Biological/Research Scientist

Biological/Research scientists study reproduction, growth and development, function, structure, behavior and other aspects of living organisms to develop medicines, prevent disease, and promote health.

Specializations

  • Anatomist – studies organ structure in animals and applies to human medicine.
  • Aquatic Biologist – studies micro-organisms, plants, and animals living in water.
  • Biochemist – researches how various substances affect living organisms and their functions.
  • Biophysicist – studies and analyzes mechanical and electrical energy in living cells and tissues.
  • Botanist – studies plants and their environments.
  • Ecologist – investigates relationships among organisms and between organisms and their environments.
  • Epidemiologist – studies the causes and spread of diseases among populations and determine ways to prevent or control diseases.
  • Geneticist – studies characteristics and inherited traits of humans and animals.
  • Histopathologist – studies how disease affects human and animal tissues.
  • Limnologist – studies fresh water organisms.
  • Marine Biologist – studies salt water organisms.
  • Microbiologist – examines and studies characteristics of bacteria and other microorganisms.
  • Pharmacologist – analyzes the effects of drugs and other materials on human and animal tissue and functions of the biological system.
  • Physicist – researches physical phenomena and applies the theory and laws of physics to industry, medicine and other areas.
  • Physiologist – studies life functions of plants and animals, both in the whole organism and at the cellular or molecular level.
  • Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist – studies animals and wildlife, their origin, behavior, diseases, and life processes.

Work Activities/Work Locations

Biological Research Scientists work as consultants, or they are employed by private companies such as chemical or pharmaceutical, research facilities, the government, and laboratories. Some scientists may work in management positions. They may work in laboratories, hospitals or depending upon the specialty, outside of a laboratory, in classrooms, or offices. They work regular hours, 40-hours a week, although if working in field research, hours can vary and the work may be physically demanding.

 Education: 4-6+ year

 Patient Interaction: Low

 Physical Activity: Low

 Salary: $61,855

 Job Growth: Medium

Getting Started

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High School Courses

High school students should study biology, chemistry, mathematics, and related courses. Students who successfully complete a bachelor’s degree can usually work in non-research positions, or as biological, science or engineering technicians. Other graduate students continue their education in a health professions school or specialized field. An advanced degree such as a Ph.D. is usually required for college teaching, independent research or advancement.

Education and Training

Professional Organizations

American Association for Clinical Chemistry
900 Seventh St., NW Suite 400
Washington, DC, 20001
202/857-0717 or 800/892-1400
www.aacc.org

American College of Epidemiology
1500 Sunday Drive, Suite 102
Raleigh, NC, 27607
919/861-5573
www.acepidemiology.org/

American Institute of Biological Sciences
1800 Alexander Bell Drive, Suite 400
Reston, VA, 20191
703/674-2500 or 800/992-2427
www.aibs.org

American Physiological Society
9650 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD, 20814-3991
301/634-7164
www.the-aps.org/

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
11200 Rockville Pike, Suite 302
Rockville, MD, 20852-3110
240/283-6600
www.asbmb.org

American Society for Cell Biology
8120 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 750
Bethesda, MD, 20814-2762
301/347-9300
www.ascb.org/

American Society for Microbiology
1752 N. St NW
Washington, DC, 20036-2904
202/737-3600 or 202/942-9319
www.asm.org

Botanical Society of America
4475 Castleman Avenue
St. Louis, MO, 63110-3201
314/577-9566
www.botany.org/

Ecological Society of America
1990 M Street, NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC, 20036
202/833-8773
www.esa.org/

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
9650 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD, 20814
301/634-7000
www.faseb.org

National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington , VA, 22230
703/292-5111 or 800/877-8339
www.nsf.gov

Society for Epidemiologic Research
PO Box 990
Clearfield, UT, 84089
801/766-3231
https://epiresearch.org/

Career Outlook

    Biological Research Scientist

  • Typical Salary Range (2014) (Wisconsin): $36,400 to $112,700 per year.
  • Typical Salary Range (2014) (National): $42,500 to $115,300 per year.Biochemist and Biophysicist
  • Typical Salary Range (2014) (Wisconsin): $42,300 to $106,900 per year.
  • Typical Salary Range (2014) (National): $44,200 to $149,100 per year.Epidemiologist
  • Typical Salary Range (2014) (Wisconsin): $50,600 to $91,800 per year.
  • Typical Salary Range (2014) (National): $43,500 to $112,400 per year.Microbiologist
  • Typical Salary Range (2014) (Wisconsin): $36,100 to $98,300 per year.
  • Typical Salary Range (2014) (National): $38,800 to $125,000 per year.Physicist
  • Typical Salary Range (2014) (Wisconsin): $57,400 to $187,200+ per year.
  • Typical Salary Range (2014) (National): $54,900 to $184,600 per year.Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist
  • Typical Salary Range (2014) (Wisconsin): $33,000 to $76,500 per year.
  • Typical Salary Range (2014) (National): $38,100 to $96,700 per year.

 

Biological Research Scientist

  • Number Employed in 2012: 580
  • Expected Employment in 2022: 590
  • Percent Employment Growth (2012-2022): 2%
  • Expected Annual Openings: 20

Biochemist and Biophysicist

  • Number Employed in 2012: 600
  • Expected Employment in 2022: 7400
  • Percent Employment Growth (2012-2022): 23%
  • Expected Annual Openings: 30

Epidemiologist

  • Number Employed in 2012: 40
  • Expected Employment in 2022: 50
  • Percent Employment Growth (2012-2022): 10
  • Expected Annual Openings: 0

Microbiologist

  • Number Employed in 2012: 470
  • Expected Employment in 2022: 520
  • Percent Employment Growth (2012-2022): 10%
  • Expected Annual Openings: 20

Physicist

  • Number Employed in 2012: 270
  • Expected Employment in 2022: 300
  • Percent Employment Growth (2012-2022): 10
  • Expected Annual Openings: 10

Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist

  • Number Employed in 2012: 410
  • Expected Employment in 2022: 420
  • Percent Employment Growth (2012-2022): 3%
  • Expected Annual Openings: 10

Salary information for Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist is located at Career One Stop

Wisconsin AHEC Health Careers Information Center provides the most current salary information available from CareerOneStop. CareerOneStop will have a lapse between when the information is gathered and when it is released.