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Career Details

19-1029.04 - Biologists

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

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The tasks listed below can be performed to prepare you for a career in this field.
  • Develop and maintain 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.
  • Program and use computers to store, process, and analyze data.
  • Collect and analyze biological data about relationships among and between organisms and their environment.
  • Communicate test results to state and federal representatives and general public.
  • Identify, classify, and study structure, behavior, ecology, physiology, nutrition, culture, and distribution of plant and animal species.
  • Represent employer in a technical capacity at conferences.
  • Supervise biological technicians and technologists and other scientists.
  • Study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, development, anatomy, and function.
  • Prepare requests for proposals or statements of work.
  • Develop methods and apparatus for securing representative plant, animal, aquatic, or soil samples.
  • Prepare technical and research reports, such as environmental impact reports, and communicate the results to individuals in industry, government, or the general public.
  • Review reports and proposals, such as those relating to land use classifications and recreational development, for accuracy, adequacy, or adherence to policies, regulations, or scientific standards.
  • Study aquatic plants and animals and environmental conditions affecting them, such as radioactivity or pollution.
  • Plan and administer biological research programs for government, research firms, medical industries, or manufacturing firms.
  • Research environmental effects of present and potential uses of land and water areas, determining methods of improving environmental conditions or such outputs as crop yields.
  • Measure salinity, acidity, light, oxygen content, and other physical conditions of water to determine their relationship to aquatic life.
  • Teach or supervise students and perform research at universities and colleges.
  • Study and manage wild animal populations.
  • Prepare plans for management of renewable resources.
  • Study reactions of plants, animals, and marine species to parasites.
  • Develop pest management and control measures, and conduct risk assessments related to pest exclusion, using scientific methods.
  • Write grant proposals to obtain funding for biological research.
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
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The items listed below are organized into sections that contain knowledge useful for pursuing a career in this field. Each section also contains a "Percentage of Importance" statistic that shows how relevant an item is to the occupation.
  • 96%
    Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
 English Language
  • 84%
    Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 80%
    Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • 69%
    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.
 Law and Government
  • 69%
    Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
 Administration and Management
  • 68%
    Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
 Customer and Personal Service
  • 66%
    Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
 Computers and Electronics
  • 64%
    Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • 63%
    Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.
  • 62%
    Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
 Engineering and Technology
  • 58%
    Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
 Public Safety and Security
  • 55%
    Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
 Personnel and Human Resources
  • 53%
    Knowledge of principles and procedures for personnel recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
 Communications and Media
  • 52%
    Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
 Education and Training
  • 50%
    Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
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The tools listed below include machines, equipment, tools, and software that is useful for individuals who are interested in this career.
 Commercial fishing equipment
  • Dip nets
  • Plankton nets
 Laboratory heating and drying equipment
  • Bunsen burners
  • Laboratory hot plates
  • Heated stir plates
 Histology equipment
  • Sonicators
  • Microtomes
  • Ultramicrotomes
 Laboratory cooling equipment
  • Propane jet freezers
 Fluid mechanics equipment
  • Fluid scintillation counters
 Laboratory enclosures and accessories
  • Fume hoods
  • Laminar flow cabinets
  • Biosafety cabinets
 Laboratory baths
  • Orbital shaking water baths
 Laboratory centrifuges and accessories
  • Benchtop centrifuges
  • Swinging bucket centrifuges
  • Refrigerated benchtop centrifuges
  • Ultracentrifuges
 Sampling equipment
  • Water samplers
 Laboratory water purification equipment and supplies
  • Ultraviolet water purification systems
  • Vacuum dehydration units
 Fermentation equipment
  • Fermenters
  • Digestion units
 Laboratory incubating equipment
  • Mechanical laboratory incubators
  • Bioreactors
  • Shaking incubators
  • Water-jacketed CO2 incubators
 Laboratory ovens and accessories
  • Laboratory microwave ovens
  • Vertical drying ovens
