Career Options

Career Options

Making your decision

First:
Decide what general type of career appeals to you. What aspects of Biology or working sound interesting, or rewarding. Bear in mind that most people change their career at least once; so don’t be too narrow-minded. A common mistake is to concentrate on one career path so much that you are not qualified for anything else if your only choice doesn’t work out. Try to be realistic, both in your own abilities and in the job market.

Second:
Find out what skills and abilities you will need for your choices. Read the brochures from graduate and professional schools, to find out what their entrance requirements are. Talk to people working in companies, government agencies and hospitals to find out what they are looking for in their employees.

Third:
Be aware of the job market. While the demand for certain types of jobs varies from year to year, you should bear in mind that some areas usually have very few openings, while others are always looking for new people.

General Information

  • A bachelor’s degree will qualify for work as a laboratory assistant, technician, technologist or research assistant. These individuals work as a part of a team performing practical operations, e.g., operating laboratory equipment, designing and constructing new equipment, making drawings, building models and assisting in interpretation of results.
  • An undergraduate degree can be used for non-technical work in writing, illustration, sales, photography and legislation.
  • Graduate degrees will allow for more responsibility and advancement. A Master’s take 2-3 years, a Ph.D. 5-7 years, however most schools will pay you to get a Ph.D.
  • Some work environments, particularly medical, require special certification.
  • Learn laboratory procedures and become familiar with equipment.
  • Obtain summer, part-time, volunteer, co-op or internship experience.
  • Complete various training courses working with laboratory equipment and procedures to enhance job skills and abilities.
  • Join professional associations and community organizations to enhance knowledge, abilities and contacts in the field.
AREAS EMPLOYERS STRATEGIES
Biotechnology
Research and Development

Laboratory Testing

Teaching

Colleges and universities

Pharmaceutical companies

Agricultural industry including:

  • Fertilizer manufacturers, animal and plant breeding and production
  • Federal and state government laboratories and agencies
  • Industry. particularly biotechnology firms
Develop excellent laboratory skills.

Acquire Ph.D. for college and university teaching and advanced positions in research, development, and management.

Learn federal and state government job application process.

Take additional courses in science and mathematics.

Learn to problem solve.

Develop work habits that are systematic, precise and patient.

Professional School

Medical

Dental

Veterinary

Others

Self-employed

Hospitals

Research organizations

Take the courses the schools ask for, not what you think they want. Prepare for MCAT or equivalent test. Get involved in the profession, volunteer, work summers etc. Be prepared to do a lot of studying on your own, above and beyond class work.
Genetics

Research and Development related to:

Animals

Plants

Humans

Colleges and universities

Pharmaceutical manufacturers

Large producers of seed, livestock and poultry

Large fur breeding farms

Government laboratories, including:

  • Department of Agriculture
  • Fish and Wildlife Service
  • National Institutes of Health
Obtain Ph.D. for teaching and advanced research and management positions.

Take additional courses in science and chemistry.

Learn to problem solve.

Minor in Biochemistry

Microbiology

Research

Teaching

Production

Quality Control

Colleges and universities

Professional schools of medicine, dentistry, public health, nursing, pharmacy, veterinary medicine and agriculture

Private research foundations

Government research laboratories and service agencies

Hospitals and public health facilities

Agricultural experiment stations

Food, chemical, pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies

Industry including: wood products, paper, textiles, optical equipment, leather and electrical equipment

Environmental and pollution control agencies

Obtain Ph.D. for teaching and advanced research and management positions.

Take additional courses in chemistry, biology, mathematics and physics.

Take courses related to field of interest: botany, plant pathology, chemical engineering.

Learn federal, state and local government job application process.

May need to obtain specialized certification for some medical areas. Develop necessary eye-hand coordination and group interaction skills

Mycology

Teaching

Research

Colleges and universities

Professional schools of medicine, forestry, and agriculture

Medical research laboratories

Private research institutes

Pharmaceutical industry

Public Health Service

Industries and laboratories involved in production of food, leather, textiles, and forestry products

Chemical manufacturers

State and federal government laboratories

Acquire knowledge and skills in specialized areas: knowledge of industry chemistry especially helpful.

Take courses in organic chemistry, biochemistry and physics.

Acquire graduate degree for more opportunities.

Obtain Ph.D. for teaching and advanced positions in research and management.

Learn federal and state government job application process.

Systematic Biology

Teaching

Research

Private and public schools

Colleges, universities and agricultural colleges

Federal, sate and local agencies

Private research foundations

Museums, Zoos and aquariums

Botanical gardens and arboretums

Public health laboratories

Hospitals

Oil companies

Organizations involved in ecological studies

National and international environmental research programs.

Become certified/licensed for public school teaching.

