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Biologists study living things like plants and animals, in the laboratory or in their natural environment.

The Work

You could work in one of a number of specialist areas including botany, zoology, microbiology, immunology, biotechnology, genetics, molecular biology or ecology.

You could be:


The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary depending on:

Salaries for biologists vary depending on the type of work done. Starting salaries for graduates tend to be in the range of £19,000 to £25,000 a year.

For research posts, pay can be up to around £38,000 a year. Well qualified and experienced biologists can earn more than £50,000 a year. There are opportunities in both the public and private sectors and pay rates will vary.

Registered clinical scientists (microbiology or immunology) in the NHS are generally on Agenda for Change Band 7, £40,872 to £47,846 a year. Principal clinical scientists are on Band 8a, £50,470 to £54,482 a year and Band 8b, £60,730 to £65,377 a year. Pre-registration trainees are on Band 6, £33,072 to £40,736 a year.

You could also work as a specialist biomedical scientist within the NHS on Band 6, £33,072 to £40,736 a year.

The current pay scales are from April 2021.


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Getting In

Agricultural, pharmaceutical and food and drink industries, along with health and environmental organisations and charities employ researchers and technicians.

You can also work in a range of management and teaching posts at various levels. Smaller numbers of graduates opt for careers in IT, law, health care, finance, retail, marketing or administration.

What Does it Take?

You need to be:

You should have:


Getting On

More Information

The IntoBiology website is a good source of information on what you can do with a career in biology and includes videos, projects and study skills.


Courtesy of Chris Swift


The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS)
Tel: 020 7713 0214
Website (2):
Twitter: @BiomedScience

Microbiology Society
Tel: 020 3034 4870
Twitter: @MicrobioSoc

Royal Society of Biology
Tel: 020 3925 3440
Twitter: @RoyalSocBio

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