The Office of Career Services
Library Building, Room 429 & 430
222-05 56th Avenue
Bayside, NY 11364
Phone: (718) 631-6297
|Overview:||Biologists study the basic life processes of plant and animal life in order to make improvements in the fields of medicine and agriculture. Much emphasis is currently placed on the impact of environmental change on life.|
|Duties:||Biologists study the life processes, behaviors, diseases, and structure of life forms. Their studies range from large animals and plants to organisms with a few cells. Their findings help solve problems, such as plant diseases or possible extinction of some animals. They also research ways to solve problems in human health and disease.
Some biologists do basic research. This means they study the world to gain knowledge. Other biologists do applied research. They use knowledge gained from research to create new products or processes. For example, they use genetic engineering knowledge to create new types of corn that are less attractive to pests. Some biologists use complex lab instruments for their research.
Regardless of the topic they study, biologists have many tasks in common. They read articles and attend conferences to learn more about their research area. They determine research questions and design experiments to study those questions. Depending on the type of organism they study, biologists conduct experiments in a lab, forest, or other site. They may work with the organisms themselves, or have research assistants do much of the work for them. If they have assistants, scientists train them how to conduct the research and keep records.
Once an experiment is complete, biologists analyze the data. They may use a computer to analyze the data for them. Next, biologists interpret the data and write reports. They may present their results at conferences.
Biologists often specialize in a subfield of biology. For example, biochemists investigate the chemical makeup and processes of living things. They study the chemical effects of food and drugs on such processes as growth and aging. Biophysicists study the electrical and mechanical energy properties of cells and organisms. Microbiologists study the growth, development, and characteristics of bacteria and other small organisms. Botanists study plants and their environment. There are many other subfields of biology.
|Degree(s):||A.S./B.S. QCC/York Dual/Joint Biotechnology
|Job Outlook:||Employment of biologists is expected to grow much faster than average through 2018 driven by growth in research and development of the biotech industry. Scientists will also be needed for applications for farmers and to clean up and preserve the environment.|
|Salary Range (National Average):||$30,000 to $34,000|
|Education Level:||Typically, a Bachelor’s Degree from a 4-year college (some are 5 years) is required to be considered for this occupation.|
|Additional Training/Education:||A bachelor's degree is adequate for many non-research positions in biology. However, a master's degree is often required for applied research and jobs in management and a Ph.D. for college teaching. Many employers look for applicants who have computer experience. They prefer to hire biologists who can apply computer skills to research tasks and operation of lab equipment. They look for applicants with leadership skills and good oral and written skills.|
|Advancement Info:||Beginning biologists with a bachelor's degree usually assist senior biologists in research labs. With additional education, biologists may advance to more demanding positions. Advancement is more likely for biologists who have advanced degrees. Biologists who have a Ph.D. and experience can lead basic research. Also, a Ph.D. is often required for advancement to management positions.|
* National data collected by the Department of Labor in 2014 with projections through 2024. For New York green job information please click here.
Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreements with other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.