Careers in Biology

Environmental Scientist

Pest Control Specialist


Aquatic Biologist


Human Geneticist

Space Biologist


Clinical Lab Technician


Dental Assistant

Physician's Assistant


Plant Science Technician




Animal Husbandry


Marine Biologist

Museum Curator


Medical Doctor



The Life Sciences encompass a very diverse group of specializations. Biologists study the origin, development, anatomy, function, and distribution of living organisms and can become more specialized as zoologists, botanists, microbiologists, ecologists, geneticists, or specialists in many other disciplines.

Those employed in most biology positions must be able to work well both independently and with a team. They should have a natural curiosity about the living world. Biologists take a systematic approach to solving problems and they will reqire patience and self discipline and must not be easily frustrated since scientific research often leads to blind alleys or inconclusive results. Since biology often involves working with animals, no biologist should be squeamish about blood or dissected animals.

About half of all biologists are employed at colleges and universities and the rest are about equally divided between federal and state governmental agencies and private industries.

The High School student who wants to prepare for a career in the life sciences should make sure that they have a good foundation in basic skills before beginning college. Biology, chemistry and physics are essential. Math skills including algebra, geometry, trigonometry and precalculus are essential and statistics is highly recommended. Foreign language and computer skills are also an advantage.

Most technician jobs in the life sciences require at least 2 years of college or an Associate's degree plus some on the job training. Some require a minimum of a Bachelor's degree in biology or a related field. The US Dept. of Labor suggests that anyone seeking a career in the life sciences should plan to obtain an advanced degree.

If you begin your college career at a community college, then, you should expect to transfer to a 4 year school to complete your Bachelor's degree in order to apply to graduate school. The Bachelor's is generally required to work in government positions. A Master's is generally required for teaching at a high school or a 2 or 4 year college and for any employment that involves independent work and a Doctorate is the minimum degree for research work and university teaching. Many life scientists begin their careers with a Bachelor's degree and continue studies toward a Master's or Doctoral degree with their employer picking up some or all of the educational costs.

Some careers that may begin with an Associate Degree or certificate:

Medical Assistant

Clinical Lab Technician

Plant Science Technician

Genetic Engineering Technician

Bionic Medical Technician

Pest Control Specialist


SZISER, 1998


Careers in Chemistry


Lab Technician




Laboratory Supervisors



Food Chemists

Wastewater Treatment

Crime Lab Technologist

Polymer Chemist

Analytical Chemist

Industrial Chemist

Agricultural Chemist

Chemical Technologist

Hazardous Waste Mgr


FBI Agent

Chemistry is the study of matter and how it changes. Chemists want to know what substances are made of, how they react and how they change. They may perform tests on food, drugs, plastics, dyes, paints, and petroleum products. Chemical research is responsible for producing pharmaceuticals, synthetic fibers, plastics, fertilizers, insecticides, soaps, toothpastes and energy resources. Today about half of all chemists are in research and development at universities and in government and private industries working on applied research projects, patent work, production or technical sales. Most other chemists teach at colleges and universities.

Those employed as chemists should have an inquisitive minds and good imaginations. They should enjoy studying science and mathematics and should like working with their hands. They need perseverence and the ability to concentrate on details. They must also be able to work well independently as well as in groups.

The High School student who wants to prepare for a career in chemistry should take at least one course each in biology, chemistry and physics. A strong background in mathematics is also required including algebra, geometry, trigonometry and, if possible, precalculus. A student would also benefit from courses that develop your communication skills including writing, english, journalism and computer courses.

Chemistry is one of the few fields in science where many jobs are available with only a Bachelor's degree or even an Associate's degree. Many people begin their careers as chemical technicians and work up to more interesting and challenging positions as they continue their education and gain more experience. The company for which they work often will pay for some or all of their education. A Bachelor's degree is usually regarded as a minimum for the better paying jobs. Chemists employed as college instructors or in supervisory positions in industry or research usually will need a Doctoral degree.

