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Career and Education Opportunities for Biologists in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

For those living in the Cedar Rapids, Iowa area, there are many career and education opportunities for biologists. 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 $28 per hour or $59,002 per year in Iowa, and an average of $30 per hour or $62,473 per year nationwide. Biologists work in a variety of jobs, including: ocean biologist, fisheries biologist, and research biologist.

The Cedar Rapids area is home to thirteen schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Cedar Rapids where you can get a degree 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 Cedar Rapids 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.
  • Forester. Manage forested lands for economic, recreational, and conservation purposes. May inventory the type, amount, and location of standing timber, appraise the timber's worth, negotiate the purchase, and draw up contracts for procurement. May determine how to conserve wildlife habitats, creek beds, and soil stability, and how best to comply with environmental regulations. May devise plans for planting and growing new trees, monitor trees for healthy growth, and determine the best time for harvesting. Develop forest management plans for public and privately-owned forested lands.
  • 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.
  • Natural Resource Manager. Research or study range land management practices to provide sustained production of forage, livestock, and wildlife.
  • Park Ranger. Plan, develop, and conduct programs to inform public of historical, natural, and scientific features of national, state, or local park.
  • 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.
  • Soil Conservation Technician. Plan and develop coordinated practices for soil erosion control, soil and water conservation, and sound land use.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Biologist Training

Coe College - Cedar Rapids, IA

Coe College, 1220 First Ave NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-5092. Coe College is a small college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,326 students and an admission rate of 63%. Coe College has 3 areas of study related to Biologist. They are:

  • Biology/Biological Sciences, bachelor's degree.
  • Biochemistry, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Molecular Biology, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

Cornell College - Mount Vernon, IA

Cornell College, 600 First St. SW, Mount Vernon, IA 52314-1098. Cornell College is a small college located in Mount Vernon, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,115 students and an admission rate of 44%. Cornell College has 2 areas of study related to Biologist. They are:

  • Biology/Biological Sciences, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Biochemistry/Biophysics and Molecular Biology, bachelor's degree.

University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA

University of Iowa, 101 Jessup Hall, Iowa City, IA 52242-1316. University of Iowa is a large university located in Iowa City, Iowa. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 29,475 students and an admission rate of 82%. University of Iowa has 18 areas of study related to Biologist. They are:

  • Biology/Biological Sciences, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated one, zero, seven, and ten students respectively in 2008.
  • Biomedical Sciences, doctor's degree.
  • Biochemistry, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated two, zero, one, and six students respectively in 2008.
  • Molecular Biology, doctor's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.
  • Radiation Biology/Radiobiology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated one and seven students respectively in 2008.
  • Botany/Plant Biology, bachelor's degree.
  • Cell Biology and Anatomy, doctor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Microbiology, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated twenty-three, zero, one, and seven students respectively in 2008.
  • Immunology, doctor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Genetics, doctor's degree which graduated 9 students in 2008.
  • Human/Medical Genetics, postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Genetics, Other Specialties, doctor's degree.
  • Physiology, doctor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Neurobiology and Neurophysiology, doctor's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.
  • Pharmacology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated four and two students respectively in 2008.
  • Toxicology, master's degree and doctor's degree.
  • Biostatistics, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated fifteen and five students respectively in 2008.
  • Epidemiology, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated zero, four, and three students respectively in 2008.

Mount Mercy College - Cedar Rapids, IA

Mount Mercy College, 1330 Elmhurst Dr NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402-4797. Mount Mercy College is a small college located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,555 students and an admission rate of 80%. Mount Mercy College has a bachelor's degree program in Biology/Biological Sciences.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Cedar Rapids, Iowa photo by Davumaya

Cedar Rapids is located in Linn County, Iowa. It has a population of over 128,056, which has grown by 6.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cedar Rapids, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cedar Rapids are valued at $103,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred ninety-nine new homes were built in Cedar Rapids, up from two hundred ninety-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cedar Rapids are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 17 minutes. More than 28.4% of Cedar Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cedar Rapids is 6.0%, which is less than Iowa's average of 6.1%.

The percentage of Cedar Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.0%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Seventh Day Church of God, Sevanth-Day Adventist Church and Hope Lutheran Church are some of the churches located in Cedar Rapids. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Cedar Rapids is home to the Brucemore and the Admissions Office as well as Tomahawk Park and Noelridge Park. Shopping centers in the area include Mays Shopping Center, Lindale Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Cedar Rapids can choose from Howard Johnson, Marriott Cedar Rapids and Clarion Hotel & Convention Center for temporary stays in the area.