 years) in one of the sciences in college and receive a Master’s Degree (generally 2 years) in a life science in graduate school. With just a Bachelor’s Degree in most states you’re able to teach high school science (after earnings a teacher’s certification). People who have earned a Master’s Degree in the biological sciences are typically qualified for jobs in teaching and applied research. But you usually need a Doctoral Degree (generally 2-4 years) for a teaching and research position at a university or a job as an administrator. Beyond that, biologists must continually study throughout their careers to keep up with new developments in the life sciences.

Biology Resources

Required reading

Blogs and Websites

Networking Opportunities

Job Search Resources

Careers Related to Biology

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Companies with Entry Level Jobs and Internships in Biology

Natural Areas Conservancy Logo

Natural Areas Conservancy - Natural Areas Conservancy is an NYC non-profit that “works with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation to protect, restore, and manage expansive natural areas."

See the complete Natural Areas Conservancy profile

Advanced Telemetry Systems Logo

Advanced Telemetry Systems - Advanced Telemetry Systems is an Isanti, MN based company that provides "researchers and managers in ecology and biology with animal tracking and monitoring products."

See the complete Advanced Telemetry Systems profile

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Pheasants Forever - Pheasants Forever is a St. Paul, MN based non-profit “dedicated to the conservation of pheasants, quail and other wildlife."

See the complete Pheasants Forever profile

Chincoteague Bay Field Station Logo

Chincoteague Bay Field Station - Chincoteague Bay Field Station is a Wallops Island, VA based non-profit that helps people learn through experience while fostering environmental stewardship.

See the complete Chincoteague Bay Field Station profile

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Ducks Unlimited - Ducks Unlimited is a Memphis, TN based non-profit has become “the world’s leader in wetlands and waterfowl conservation.”

See the complete Ducks Unlimited profile

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Firecracker - Firecracker is a Cambridge, MA based company that has built the “most advanced learning platform for the next generation of Physicians.”

See the complete Firecracker profile

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Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary - Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary is a Red Lodge, MT based non-profit that houses "native animals that cannot be returned to the wild due to injury or habituation to humans.”

See the complete Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary profile

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The Explorers Club - The Explorers Club is a NYC based non-profit "dedicated to the advancement of field research and the ideal that it is vital to preserve the instinct to explore."

See the complete The Explorers Club profile

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William J. Clinton Foundation - The Clinton Foundation aims to “improve global health, strengthen economies worldwide, promote healthier childhoods, and protect the environment."

See the complete William J. Clinton Foundation profile

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World Wildlife Fund - World Wildlife Fund is a Washington, DC non-profit that “has been protecting the future of nature” for the last 50 years.

See the complete World Wildlife Fund profile

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Heal the Bay - Heal the Bay is devoted to protecting and reviving Santa Monica Bay, “the centerpiece of Los Angeles’ beach culture."

See the complete Heal the Bay profile

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Teton Science Schools - Teton Science Schools is based in Jackson, WY based and has “been educating, training, and inspiring students about the natural world” since 1967.

See the complete Teton Science Schools profile

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Neomend - Neomend is an Irvine, CA based company that is innovating in the surgical sealants space with their Progel technology platform.

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NatureBridge - NatureBridge is a non-profit that has introduced “1 million young people to the wonder and science of nature in the world’s best classrooms—our national parks.”

See the complete NatureBridge profile

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Society for Neuroscience - The Society for Neuroscience is a Washington, DC based non-profit member organization, and they're hiring new grads.

See the complete Society for Neuroscience profile

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Amy’s Kitchen - Amy's Kitchen is a Petaluma, CA based natural frozen foods company that is all vegetarian and mostly organic. They have some great jobs for new grads.

See the complete Amy’s Kitchen profile

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Solazyme - Solazyme is a San Francisco, CA based company that synthesizes oil from algae, and they have some great job opportunities for new grads.

See the complete Solazyme profile

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Association of Public Health Laboratories - The Association of Public Health Laboratories in Silver Spring, MD promotes public health labs and has some great job opportunities for new grads.

See the complete Association of Public Health Laboratories profile

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The Nature Conservancy - The Nature Conservancy is "the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters" and they're hiring

See the complete The Nature Conservancy profile

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Liquidia Technologies - Liquidia Technolgoies is a Research Triangle Park, NC based biotech company that has some great entry level job opportunities.

See the complete Liquidia Technologies profile

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Synthetic Genomics - Interested in solving the world's problems through genomics? A career with Synthetic Genomics may be just what you're looking for.

