Biologists study plants and animals and the way they live.

What does a biologist do?

Biologists help us to understand environmental issues, genetics and the biology of animals and plants by studying all manner of living things and the world around them. Biologists work across a wide variety of sectors, including:

  • agriculture, where they might try to improve productivity in livestock or crops
  • conservation, supporting plants and animals in their natural environment, as well as addressing issues such as pollution
  • medicine, where they may develop new methods for diagnosing, monitoring and treating illnesses or disease
  • industry, by preventing food contamination or creating ways to dispose of waste safely

What do I need to do to become a biologist?

To become a biologist you will need to have an enquiring mind and good problem-solving skills. You will also need to work accurately and pay close attention to detail. Most employers will expect you to have a relevant degree and a master’s qualification. Some employers might also want you to have, or be working towards, a PhD.

Related skills

  • Attention to detail
  • Communication
  • IT
  • People management
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork

Academic route

  • GCSEs (A-C), including maths, English and science
  • A levels, including biology

Related subjects

  • Biology

Essential qualifications

  • A degree and a master’s qualification

Desirable qualifications

  • PhD

Where to find out more

Where could I be working?

You might work in pharmaceutical, agricultural or food industries. If you specialise in biology or ecology, you could be working with zoos, charities, research institutions and organisations such as the Environment Agency. Some biologists also work as a scientific journalist or science adviser for newspapers, websites, radio and TV.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0

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