Summary Report for:
25-1042.00 - Biological Science Teachers, Postsecondary
Teach courses in biological sciences. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.
Sample of reported job titles: Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor of Biology, Associate Professor, Associate Professor of Biology, Biological Sciences Professor, Biology Instructor, Biology Professor, Instructor, Professor, Professor of Biology
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Prepare and deliver lectures to undergraduate or graduate students on topics such as molecular biology, marine biology, and botany.
- Prepare materials for laboratory activities and course materials such as syllabi, homework assignments, and handouts.
- Evaluate and grade students' class work, laboratory work, assignments, and papers.
- Maintain student attendance records, grades, and other required records.
- Supervise students' laboratory work.
- Compile, administer, and grade examinations, or assign this work to others.
- Keep abreast of developments in the field by reading current literature, talking with colleagues, and participating in professional conferences.
- Initiate, facilitate, and moderate classroom discussions.
- Supervise undergraduate or graduate teaching, internship, and research work.
- Assist students who need extra help with their coursework outside of class.
- Conduct research in a particular field of knowledge and publish findings in professional journals, books, or electronic media.
- Plan, evaluate, and revise curricula, course content, and course materials and methods of instruction.
- Maintain regularly scheduled office hours to advise and assist students.
- Advise students on academic and vocational curricula and on career issues.
- Collaborate with colleagues to address teaching and research issues.
- Write grant proposals to procure external research funding.
- Select and obtain materials and supplies such as textbooks and laboratory equipment.
- Participate in student recruitment, registration, and placement activities.
- Serve on academic or administrative committees that deal with institutional policies, departmental matters, and academic issues.
- Provide students course-related experiences, such as field trips, outside the classroom.
- Review papers for publication in journals.
- Perform administrative duties such as serving as department head.
- Participate in campus and community events, such as giving presentations to the public.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Anaerobic chamber — Anaerobic growth chambers
- Chemiluminescence or bioluminescence analyzers — Chemiluminescence imaging systems
- Compact disk players or recorders — Compact disk CD players
- Desktop computers
- Digital camcorders or video cameras — Digital video cameras
- Digital cameras — Compact digital cameras
- Digital video disk players or recorders — Digital video disk DVD players
- Dissolved carbon dioxide analyzers — Carbon dioxide analysis equipment
- Epidiascopes — Opaque projectors
- Fluorescent microscopes — Fluorescence microscopes
- Gel documentation systems — Electrophoresis equipment
- High capacity removable media drives — Universal serial bus USB flash drives
- Inkjet printers — Poster printers
- Laser fax machine — Laser facsimile machines
- Laser printers — Computer laser printers
- Liquid crystal display projector — Liquid crystal display LCD projectors
- Mass spectrometers — Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization MALDI mass spectrometers
- Microphone stand — Microphone podiums
- Microphones — Handheld microphones; Wireless microphones
- MP3 players or recorders — MP3 digital voice recorders
- Multimedia projectors — Multimedia projection equipment
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Overhead projectors — Overhead data projectors
- Oxygen gas analyzers — Oxygen test meters
- Photocopiers — Photocopying equipment
- Pocket calculator — Digital calculators
- Portable data input terminals — Interactive whiteboard controllers; Student response systems; Wireless learning calculator systems
- Projection screens or displays — Projector screens
- Refrigerated and heated reach in environmental or growth chambers — Environmental growth chambers
- Scanners — Computer data input scanners
- Scanning electron microscopes — Field emission scanning electron microscopes
- Scanning light or spinning disk or laser scanning microscopes — Laser scanning microscopes
- Slide projectors — Carousel slide projectors
- Special purpose telephones — Multi-line telephone systems
- Tablet computers
- Teleconference equipment — Conference telephones
- Televisions — Liquid crystal display LCD televisions; Television monitors
- Temperature cycling chambers or thermal cyclers — Thermocyclers
- Touch screen monitors — Interactive whiteboards
- Ultra cold or ultralow upright cabinets or freezers — Low temperature freezers
- Ultracentrifuges — Benchtop ultracentrifuges
- Videoconferencing systems — Videoconferencing equipment
- Web cameras — Webcams
Technology used in this occupation:
- Analytical or scientific software — SAS software; The MathWorks MATLAB; The Protein Investigator *; The Virtual Genetics Lab * (see all 13 examples)
- Calendar and scheduling software
- Computer based training software — Blackboard Learn; Learning management system LMS software; Moodle *; Sakai CLE * (see all 6 examples)
- Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software
- Development environment software — National Instruments LabVIEW
- Electronic mail software — Email software; Microsoft Outlook
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Graphics creation software
- Information retrieval or search software — DOC Cop *; iParadigms Turnitin
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Map creation software — Geographic information system GIS software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Optical character reader OCR or scanning software — Image scanning software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Collaborative editing software; Google Docs *; Microsoft Word; Wood processing software
* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.
- Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
- Education and Training — Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- 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.
- 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.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Learning Strategies — Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- 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.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
- Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- 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).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
- Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
- 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).
- 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.
- Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- 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.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Performing Administrative Activities — Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
Detailed Work Activities
- Develop instructional materials.
- Guide class discussions.
- Evaluate student work.
- Advise educators on curricula, instructional methods, or policies.
- Maintain student records.
- Order instructional or library materials or equipment.
- Administer tests to assess educational needs or progress.
- Supervise student research or internship work.
- Research topics in area of expertise.
- Teach physical science or mathematics courses at the college level.
- Write articles, books or other original materials in area of expertise.
- Develop instructional objectives.
- Attend training sessions or professional meetings to develop or maintain professional knowledge.
- Stay informed about current developments in field of specialization.
- Prepare tests.
- Supervise laboratory work.
- Evaluate effectiveness of educational programs.
- Write grant proposals.
- Tutor students who need extra assistance.
- Serve on institutional or departmental committees.
- Advise students on academic or career matters.
- Direct department activities.
- Plan experiential learning activities.
- Select educational materials or equipment.
- Perform student enrollment or registration activities.
- Evaluate scholarly materials.
- Promote educational institutions or programs.
- Plan community programs or activities for the general public.
- Compile specialized bibliographies or lists of materials.
- Electronic Mail — 97% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 84% responded “Every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 77% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 72% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Contact With Others — 61% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 76% responded “Every day.”
- Public Speaking — 56% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Telephone — 53% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 69% responded “More than 40 hours.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 42% responded “Very important.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 39% responded “Very important.”
- Letters and Memos — 40% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 37% responded “Important results.”
- Time Pressure — 42% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 35% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 40% responded “Very important.”
- Spend Time Sitting — 43% responded “About half the time.”
- Level of Competition — 37% responded “Highly competitive.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 24% responded “Limited responsibility.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 27% responded “Very high responsibility.”
|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)|
Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
This occupation may require a background in the following science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational disciplines:
Interest code: SI
- Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
- 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.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- 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.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- 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.
- Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2014)||$74,580 annual|
|Employment (2012)||61,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Faster than average (15% to 21%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||21,200|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "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.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Postsecondary Teachers . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.