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Summary Report for:
19-1020.01 - Biologists

Research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, development, anatomy, and functions.

Sample of reported job titles: Scientist, Biologist, Environmental Analyst, Research Scientist, Environmental Specialist, Fisheries Biologist, Research Biologist, Aquatic Scientist, Assistant Scientist, Marine Biologist

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings

Tasks

  • Collect and analyze biological data about relationships among and between organisms and their environment.
  • Supervise biological technicians and technologists and other scientists.
  • Program and use computers to store, process, and analyze data.
  • Prepare technical and research reports, such as environmental impact reports, and communicate the results to individuals in industry, government, or the general public.
  • Develop and maintain liaisons and effective working relations with groups and individuals, agencies, and the public to encourage cooperative management strategies or to develop information and interpret findings.
  • Prepare requests for proposals or statements of work.
  • Represent employer in a technical capacity at conferences.
  • Study and manage wild animal populations.
  • Study aquatic plants and animals and environmental conditions affecting them, such as radioactivity or pollution.
  • Study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, development, anatomy, and function.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Commercial fishing nets — Dip nets; Plankton nets
Dropping pipettes — Laboratory dropping pipettes; Micropipettes
Drying cabinets or ovens — Vertical drying ovens
Robotic or automated liquid handling systems — Automatic pipetters; Liquid handling robots
Stereo or dissecting light microscopes — Dissecting microscopes; Zoom microscopes

Technology used in this occupation:

Analytical or scientific software — Blue Tractor Software DNADynamo; Gene Codes Sequencher; VayTek VoxBlast; Visual Molecular Dynamics VMD *
Development environment software — National Instruments LabVIEW
Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software
Object or component oriented development software — Practical extraction and reporting language Perl; Sun Microsystems Java
Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

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Knowledge

Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

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Skills

Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Abilities

Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

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Work Activities

Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

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Work Context

Electronic Mail — 100% responded “Every day.”
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 90% responded “Every day.”
Face-to-Face Discussions — 88% responded “Every day.”
Telephone — 83% responded “Every day.”
Contact With Others — 58% responded “Constant contact with others.”
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 57% responded “Extremely important.”
Freedom to Make Decisions — 47% responded “A lot of freedom.”
Work With Work Group or Team — 37% responded “Very important.”
Structured versus Unstructured Work — 44% responded “A lot of freedom.”
Duration of Typical Work Week — 61% responded “More than 40 hours.”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
Education Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
Related Experience Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.
Job Training Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve coordinating, training, supervising, or managing the activities of others to accomplish goals. Very advanced communication and organizational skills are required. Examples include librarians, lawyers, sports medicine physicians, wildlife biologists, school psychologists, surgeons, treasurers, and controllers.
SVP Range (8.0 and above)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
24   Bachelor's degree
24   Master's degree
24   Post-doctoral training

This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:

Life Sciences — Anatomy; Animal Genetics; Animal Physiology; Aquatic Biology/Limnology; Biochemistry; Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other (see all 42 programs)

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Credentials

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Interests

Interest code: IR

Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

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Work Styles

Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

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Work Values

Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

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Related Occupations

11-9121.00 Natural Sciences Managers   Green Occupation Green
19-1013.00 Soil and Plant Scientists Green Occupation
19-1021.00 Biochemists and Biophysicists
19-1022.00 Microbiologists
19-1023.00 Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists Green Occupation
19-1029.02 Molecular and Cellular Biologists Bright Outlook
19-1029.03 Geneticists   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook  
19-2041.00 Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health Green Occupation
25-1042.00 Biological Science Teachers, Postsecondary
25-1052.00 Chemistry Teachers, Postsecondary

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages data collected from Biological Scientists.
Employment data collected from Biological Scientists.
Industry data collected from Biological Scientists.

Median wages (2013) $34.04 hourly, $70,800 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 104,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Slower than average (3% to 7%) Slower than average (3% to 7%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 37,400
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

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