10 jobs in biological sciences, with salaries and skills

Updated 4 May 2023

With the latest scientific discoveries and advancements, the field of biological sciences has been steadily growing in relevance. Since it's such a diverse field, job opportunities are available at all levels. If you're interested in biological sciences, reading about some of the possible job opportunities in this field can help you decide if it's a career path you want to pursue. In this article, we list 10 jobs in biological sciences, discuss some of their duties and requirements and provide the average salaries.

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What are biological sciences?

Biological sciences are the study of life, how it develops and how it interacts with its environment. It includes a wide range of topics, including anatomy, botany, zoology, ecology, genetics and microbiology. Biological scientists research living organisms and often work to discover additional facts or create new ways to use them. They might study a single organism, such as a bacterium, or study bigger systems that require an interdisciplinary approach, like ecosystems or the human body.

Related: Learn more about an engineering geologist job profile

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10 jobs in biological sciences to consider

Here is a list of jobs in biological sciences for you to consider:

1. Naturalist

National average salary: £18,293 per year

Primary duties: The primary duties of a naturalist are to educate the people about the environment and preserve the natural environment in designated areas for wilderness populations. Their key tasks are preserving, restoring, maintaining, and protecting natural habitats. They research the effects of living organisms on their surroundings and how they interact with one another. Also, they investigate why specific circumstances may harm or benefit a species or the ecosystem.

It is necessary for naturalists to have an in-depth understanding of biological sciences that deal with the ecosystems in their area and the natural species that live there. Also, a curious mindset, good physical stamina, detail-oriented skills and public speaking skills are crucial for this position.

2. Biologist

National average salary: £33,074 per year

Primary duties: Biologists have the same goal and responsibilities regardless of their field. Their primary responsibilities include analysing and investigating the environment to discover invasive species, identify the potential environmental impact they may have and to develop pest management strategies. They also gather and analyse biological data that shows how organisms interact with their surroundings.

When biologists complete research, they produce reports and present them to clients, government organisations and the public. They may also give presentations at conferences, manage lab personnel and use computer programmes to store, process and analyse data. Professionals in this field can work for government agencies, colleges and private businesses. This position requires a vast knowledge of biological sciences, proven research skills, outstanding written and verbal communication skills, the ability to work on a team and excellent attention to detail.

3. Microbiologist

National average salary: £71,805 per year

Primary duties: The primary duties of microbiologists include using laboratory equipment and computers to conduct tests on bacteria, viruses and other microbes. It also involves thoroughly recording their findings in reports and presenting their research findings at conferences and other events. Microbiologists' studies in the laboratory can aid in diagnosing and treating ailments. They isolate bacteria and different microorganism cultures for future research, and for future reference, they classify the microorganisms they discover in collected specimens and stay up to date by observing other scientists' discoveries and attending conferences.

Employers expect microbiologists to have extensive knowledge in the subject or any closely related biological sciences with a significant microbiology curriculum. Attention to detail, mathematical skills, logical thinking and keen observation skills are essential.

Related: How to become a microbiologist

4. Biostatistician

National average salary: £51,956 per year

Primary duties: The primary duties of biostatisticians are to plan, analyse, implement and present the results of focused statistical research investigations. To increase medical knowledge and improve public health research, they provide counselling to investigators and researchers on experimental design and statistical research methodologies, needs and scientific standards. Biostatisticians collaborate with investigators to develop formal analytical plans and reporting requirements. They also guide statistical analysis strategy selection, measurement reliability, model identifiability and statistical result interpretation and presentation.

To analyse massive data sets, they need analytical skills and a solid understanding of mathematics, statistics and computer science. Also, fundamental knowledge of biological sciences and the ability to create data analysis plans and procedures are necessary.

Related: How to become a biostatistician (with skills and FAQ)

5. Healthcare assistant

National average salary: £20,879 per year

Primary duties: Healthcare assistants care for patients in hospitals, residential care facilities or in patients' homes. Their responsibilities include assisting patients with daily activities such as eating, showering and using the toilet. They check patients' vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature, and they assist nursing staff when necessary. They attend meetings with other healthcare professionals and deliver reports of patients' conditions to case managers.

A healthcare assistant requires a degree in related biological sciences. Also, an open mind, a caring and approachable nature and a desire to work with people of all ages and backgrounds are crucial alongside interpersonal skills and role-specific skills. Some of these skills include patience, empathy, good communication skills and stress management.

6. Laboratory technician

National average salary: £21,761 per year

Primary duties: A laboratory technician, also known as a medical lab assistant, assists scientists and medical practitioners with research, testing and maintenance of the laboratory. Some of their primary duties include recording data, sanitising equipment and buying and arranging supplies. Also, laboratory technicians receive, test, analyse, record and report test results. Another responsibility is to maintain equipment records and daily work logs, and they also stay current on technical advances in their field.

A foundation in biological sciences and an excellent knowledge of maintaining and using technical equipment accurately are essential to becoming a lab technician. Also, basic maths and computing skills and excellent record-keeping skills are also necessary for this position.

Related: How to become a lab technician

7. Biomedical engineer

National average salary: £33,562 per year

Primary duties: The primary duties of biomedical engineers combine engineering, design and medical skills to create innovative healthcare technology. They're at the core of building, manufacturing and maintaining medical equipment doctors use to diagnose and treat patients. They also work with colleagues in the field to show them how to apply engineering ideas to biological treatments and systems.

Careful measurement and analytical skills, acute attention to detail, the ability to be innovative and technical skills are all crucial qualities for a biomedical engineer to possess. Extensive knowledge of biological sciences is essential, as are good communication and teamwork skills.

8. Nurse practitioner

National average salary: £34,994 per year

Primary duties: Nurse practitioners are healthcare providers who specialise in both primary and speciality care. They analyse and diagnose common ailments in patients and also have the authorisation to order laboratory testing, prescribe drugs and manage health conditions. These abilities necessitate considering their medical history and any symptoms the patients may be experiencing. Nurse practitioners encourage patients to take an active role in their own health. They also teach their patients how to live a healthy lifestyle to help them preserve their health or reduce the symptoms and progression of diseases.

Extensive knowledge of anatomy, human physiology or related biological sciences is necessary to diagnose health conditions. Also, nurse practitioners also study and learn medical and scientific terminology.

Related: How to become a nurse practitioner

9. Forensic scientist

National average salary: £25,512 per year

Primary duties: The primary duties of forensic scientists are to evaluate various forms of evidence that investigators gather at crime scenes through specialised technology, including DNA sequencing software and high-powered microscopes. Their investigations frequently disclose how a criminal activity occurred, when it occurred and who was present. Forensic scientists often collaborate with other experts, including toxicologists and forensic dentists. They also collaborate closely with law enforcement in the investigation of criminal cases.

A foundational degree in biological sciences is necessary for this job, and it is also necessary for forensic scientists to be meticulous, objective and sensitive in handling confidential information and to have the ability to think logically and independently. The ability to work under pressure and under stressful, emotional conditions is also crucial.

Related: 9 forensic science jobs with salaries and job duties

10. Health educator

National average salary: £34,044 per year

Primary duties: The primary duty of a health educator is to identify the health requirements of the community or population they serve. Also, they develop and conduct health education programmes for people, families and communities. This is to help them maintain and improve their health. They teach people how to incorporate wellness into their everyday routines and achieve their health goals through lifestyle adjustments. In addition, they help support and advocate for health-promoting policies and resources.

It is necessary for health educators to have a first degree in related biological sciences, incredible writing and research skills, communication skills and good interpersonal skills. Also, having bilingual skills is an added advantage.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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