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Career and Education Opportunities for Biologists in Birmingham, Alabama

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for biologists in the Birmingham, Alabama area. The national trend for biologists sees this job pool growing by about 21.0% over the next eight years. In general, biologists research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, and functions.

The average wage in the general category of Life Sciences jobs is $27 per hour or $55,409 per year in Alabama, and an average of $30 per hour or $62,473 per year nationwide. People working as biologists can fill a number of jobs, such as: cytologist, wildlife biologist, and scientist.

There are fifteen schools of higher education in the Birmingham area, including five within twenty-five miles of Birmingham where you can get a degree to start your career as a biologist. Given that the most common education level for biologists is a Bachelor's degree, it will take about four years to learn to be a biologist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Biologist

Biologist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, biologists research or study basic principles of plant and animal life, such as origin, relationship, and functions.

Biologists represent employers in technical capacities at conferences. They also design pest management and control measures, and conduct risk assessments pertaining to pest exclusion using scientific methods. Equally important, biologists have to communicate test results to state and federal representatives and to the general public. Finally, biologists program and use computers to store, process and analyze data.

Every day, biologists are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to piece together evidence to, in some sense, diagnose what is going on in a situation. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for biologists to teach, supervise students and perform research at universities and colleges. They are often called upon to collect and analyze biological data about relationships among and between organisms and their environment. They also design and maintain liaisons and effective working relations with groups and individuals and the public to foster cooperative management strategies or to evolve data and interpret findings. They are sometimes expected to study aquatic plants and animals and environmental conditions affecting them such as radioactivity or pollution. Somewhat less frequently, biologists are also expected to communicate test results to state and federal representatives and to the general public.

Biologists sometimes are asked to measure salinity and other physical conditions of water to establish their relationship to aquatic life. They also have to be able to design methods and apparatus for securing representative plant or soil samples And finally, they sometimes have to study reactions of plants and marine species to parasites.

Like many other jobs, biologists must be thorough and dependable and be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Birmingham include:

  • Environmental Health and Safety Specialist. Conduct research or perform investigation for the purpose of identifying, abating, or eliminating sources of pollutants or hazards that affect either the environment or the health of the population. Utilizing knowledge of various scientific disciplines may collect, synthesize, and take action based on data derived from measurements or observations of air, food, and other sources.
  • Epidemiologist. Investigate and describe the determinants and distribution of disease, disability, and other health outcomes and develop the means for prevention and control.
  • Medical Scientist. Conduct research dealing with the understanding of human diseases and the improvement of human health. Engage in clinical investigation or other research, production, or related activities.
  • Microbiologist. Investigate the growth, structure, and other characteristics of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, algae, or fungi. Includes medical microbiologists who study the relationship between organisms and disease or the effects of antibiotics on microorganisms.
  • Scientist. Study the chemical composition and physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Biologist Training

Birmingham Southern College - Birmingham, AL

Birmingham Southern College, 900 Arkadelphia Road, Birmingham, AL 35254. Birmingham Southern College is a small college located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,458 students and an admission rate of 69%. Birmingham Southern College has 2 areas of study related to Biologist. They are:

  • Biology/Biological Sciences, bachelor's degree which graduated 25 students in 2008.
  • Biochemistry, bachelor's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.

Miles College - Fairfield, AL

Miles College, 5500 Myron Massey Blvd, Fairfield, AL 35064. Miles College is a small college located in Fairfield, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,773 students. Miles College has a bachelor's degree program in Biology/Biological Sciences which graduated twenty-four students in 2008.

University of Montevallo - Montevallo, AL

University of Montevallo, Station 6001, Montevallo, AL 35115-6000. University of Montevallo is a small university located in Montevallo, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,030 students and an admission rate of 78%. University of Montevallo has a bachelor's degree program in Biology/Biological Sciences which graduated one student in 2008.

Samford University - Birmingham, AL

Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, Birmingham, AL 35229-2240. Samford University is a small university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,469 students and an admission rate of 89%. Samford University has 2 areas of study related to Biologist. They are:

  • Biology/Biological Sciences, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Biochemistry, bachelor's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.

University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Administration Bldg Suite 1070, Birmingham, AL 35294-0110. University of Alabama at Birmingham is a large university located in Birmingham, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 16,149 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Alabama at Birmingham has 12 areas of study related to Biologist. They are:

  • Biology/Biological Sciences, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated two, thirteen, and six students respectively in 2008.
  • Biomedical Sciences, master's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Molecular Biochemistry, doctor's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.
  • Cell/Cellular Biology and Histology, doctor's degree which graduated 16 students in 2008.
  • Microbiology, doctor's degree which graduated 18 students in 2008.
  • Molecular Physiology, doctor's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Neurobiology and Neurophysiology, doctor's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.
  • Vision Science/Physiological Optics, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated two and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Pathology/Experimental Pathology, doctor's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology, doctor's degree which graduated 9 students in 2008.
  • Biostatistics, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated three and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Epidemiology, doctor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham, Alabama photo by Eric_in_SF

Birmingham is located in Jefferson County, Alabama. It has a population of over 228,798, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Birmingham, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Birmingham cost $187,300 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-two new homes were built in Birmingham, down from two hundred thirty-two the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Birmingham are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 24 minutes. More than 18.5% of Birmingham residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Birmingham is 12.5%, which is greater than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Birmingham residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 60.1%, is more than both the national and state average. Williams Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, Westminister Presbyterian Church and West End Methodist Church are all churches located in Birmingham. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Birmingham is home to the Mineral Park Municipal Golf Course and the Cooper Green Golf Course as well as Avondale Mills Park and Smithfield Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Acipco Shopping Center, Altadena Square Shopping Center and Parkway East Huffman Shopping Center. Visitors to Birmingham can choose from Marriott Hotel Birmingham, Rime Garden Extended Stay Suites and Studioplus for temporary stays in the area.