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Work as a biologist, main functions and professions

marzo 31, 2021
biologo2.0 Work as a biologist, main functions and professions
In the Ministry of Employment and Social Security, the biologist is defined as the professional who “studies living beings such as animals or plants, and the world that surrounds them, to increase our knowledge and understanding of areas such as the environment, genetics and animal or plant biology “.

To access this profession you have to acquire some very specific technical and practical knowledge, since it is a eminently scientific profession. The Degree in biology It can be studied at different Spanish universities. For four years he studies, among other subjects, mathematics, statistics, biology, molecular genetics, embryology and organography, plant physiology, ecology or human evolution. To improve your studies we also recommend study techniques to achieve a better academic result.

biologo2.0 Work as a biologist, main functions and professions

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The biologist job It can be oriented towards different work activities such as health professionals, the environment, research and development, the pharmaceutical and agri-food industry or commerce and marketing, among others.

Professional profile

Among the traits that define the people who they work as biologists highlights his motivation for medical research and analyze problems related to the protection of natural species and the care of their environment. In general, they are observant, patient, very thorough and tenacious people. They feel comfortable working in laboratories or in natural environments.

Between the competencies most relevant to perform the different functions of biologist highlight:

  • Analytical capacity
  • Synthesis capacity
  • Logic reasoning
  • Attention to detail
  • Creativity and innovation
  • Visual and auditory memory capacity
  • Numerical skills
  • Spatial and mechanical skills
  • Adaptation and management of techniques and technology

During the formative years, people who want work as a biologist they are acquiring and improving knowledge and skills in theoretical and practical skills related to the different subjects of biology. In this way they learn, among many other things, to analyze and characterize samples of human origin and other biological materials; catalog, evaluate and manage natural resources; perform cell and tissue cultures; design models of biological processes or carry out functional tests, determine vital parameters and interpret them.

Regarding the transversal competences that are recommended for biology professionals include:

  • Organizational and planning skills
  • Problem solving and decision making
  • Teamwork
  • Initiative and entrepreneurial spirit
  • Ability to work in international contexts
  • Command of oral and written communication
  • Ethical commitment
  • Motivation for quality

The work of a biologist

The functions that biologists perform in their day to day are very diverse since it is a profession with many branches and specialties. Among the most common are the study and research of living beings; ecological consulting and environmental auditing; clinical analysis, microbiology and parasitology, immunology, genetics; teaching; the control of the action of industrial products in living beings; quality controls; the supervision of extensive crops and the sale and marketing of products related to food and the environment.

According to the Official College of Biologists, some of the professional activities of biologists are:

  • Sanitary professional specialized in work in clinical laboratories for the analysis of human reproduction, nutrition, animal and plant health as well as other aspects of public health.
  • Scientific research and development professional of the experimental and life sciences. He develops his tasks in research centers of companies, industries or hospitals.
  • Professional in the pharmaceutical, agri-food and chemical industries. His responsibilities are linked to the technical, production and quality management area, microbiology, toxicology or epidemiology.
  • Information, documentation and dissemination professional. The activities of biologists in this area are developed in museums, natural parks, zoos, communication offices, foundations and scientific companies. They also act as specialized journalists, popularizers, scientific advisers, illustrators or guides or monitors of science, life and the natural environment.
  • Business management and organization professional. Among the activities carried out in this field are the tasks of direction and management in business areas related to training or biological research. On the other hand, this type of activity also includes teaching work in secondary schools, universities or business schools or other types of continuous training.

Professions for biology graduates

Taking into account the type of professional activities that biologists can carry out, we highlight below some of the professions that can be practiced.

  • Bromatologist: They are workers specialized in studying and analyzing the biological, chemical and physical composition of food. They are also responsible for how food should be processed, stored and preserved so that it is in the best possible condition. In addition to these functions, food scientists are also dedicated to creating new products and ensuring food quality and safety.
  • Paleontologist: is responsible for the study of fossils to investigate ancient life forms and the environment in which they developed. In addition to his research work, his teaching tasks, exploration of natural wells of coal, gas or oil and the management of museum collections stand out.
  • Ecologist: is the professional who focuses on the study of the relationships between animals, plants, people and the entire environment. Among his fields of work are the management of conservation areas, advice for the protection of the environment, the coordination and development of soil restoration projects or promoting wildlife.
  • Marine biologist: is the professional in charge of studying microorganisms, plants and animals of the sea. It is responsible for observing and analyzing all varieties and studies how it affects human impact on its environment and tries to stop its deterioration and preserve natural resources.
  • Toxicologist: analyzes the harmful effects that certain chemicals have on living things and the environment. It ensures, among other things, that food, drinks or drugs do not contain harmful substances and also controls air pollution.

Professional outings

Regarding the current job prospects of biologists, l VI Spring Professional Report on degrees with more professional opportunities, made by Adecco, places the career of Biology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology in position 16 of the most sought after degrees in 2014. The high number of graduates in proportion to the job offer, makes specialization through courses or masters an essential asset to improve the curriculum and gain access to a job as a biologist.

On the other hand, it should be noted that the report, Adecco specifies that more than 26% of job offers for graduates in biology require mastery of a language. Specific, 86.11% ask for a high level of English, followed far behind by jobs that require German (7.48%) or French (6.82%). For this reason, good language training contributes to improving the employability of graduates.