Some college graduates with a bachelor of science in biology choose to continue their education, earning a master's or a Ph.D. in biology or a related field. But a bachelor’s degree alone can open the door to several career options in a range of occupations, including forensics and conservation, in addition to various research applications.
Environmental specialists identify and analyze environmental problems and develop appropriate solutions. For example, environmental health specialists investigate potential health hazards, such as contaminated food, water and the spread of disease. Environmental protection specialists focus on identifying and controlling the ways humans negatively impact the environment through pollution and other hazardous activity. According to May 2012 salary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, environmental specialists make a mean annual wage of $62,500.
Medical Laboratory Scientists
Medical laboratory scientists, also known as medical laboratory technologists, collect samples and perform tests. Types of medical laboratory scientists include cytotechnologists, who study cancer cells; immunology technologists, who analyze the body’s immune system; and immunohematology technologists, who collect, classify and prepare blood for transfusions. Medical lab technologists earned an average of $58,640 as of 2012, according to the BLS.
Forensic Science Technicians
Forensic science technicians gather and analyze physical evidence to help solve crimes. Crime scene investigators collect and catalog such items as bodily fluids, fingerprints and weapons. They also take photographs and sketch crime scene details. Laboratory technicians examine fingerprints and analyze photographs and blood splatters. They also perform ballistics tests to determine the trajectory of bullets. According to the BLS, forensic science technicians earned an average of $55,730 in 2012.
Biological technicians work under the supervision of biological and medical scientists. Their job duties include setting up and maintaining microscopes, test tubes, scales and other laboratory equipment and instruments. They usually work on teams, where they also perform scientific research, analyze data and summarize conclusions, which supervising scientists then evaluate. Biologists earned a mean annual wage of $42,600 in 2012, according to the BLS.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Environmental Scientists and Specialists
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: May 2012 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Medical and Clinical Lab Technologists and Technicians
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Biological Technicians
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