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Jobs With a Master's in Biology

by Darlene Peer, studioD

A master's degree in biology can open the door to a lot of fields. A graduate degree in biology can lead to teaching and research careers with colleges or universities, private companies and multiple levels of government. The graduate can also pursue a job in law, pharmaceuticals or in formulating public policy.

Forensic Scientist

A forensic scientist is a part of the justice and regulatory system. In the courts, she can work for the defense or the prosecution. Forensic scientists can work in labs, offices or morgues. They can work for police departments, hospitals, universities, medical examiner offices, governments or toxicology labs. The forensic scientist, or forensic science technician, may work weekdays 9 to 5, or could be on call 24/7. A forensic scientist may be called upon to validate a signature on a will, testify in a product liability case or could take part in a criminal investigation. According to the BLS, a forensic science technician made an annual salary of $55,730 in May 2012.


Zoologists study animal life -- the ecosystem, community and population -- at a cellular, molecular and organism levels. A zoologist can work for the government in departments that study agriculture, conservation or wildlife management. They can also work for private companies, pharmaceutical companies, zoos and museums. They study animals in the lab and in their natural habitats. The lab work often involves dissection or observation. In 2012, a zoologist made an annual salary of $62,500, the BLS reports.

Environmental Lawyer

Environmental lawyers work on a variety of cases, such as those involving pollution, land use, agricultural concerns, parks and wilderness preservation, resource extraction, disposal of waste, transportation and international disputes. This career involves a law degree and passing the bar exam in your state. Environmental lawyers can work for government agencies, for non-profit groups or for industries. A degree in biology helps the environmental lawyer to understand the science part of his responsibilities. The BLS lists the average yearly salary for a lawyer as $129,410 in 2012.

Plant Pathologist

A plant pathologist studies living organisms, including pathogens such as fungi and bacteria, and environmental threats such as pollutants to assess threats to forests, food, fiber crops and other plants. A master's degree or doctorate is required for most of these positions. Plant pathologists need expertise in areas including botany, crop and soil science, and biochemistry. Plant pathologists are usually employed by universities, government agencies, private businesses and international institutes. The BLS May 2012 Salary Survey lists soil and plant scientists as earning an annual salary of $63,290.

About the Author

Darlene Peer has been writing, editing and proofreading for more than 10 years. Peer has written for magazines and contributed to a number of books. She has worked in various fields, from marketing to business analysis. Peer received her Bachelor of Arts in English from York University.

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