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DNAnexus Logo

DNAnexus - If you're interested in the intersection of computing technology and genetics, you have to take a look at DNAnexus and their career opportunities.

See the complete DNAnexus profile

OpGen Logo

OpGen - If you are interested in genetics and the science behind Optical Mapping, then you may want to consider check out Jobs at OpGen.

See the complete OpGen profile

Sapphos Environmental Logo

Sapphos Environmental - Sapphos Environmental is a Pasadena, CA based environmental consulting company that specializes in planning, resource management, and environmental compliance.

See the complete Sapphos Environmental profile

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Precision Therapeutics - Precision Therapeutics is a Pittsburgh, PA based company that helps identify the most effective ways to treat individual cancer cases, and they're hiring.

See the complete Precision Therapeutics profile

The Island School Logo

The Island School - If you’d like to spend some time in The Bahamas, you should check out The Island School’s Teaching positions along with their Teaching Fellowship Program.

See the complete The Island School profile

Marrone Bio Innovations Logo

Marrone Bio Innovations - If you’re excited about a world with less harmful pesticides, then you should check out jobs at Marrone Bio Innovations.

See the complete Marrone Bio Innovations profile

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Cord Blood Registry - The topic of stem cells can be controversial but Cord Blood Registry in San Bruno, CA offers parents a chance to save their child's cord blood just in case.

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Rodale Institute - If you want to be part of the organic movement, then you should consider jobs at the Rodale Institute in Kutztown, PA.

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Forensic Fluids Laboratories - If you’re fascinated by forensics and drug testing, you should check out jobs at Forensic Fluids Laboratories.

See the complete Forensic Fluids Laboratories profile

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Nestle Purina - The Nestle Purina Management Trainee Program offers a variety of opportunities in three locations: Jefferson, WI; Davenport, IA; and Bloomfield, MO.

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Underwater Adventures Aquarium - Whether it’s sharks, sea turtles, boring old fish, or one of their other 5,000 aquatic creatures that get you excited, Underwater Adventures is worth a look.

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Somark Innovations - Somark Innovations' site doesn't mention a Jobs page, but they do note on their Team page that they're "always looking for more team members."

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Genetic Alliance Logo

Genetic Alliance - If you’re passionate about genetics and health, then you might want to consider a job at Genetic Alliance.

See the complete Genetic Alliance profile

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Advanced BioHealing - Once you get a feel for how Advanced BioHealing works and operates, then you can check out their Careers page.

See the complete Advanced BioHealing profile

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ARKive - ARKive has put together a fascinating resource on endangered species, and you should really spend some time checking it out along with their jobs.

See the complete ARKive profile

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Academy of Natural Sciences - The Academy is now approaching its 200th anniversary, and if you want to be able to celebrate it with them, you’ll want to take a look at their Jobs page.

See the complete Academy of Natural Sciences profile

Wildlife Conservation Society Logo

Wildlife Conservation Society - Based in NYC, Wildlife Conservation Society has a lot of job opportunities for people who want to save wildlife and preserve biodiversity.

See the complete Wildlife Conservation Society profile

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Green Seal - If Washington, DC based Green Seal meets your personal standards, you may want to think about a job with them.

See the complete Green Seal profile

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National Park Service - If you love Memorial Day as much as I do, then a job with the National Park Service might be something worth thinking about.

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Compendia Bioscience - It's hard to believe that with the same skills you could build software to turn your friends into virtual zombies or you could be curing cancer at Compendia.

See the complete Compendia Bioscience profile

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Epic Systems - We could go on and on about how cool it looks to work at Epic, but you’re better off checking it out on your own (start by taking a tour of their campus).

See the complete Epic Systems profile

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National Audubon Society - The National Audubon Society has a long list of current job openings in locations all across the country. Many are entry-level and perfect for new college grads

See the complete National Audubon Society profile

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Chicago Botanic Garden - The Chicago Botanic Garden has a wide variety of employment opportunities for new college grads. The three focuses are collections, education, and research

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New York Structural Biology Center Logo

New York Structural Biology Center - The New York Structural Biology Center is offering entry-level jobs as a Technician for new college grads who majored in Biology, Chemistry or Physics.

See the complete New York Structural Biology Center profile

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Animal Replacement Technologies - Animal Replacement Technologies, based in Sarasota, FL, has engineered synthetic human tissues, organs, and body parts that mimic their living counterparts.

See the complete Animal Replacement Technologies profile

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23andMe - 23andMe is a web-based biotechnology firm that specializes in providing personal genetic information and they are located in Mountain View, California.

See the complete 23andMe profile

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