Biology Research Scientist Career

Science and Research

 
Science and Research Careers | Biology Research Scientist

Biology Research Scientist

Career Area: Science and Research

Occupation Group: Biological Science

Salary

Percentile wages tell how much a certain percentage of an overall population in a geographic area or within a given industry or field makes. The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall.

An example would be the 25th percentile, 25 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 75 percent earn more than the estimated wage value. At the 75th percentile, 75 percent of workers employed in that occupation earn less and 25 percent earn more than the estimated wage value.

A typical Biology Research Scientist earns the following wages (national and state):

State

The average salary in North Carolina for those pursuing this career is $57,523

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

National

The average salary in the United States for those pursuing this career is $64,740

*The salaries depicted here are representative of the range of salaries posted in job listings over the past year. Living wage in North Carolina is $30,000.

What Does a Professional in this Career Do?

Plans and conducts laboratory research in a specialized area of biology. May conduct research to support product or process development. Directs research experiments and staff, operates specialized equipment and analyzes and reports research results.

Employment Trends

The job demand and job growth statistics shown here were derived from job posts over the past year. Expected job growth projections are extrapolated from year-over-year job post listing history.

Job demand and job growth is expected at the following rates:

Growth
North Carolina139+9.8%
Nationwide3443+8%

Skills

A professional in this position typically utilizes the following skills in the course of everyday work in this exciting and challenging field:

Baseline Skills

The following are baseline skills every Biology Research Scientist is expected to have in order to experience success in this field:

  • Research: Experience performing creative and systematic work to understand a product, market, or customer, either before building a new solution, or to troubleshoot an existing issue
  • Communication Skills: The ability to convey information to another effectively and efficiently.
  • Teamwork / Collaboration: Experience working in collaborative efforts with a team to achieve a common goal or to complete a task in the most effective and efficient way.
  • Writing: Experience expressing business messages effectively in written form. This may include planning drafting and revising as necessary.
  • Organizational Skills: Experience with a systematic process of structuring, integrating, co-ordinating task goals, and activities to resources in order to attain objectives.

Specialized Skills

These skills are specific to working in this career:

  • Biology: Biology is the natural science that involves the study of life and living organisms, including their physical and chemical structure, function, development and evolution.
  • Experiments: An experiment is a procedure carried out to support, refute, or validate a hypothesis.
  • Molecular Biology: Working experience of Molecular Biology. Molecular biology is a branch of biochemistry which concerns the molecular basis of biological activity between biomolecules in the various systems of a cell, including the interactions between DNA, RNA, and proteins and their biosynthesis, as well as the regulation of these interactions.
  • Biochemistry: Biochemistry is the study of chemical processes within and relating to living organisms.
  • Chemistry: Chemistry is a branch of physical science that studies the composition, structure, properties and change of matter.

Distinguishing Skills

Any Biology Research Scientist that possesses the following skills will stand out against the competition:

  • qPCR: Working experience of qPCR. Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction is a widely used molecular biology technique, evolving from the initial polymerase chain reaction (PCR) pioneered in the 1990s.
  • Next Generation Sequencing (NGS): Working experience of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), which is also known as high-throughput sequencing, is the catch-all term used to describe a number of different modern sequencing technologies including: Illumina (Solexa) sequencing , Roche 454 sequencing, Ion torrent: Proton / PGM sequencing , or SOLiD sequencing
  • Western Blot: The western blot (sometimes called the protein immunoblot) is a widely used analytical technique used in molecular biology, immunogenetics and other molecular biology disciplines to detect specific proteins in a sample of tissue homogenate or extract.
  • Mammalian Cell Culture: Mammalian cell culture is at the core of biomanufacturing therapeutic proteins and viral vaccines. Find out how mammalian cells are derived and cultivated, and what opportunities this field holds.
  • Virology: Virology is a peer-reviewed scientific journal in virology.

Salary Boosting Skills

A professional who wishes to excel in this career path may consider developing the following highly valued skills:

  • Medicinal Chemistry: Medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutical chemistry are disciplines at the intersection of chemistry, especially synthetic organic chemistry, and pharmacology and various other biological specialties, where they are involved with design, chemical synthesis and development for market of pharmaceutical agents, or bio-active molecules (drugs).
  • Immunological Assays: An assay is an investigative (analytic) procedure in laboratory medicine, pharmacology, environmental biology and molecular biology for qualitatively assessing or quantitatively measuring the presence, amount, or functional activity of a target entity (the analyte).
  • CRISPR: Working experience of CRISPR, which is a family of DNA sequences in bacteria. The sequences contain snippets of DNA from viruses that have attacked the bacterium. These snippets are used by the bacterium to detect and destroy DNA from similar viruses during subsequent attacks.

Education

This career typically requires the following level of education. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list education requirements.

.
Education Level%
Bachelor's Degree56%
Master's Degree26%
Doctoral Degree19%

Experience

This position typically requires the following level of experience. The numbers presented in the pie charts below were derived from actual job posts over the past year. Not all job postings list experience requirements.

Experience Required%
0 to 2 years38%
3 to 5 years38%
6 to 8 years14%

Many of the programs offered through NC State are designed for working professionals who need additional credentials to enhance existing work experience.

Students who do not have the expected level of experience may wish to look into internship and employment opportunities.

Common Job Titles

It is possible to find work in this field in positions commonly listed as the following job titles:

  • Associate Scientist
  • Research Scientist
  • Biological Scientist
  • Scientist
  • Senior Scientist

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