Some careers that may begin with an Associate's degree:

Hazardous Waste Mgr

Chemical Technologist

Energy Technician

Fuel Cell Technician

Energy Technician

Chemical Salesman

SZISER, 1998


Careers in Nutrition


Administrative Dietician

Clinical Dietician

Community Dietician

Food Scientist

Health Sciences

Dietetic Technician

Sports Dietitician

Cardiovascular Dietitician

Home Health Care


A nutritionist insures that individuals and groups receive the proper nutritional care. They may work in hospitals, institutions, schools, restaurants, hotels or governmental agencies. They may supervise food purchases and preparation and advise on equipment and supply purchases. Nutritionists also may provide individual diet instructions on a consulting basis.

About 60% of nutritionists work in hospitals and the health care industry. Others work in prison systems and food service institutions or do private consulting. About 15% of nutritionists teach at colleges and universities.

Those employed in such fields must be able to get along with a diverse array of people, must have a good business sense and be good at detail work. They should also be in good health both physically and emotionally.

The High School student who wants to prepare for a career in nutrition should have an interest in science. Courses in biology and chemistry are recommended. Good communication skills are important and some business courses are recommended.

A Bachelor's degree is needed in most cases although Dietetic Technicians can begin their careers with an Associate's degree. A Master's or Doctoral degree is needed for most supervisory postions or to teach at colleges and universities.

SZISER, 1998

Careers in Geology


Marine Geologist



Economic Geologist


Planetary Geologist







Atmospheric Scientist



Energy Technician

Hazardous Waste Mgr

Museum Curator


Geologists study the earth and its composition by examining rocks, minerals and fossils collected from the earth's surface or from cores drilled deep into the crust. They analyze the properties of these rocks and minerals by various physical and chemical tests and identify fossils of ancient life. Using this information they advise construction engineers, highway designers and architects. They locate water, oil and mineral resources and provide information on where to locate dams, tunnels and bridges, etc.

Those employed in geological fields must be able to work well both independently and with a team. They should have an inquisitive and analytical mind. Their jobs will require patience and attention to detail. Since most geological careers begin, at least, with field work they should enjoy the outdoors and have good physical stamina.

Most geologists are employed in private industry, primarily petroleum and mining companies. About 20% work in government positions and 10% are in business for themselves as consultants for government, industry, real estate, banks, investment firms and others.

The High School student who wants to prepare for a career in geology should take as many math and science courses as possible. Biology, chemistry and physics are essential, along with algebra, geometry and trigonometry. If possible, one should take courses in earth sciences, astronomy and precalculus. A business course would also be helpful.

The field of geology requires a strong interest in academic skills. A Bachelor's degree is the minimum in most cases, and, for these, only a few jobs are available. There are very few jobs available for someone with an Associate's degree and these should plan to continue their education at a 4 year college. Most positions in teaching and research require a minimum of a Master's degree and the better paying positions require a Ph. D.

SZISER, 1998


Careers in Mathematics


Theoretical Mathematician

Applied Mathematics

Computer Scientist

Engineering Analyst


Financial Analyst



Weight Analyst

Data Processor

Population Biologist

Architectural Engineer

Computer Systems


Business Administrator

Civil Engineer



Mathematicians solve or direct the solution of problems in higher math as applied to engineering, business, planning and computer systems. Mathematics is the "gate and key" to the sciences. Science uses mathematics for exact descriptions and formulas that describe the interrelationships of nature. Many scientific problems have become so complicated that only highly trained mathematicians are able to solve them. Mathematicians also help to lay the theoretical groundwork for further advances in science. The computer industry has opened a wealth of new positions for workers in many fields of mathematics.

Those employed as mathematicians should have a facility with numbers, being fast and accurate in their calculations. They must have a strong intellectual curiosity and imagination and considerable abilities in abstract reasoning. They must be good at spatial visualizations and must be able to work long periods in close concentration which may result in eye and nerve strain.

The High School student who wants to pursue a career in mathematics should be strong in the physical sciences and mathematics. Algebra, trigonometry, geometry and precalculus are essential. Computer experience is also very useful.

A Bachelor's degree is the basic degree of anyone majoring in mathematics. Those graduating with a 2 year Associate's degree should expect to transfer to a college or university to complete their mathematics education. A Bachelor's degree is required for essentially all entry level positions. Teaching, research and supervisory positions will require a Master's or a Doctorate.


SZISER, 1998