The field Biology encompasses a vast array of potential careers. Just think about it - everything that has life on this earth is a part of biology, which is or the study of life. While it is possible to pursue a career that investigates biology from a more general standpoint, most biology careers focus on a subset of biology as a whole. This list includes popular biology career fields, but the options are practically endless if you want to pursue advanced education within the biology field.
The Five Most Popular Biology Career Fields
The list of potential careers within biology is simply too long, so here's a look at the most popular career fields within biology as a whole. Each of these career fields can be broken down into more specialized job positions based on your specific interests and goals. Keep in mind that the due to the very scientific and specialized knowledge required for biological careers, most of the career fields require a minimum of a bachelor's degree, although advanced degrees are often a prerequisite to employment.
The Medical Field
Humans are naturally part of the study of life, and as a result, individuals with a background in biology often go on to pursue careers within the medical or health fields. Here are a few of the most popular medical and health careers:
- Physician assistant
- Physical therapist
- Exercise physiologist
- Lab technician
- Forensic scientist
- Emergency medical technician
To one degree or another, each of these positions requires a keen knowledge of the human body, anatomy, physiology, biomechanics and biochemistry. Individuals working within the medical field can expect to work closely with patients or clients to help diagnose, treat and prevent injuries and illnesses.
Like the medical field, careers in animal science require an understanding of biology with a keen focus on the animal kingdom. If you pursue a career in animal science, you may have to choose whether you want to focus on a broad view of the animal kingdom, like all mammals, or if you want to specialize in a particular subset of the animal kingdom, like large cats. There are almost unlimited possibilities when looking at career options within animal science. A few possible careers include:
- Vet assistant
- Marine biologist
- Wildlife biologist
- Fisheries biologist
- Animal trainer
If you love biology class, including reading slides, dissecting animals, talking about plants, evolution and more, then you may want a career that lets you have a broad focus on the science of biology. One of the best ways to do this is to pursue a career in education. After earning a bachelor's degree in biology you can study to become a licensed teacher, then you can work at the middle school or high school levels, teaching biology and general science courses. You can also choose to pursue a masters or doctorate in science that would enable you to teach courses at the junior college or university level.
Humans continue to learn new things about how life forms interact, develop and degrade. If you're the inquisitive type who wants to be on the cutting edge of scientific discoveries, you may want to pursue a career in biological research. Research is typically conducted at universities and requires an advanced degree within a more specialized field, like nutrition, medicine or animal science.
In addition to human and animal life, biologists may also investigate plant life. These careers are also practically endless as you can specialize in studying a specific plant or you can study an entire ecosystem. Some of the careers related to plant life include:
- Agricultural research
- Forest service
- Soil scientist
While many of these positions require an advanced degree, you could choose to use your love of plants as a means of starting a nursery, tree farm or landscaping business.
More Career Fields
Despite the length of this list, it only depicts a fraction of the potential career choices within biology. If you're not entirely sure what you want to do, an undergrad degree in biology could help set you up for a variety of future career options. Consider looking through university course catalogs to see exactly what courses are offered within the biology department. When you read course descriptions that really interest you, you may start to recognize which field of study you're most interested in pursuing.