 Laboratory pumps and tubing
  • Plastic laboratory tubing
 Laboratory electrophoresis and blotting system and supplies
  • Electrophoresis chambers
  • Ultraviolet UV transilluminators
 Weight measuring instruments
  • Top-loading electronic balances
  • Electronic precision balances
  • Triple beam balances
  • Laboratory analytical balances
 Viewing and observing instruments and accessories
  • Dissecting microscopes
  • Zoom microscopes
  • Microscope digital cameras
  • Video microscopes
  • Optical compound microscopes
  • Electron microscopes
  • Inverted compound microscopes
  • Scanning electron microscopes SEM
  • Transmission electron microscopes TEM
  • Fluorescence microscopes
  • Scanning laser confocal microscopes
  • Automated microscopes
 Chemical evaluation instruments and supplies
  • Multiwell microplates
  • Microtiter plate readers
 Meteorological instruments
  • Mercury barometers
  • Weather stations
 Spectroscopic equipment
  • X ray spectrometers
  • Spectrophotometers
  • Ultraviolet UV visible spectrophotometers
 Electrochemical measuring instruments and accessories
  • pH indicators
  • Conductivity meters
  • Salinity meters
 Chromatographic measuring instruments and accessories
  • Gas chromatographs GC
  • High pressure liquid chromatograph HPLC equipment
 Pipettes and liquid handling equipment and supplies
  • Automatic pipetters
  • Liquid handling robots
  • Pasteur pipettes
  • Laboratory dropping pipettes
  • Micropipettes
 Test Tubes
  • General purpose laboratory test tubes
 General laboratory glassware and plasticware and supplies
  • Spreading rods
  • Glass beakers
  • Erlenmeyer flasks
  • Glass graduated cylinders
  • Glass burets
  • Laboratory funnels
  • Plastic cuvettes
 Laboratory or sampling syringes
  • Laboratory bulb syringes
 Tissue culture and high throughput screening supplies
  • Petri dishes
  • Tissue culture plates
  • Inoculating loops
 Laboratory implements
  • Laboratory forceps
  • Laptop computers
  • Desktop computers
  • Personal computers
  • Mainframe computers
 Computer data input devices
  • Portable dataloggers
  • Digital cameras
  • Video imaging systems
 Safety apparel
  • Safety gloves
 Vision protection and accessories
  • Safety glasses
  • Safety goggles
 Audio and visual equipment
  • Global positioning system GPS receivers
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
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The technologies listed below include machines, equipment, tools, and software that is useful for individuals who are interested in this career.
 Content authoring and editing software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe PhotoshopHOT
  • Microsoft WordHOT
  • Word processing software
  • Microsoft PowerPointHOT
  • Microsoft ExcelHOT
 Data management and query software
  • Microsoft AccessHOT
  • Structured query language SQLHOT
  • TIBCO Spotfire
 Development software
  • National Instruments LabVIEWHOT
  • Software development tools
  • C++HOT
  • Oracle JavaHOT
  • Practical extraction and reporting language PerlHOT
  • PythonHOT
  • RHOT
 Industry specific software
  • Agilent Technologies GeneSpring GX
  • BLAT
  • Basic Local Alignment Search Tool BLAST
  • BioKin PlateKi
  • Blue Tractor Software DNADynamo
  • Cubic
  • Deoxyribonucleic acid DNA sequence analysis software
  • EnzymeX
  • Excavator
  • FoldX
  • Gene Codes Sequencher
  • IBM SPSS StatisticsHOT
  • Ingenuity Systems Ingenuity Pathways Analysis
  • JaMBW
  • Joint Prediction of Operons JPOP
  • MacVector
  • Meyer Instruments Optimas
  • MinitabHOT
  • NAMD
  • Partek Incorporated Partek Genomics Suite
  • Phrap
  • Phred
  • Protein Explorer
  • RepeatMasker
  • SURFDriver Software WinSURF
  • SequentiX TreeMe
  • SoftZymics VisualEnzymics
  • Textco BioSoftware Gene Inspector
  • The MathWorks MATLABHOT
  • The MathWorks SimBiology
  • VayTek VoxBlast
  • Visual Molecular Dynamics VMD
  • Wolfram Research Mathematica
  • sim4
 Information exchange software
  • ESRI ArcGIS softwareHOT
  • Geographic information system GIS softwareHOT
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
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The certifications listed below are useful to pursue if you are interested in a career in this field.
No specific certifications are listed for this career
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
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The licensing information below is organized into sections and is useful for pursuing if you are interested in a career in this field.
No specific licensing information is listed for this occupation in the area you have selected.
All data sourced from US Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration O*Net Database.
Related Programs
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Programs related to this career, offered by participating institution(s), are listed below.

Clicking on the Degree programs in the list below will take you away from the Careers page.
Brightpoint Community College
Eastern Shore Community College
Germanna Community College
J Sargeant Reynolds Community College
Northern Virginia Community College
Paul D. Camp Community College
Tidewater Community College
Virginia Highlands Community College
Virginia Peninsula Community College
Virginia Western Community College
Wytheville Community College
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Jobs related to this career may be found on or on the Google Job Search page.