You love science. You know you want to make a living at it. You just don't know what you will do or how much money you can make. Will it be worth your investment? Do you wonder if online degrees are a joke? They aren't.
Your online biology degree program will prepare you to enter a thriving job market. According the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field of biology will grow faster than the average occupation. Since it seems like there are always new areas to explore, many biological scientists will be employed to research new topics. Additionally, as the population ages, there will be many people retiring from the field making room for a new generation of biologists. If you are worried about paying off those student loans, this is good news.
Survey the Field
Since an online biology degree program can lead to a number of jobs in varying fields, the salaries are difficult to compare. In addition, the region in which you live will greatly impact your salary. Another factor will be the type of organization for which you work. Non-profit foundations will pay less than private sector employment which tends to pay less than the federal government; but you should also compare non-monetary benefits such as preferable research topics, desirable location, or more freedom for exploration.
The following salary information was gathered by the United States Department of Labor.
Biochemists study the chemistry of living beings. In 2008, biochemists and biophysicists earned an average salary of $82,840.
Microbiologists research aspects of microscopic organisms such as growth and cell production. Microbiologists earned the average salary of $64,350 in 2008.
While zoologists study the lives of creatures in captivity, wildlife biologists study the lives of creatures in their natural environment. The average salaries of these scientists were approximately $55,290 in 2008.
The previous salaries reflect employment through state and local governments or in the private sector. The rates of pay through the federal government were higher. For example, zoologists earned an average salary of $116,908 and microbiologists earned an average of $97,264 in 2008.
Both bachelors and masters degrees were included in the previous averages. As a recent graduate of an 4-year online biology degree program you might expect an entry-level salary of approximately $33,000.
Increase Your Salary
There are several ways that you can reach a higher wage.
Earn an advanced degree. A masters degree or doctorate will qualify you for lead positions within the field. Additionally, you might be awarded higher level research projects for which your pay will align with your experience.
Become a manager. Government employees can advance into leadership positions through experience as well as education. Additionally, positions in the private sector can be augmented through management experience.
Specialize in a growing arena. As you develop your skills through your online biology degree program and an entry-level position, you will learn about areas of growth within the biology field. Keeping your eye on the trends can also lead you to areas of growth. Participation in biology-related associations and continuing education programs can reveal these developing fields.
If you are inclined to teach, a PhD will prepare you for a rewarding career at a university. With the evolution of the biological subject matter, as well as the new technology available to study it, teachers will be needed to lead the next generation of biologists. Your online biology degree program can get you there.
Tell your peers what rewards you are looking forward to most.