As an environmental biologist, you might spend one day collecting samples in the field, and the next analyzing materials in a laboratory. You might even balance that out with writing research papers, educating the public about conservation issues or lecturing in a college classroom. Scientists across disciplines tend to earn a living wage, but the salaries can vary depending on your employer, your education level and other factors.
What You'll Earn
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, environmental scientists, which can include those specializing in environmental biology, earned a median income of $65,090 as of May 2013. The lowest 10 percent of people in this profession earned $38,980, while the people on the highest end of the scale earned about $112,990. The BLS also lists biological scientists as earning a median income of $72,720 annually as of May 2013.
Education and Advancement
In either case, you might find work for state or federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, private research firms or wildlife or conservation organizations. Having a bachelor's degree in biology, environmental science or a related field is a must for this profession, though to advance in the field, you'll need a master's degree or even a Ph.D. Having an advanced degree can mean you'll spend more time analyzing and researching data in a laboratory, as opposed to being the one taking samples and conducting field studies.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013 19-2041 Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2013 19-1029 Biological Scientists, All Other
- American Institute of Biological Sciences: Careers in the Biological Sciences
- Photo Credit monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images
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