Earn Ph.D. for college and university teaching and advanced research and management positions.

Learn federal, state and local government job application process.

Develop excellent laboratory skills

Develop foreign language abilities for international opportunities.

Entomology

Teaching

Research

Biological Control

Toxicology

Biological Survey

Extension

Inspection

Colleges and universities, especially colleges of agriculture and veterinary medicine

Industry, including:

  • Food producers and processors
  • Chemicals for insect control
  • Lumber and pulp
  • Chemical companies
  • Pest control companies
  • Federal and state government
  • Health agencies
  • Agricultural Experiment Stations
  • Inspection agencies and control boards
  • Conservation agencies
  • Museums
Acquire Ph.D. for college and university teaching and advanced research and management positions.

Learn federal, state and local government job application process.

Specialize in areas.

Marine and Aquatic Biology

Food

Research

Inspection

Teaching

Analysis

Federal, state and local agencies

International agencies

Inspection organizations

Private recreation organizations

Research laboratories

Colleges and universities

Zoos

Armed services

Shipping industry

Manufacturing

Fish hatcheries and organizations raising fish

Develop good foundation in mathematics, computer science, statistics and humanities.

Learn federal, state and local government job application process.

Acquire Ph.D. for college and university teaching and advanced research and management positions.

Obtain experience related to fishing and boating.

Specialize in fisheries science.

Zoology

Animal Care/Training

Research

Curator

Teaching

Specialized Areas

Wildlife preserves and parks

Zoos, aquariums and other collections of animals

Museums

Research organizations

Pharmaceutical, industrial, chemical and agricultural service industries

Federal and state agencies

Colleges and universities

Acquire excellent communication skills.

Obtain experience working with animals and various related laboratory equipment.

Develop broad background in biology and other related subjects — chemistry, physics, mathematics and statistics.

Acquire graduate degree for advancement and specialized positions.

Obtain Ph.D. for teaching and advanced research and management positions.

Learn federal and state government job application process

Biomedical

Physiology

Biophysics

Biochemistry

Pharmacology

Nutrition

Immunology

Pathology

Research

Teaching

Quality Control

Engineering

Colleges and universities

Professional schools including colleges of pharmacy, dentistry, medicine, veterinary medicine and agriculture

Clinics and hospitals

Private research foundations

Drug companies

Federal laboratories and regulatory agencies

Independent testing laboratories

Public health departments

Agricultural Experiment Stations

Industrial laboratories including:
chemical, petroleum, food processing, drug and cosmetic manufacturers

Armed services

Obtain Ph.D. for college and university teaching and advanced research positions.

Acquire background in physics, organic and physical chemistry, mathematics, and anatomy.

Take courses in area(s) of specialization.

Acquire advanced degrees in areas of specialization; some may require MD..

Learn federal, state and local government job application process.

Obtain degree in biomedical engineering or engineering technology.

Technical Writing

Editing

Writing

Newspapers

Publishing companies including:
  • scientific magazines
  • professional journals
  • periodicals
  • textbooks
  • biological books
Take technical writing classes or minor.

Develop strong writing skills and command of English language.

Minor in journalism.

Acquire word processing and desktop publishing skills.

Illustration Publishing companies of:
  • textbooks
  • scientific magazines and books
  • Medical and veterinary colleges
pharmaceuticals

animal pharmaceuticals

laboratory equipment

medical supplies and prostheses

Develop excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

Take courses in anatomy and pharmacology.

Obtain retail or selling experience.

Acquire a minor in business.

Hold leadership positions in campus organizations.

Join student American Marketing Association.

Technical Sales Manufacturing firms including:
  • pharmaceuticals
  • animal pharmaceuticals
  • laboratory equipment
  • medical supplies and prostheses
pharmaceuticals

animal pharmaceuticals

laboratory equipment

medical supplies and prostheses

Develop excellent communication and interpersonal skills.

Take courses in anatomy and pharmacology.

Obtain retail or selling experience.

Acquire a minor in business.

Hold leadership positions in campus organizations.

Join student American Marketing Association.

Biological Photography Free-lance

Major medical, dental and veterinary schools

Research centers

Federal government

Museums

Zoological societies

Pharmaceutical companies

Publishing houses

Acquire thorough knowledge of photographic procedures and technology.

Become skilled with medical and scientific instruments including microscopes.

Take specific courses in biological, medical and ophthalmic photography; courses in illustration and printing helpful.

Learn federal government job application process.

Legislation

Lobbyists

Congressional Fellows

Federal and state government

Companies and industries

Federal government

Acquire internships in federal or state government.

Develop excellent communications and interpersonal skills.

Learn federal and state government job application process.

Get experience in sales.

Acquire Ph.D.

Comments Off

Comments are closed.