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Career and Education Opportunities for Biologists in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Biologists can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Grand Rapids, Michigan 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 $30 per hour or $62,258 per year in Michigan, and an average of $30 per hour or $62,473 per year nationwide. Jobs in this field include: ocean biologist, aquatic scientist, and clinical researcher.

There are seven schools within twenty-five miles of Grand Rapids where you can study to be a biologist, among nineteen schools of higher education total in the Grand Rapids area. Given that the most common education level for biologists is a Bachelor's degree, you can expect to spend about four years training to become 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 Grand 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.
  • 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.
  • Zoologist. Study the origins, behavior, and life processes of animals and wildlife. May specialize in wildlife research and management, including the collection and analysis of biological data to determine the environmental effects of present and potential use of land and water areas.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Biologist Training

Grand Valley State University - Allendale, MI

Grand Valley State University, 1 Campus Dr, Allendale, MI 49401-9403. Grand Valley State University is a large university located in Allendale, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 23,932 students and an admission rate of 78%. Grand Valley State University has 6 areas of study related to Biologist. They are:

  • Biology/Biological Sciences, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated sixty-two and eight students respectively in 2008.
  • Cell/Cellular and Molecular Biology, bachelor's degree which graduated 16 students in 2008.
  • Cell/Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Biostatistics, master's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Bioinformatics, master's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated one and two students respectively in 2008.

Grand Rapids Community College - Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids Community College, 143 Bostwick Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503-3295. Grand Rapids Community College is a large college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,403 students. Grand Rapids Community College has an associate's degree program in Biology/Biological Sciences which graduated five students in 2008.

Davenport University - Grand Rapids, MI

Davenport University, 6191 Kraft Avenue S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49512-9396. Davenport University is a large university located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,773 students and an admission rate of 91%. Davenport University has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Bioinformatics which graduated zero and two students respectively in 2008.

Aquinas College - Grand Rapids, MI

Aquinas College, 1607 Robinson Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506-1799. Aquinas College is a small college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,159 students and an admission rate of 82%. Aquinas College has a bachelor's degree program in Biology/Biological Sciences which graduated eighteen students in 2008.

Cornerstone University - Grand Rapids, MI

Cornerstone University, 1001 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525-5897. Cornerstone University is a small university located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,759 students and an admission rate of 75%. Cornerstone University has 2 areas of study related to Biologist. They are:

  • Biology/Biological Sciences, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Environmental Biology, bachelor's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.

Calvin College - Grand Rapids, MI

Calvin College, 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Calvin College is a small college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,171 students and an admission rate of 94%. Calvin College has 3 areas of study related to Biologist. They are:

  • Biology/Biological Sciences, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Biochemistry, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Biotechnology, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Hope College - Holland, MI

Hope College, 141 E 12th St, Holland, MI 49423. Hope College is a small college located in Holland, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,238 students and an admission rate of 82%. Hope College has a bachelor's degree program in Biology/Biological Sciences which graduated two students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan photo by Grguy2011

Grand Rapids is located in Kent County, Michigan. It has a population of over 193,396, which has shrunk by 2.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Grand Rapids, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Grand Rapids cost $98,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were built in Grand Rapids, down from ninety-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Grand Rapids are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 23.8% of Grand Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Grand Rapids is 15.4%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Grand Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Church of Jesus Christ, Immanuel Church and Trinity Church are among the churches located in Grand Rapids. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Reformed Church in America.

Grand Rapids is home to the Kent Country Club and the Walker Juvenile Court as well as Comstock Riverside Park and Richmond Park. Visitors to Grand Rapids can choose from Hampton Inn Grand Rapids, Hampton Inn Grand Rapids/North- Mi and Hampton Inn Fax for temporary stays in the area.