A Bachelor of Science degree program in biology includes coursework in zoology, ecology, plant biology and microbiology. Some students might complete an undergraduate degree in biology to prepare for a graduate program that leads to a career as a physician, veterinarian, pharmacist or physical therapist. Other students complete the four-year degree to meet the requirements of a career. Whichever the case, earning a BS in biology can lead to a number of different career paths.
Zoologists study diseases, reproductive habits and patterns of animals in their natural surroundings or in a controlled environment. A zoologist might work with environmental scientists to determine the effect of pollution and environmental issues on wildlife populations. Some zoologists specialize in a type of species. For example, mammalogists study mammals, while entomologists study insects. The data zoologists and wildlife scientists collect can influence policymakers on conservation plans and proposals. The minimum education necessary for a career as a zoologist is a bachelor’s degree. A BS in biology should include coursework in wildlife biology and zoology. The median annual salary for zoologists and wildlife biologists was $57,710 as of 2012, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Environmental scientists study issues such as pollution to develop solutions that keep air, land and water clean. The data scientists collect can help determine the effect environmental issues have on the health of animal and human populations. The solutions they develop might help reclaim damaged water or land. Environmental scientists prepare reports for the public or governments that can help provide information on environmental hazards and potential health risks associated with the environment. Many environmental scientists enter the field with a BS in biology. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for environmental scientists in 2012 was $63,570.
Biological technicians conduct scientific tests and experiments on materials such as blood or bacteria. The technician must prepare reports that document the tests and results. Many specialize in a specific area such as medical research, microbiology or biotechnology. Technicians can enter the field with a minimum of a BS in biology. The courses in the degree program should include physics, chemistry, microbiology, ecology and molecular biology. The median annual salary for biological technicians in 2012 was $39,750, according to the BLS.
Medical Laboratory Technologist
Medical laboratory technologists analyze body fluids in hospitals, diagnostic laboratories and physician’s offices to provide information that physicians use to diagnose illnesses and medical conditions. The technologist is responsible for entering the results of medical tests in a patient’s records. Medical technologists may supervise technicians in the lab. A bachelor’s degree can qualify graduates for an entry-level position as a medical technologist. Programs in medical laboratory sciences are available for aspiring technologists, but a BS in biology can provide the education necessary for the position. Students should complete courses in clinical laboratory skills to meet the requirements of the career. The BLS reports that the median annual salary for a medical laboratory technologist in 2012 was $57,580.