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Biologist  What They Do

Just the Facts


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

This career is part of the Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources cluster Plant Systems pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Collects and analyzes biological data about relationships among and between organisms and their environment.
  • Supervises biological technicians and technologists and other scientists.
  • Programs and uses computers to store, process, and analyze data.
  • Prepares technical and research reports, such as environmental impact reports, and communicates the results to individuals in industry, government, or the general public.
  • Develops and maintains 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.
  • Prepares requests for proposals or statements of work.
  • Represents employer in a technical capacity at conferences.
  • Cultivates, breeds, and grows aquatic life, such as lobsters, clams, or fish.
  • Studies and manages wild animal populations.
  • Studies aquatic plants and animals and environmental conditions affecting them, such as radioactivity or pollution.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 10 lbs., sometimes up to 20 lbs. You might do a lot of walking or standing, or you might sit but use your arms and legs to control machines, equipment or tools.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposed to hazardous situations involving possible injury such as cuts, bites, stings, and minor burns more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves sitting more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Cytologist -- Studies changes in cellular composition, which can determine precancerous abnormalities, infectious conditions, or potential health risks.
  • Fisheries Biologist -- Duties involve all aspects of fisheries management, research and habitat protection.
  • Molecular Biologist -- Studies the biochemical processes within living cells, such as genetic coding and DNA information.
  • Wildlife Biologist -- Studies animals and their habitats by surveying for wildlife presence and demographics, studying feeding, reproduction and mortality, and defines habitat requirements and conservation priorities.