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Career and Education Opportunities for Biologists in Columbia, Missouri

Biologists can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Columbia, Missouri 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 $56,188 per year in Missouri, and an average of $30 per hour or $62,473 per year nationwide. Biologists work in a variety of jobs, including: rare/endangered species specialist, marine biologist, and genetic engineer.

There are thirteen schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including seven within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as a biologist. Biologists usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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 Columbia 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.
  • Food Technologist. Use chemistry, microbiology, and other sciences to study the principles underlying the processing and deterioration of foods; analyze food content to determine levels of vitamins, fat, and protein; discover new food sources; research ways to make processed foods safe, palatable, and healthful; and apply food science knowledge to determine best ways to process, package, and distribute food.
  • 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.
  • Soil Scientist. Conduct research in breeding, physiology, and management of crops and agricultural plants, their growth in soils, and control of pests; or study the chemical, physical, and mineralogical composition of soils as they relate to plant or crop growth. May classify and map soils and investigate effects of alternative practices on soil and crop productivity.
  • 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

William Woods University - Fulton, MO

William Woods University, One University Avenue, Fulton, MO 65251-1098. William Woods University is a small university located in Fulton, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,287 students and an admission rate of 85%. William Woods University has a bachelor's degree program in Biology/Biological Sciences which graduated seven students in 2008.

Columbia College - Columbia, MO

Columbia College, 1001 Rogers, Columbia, MO 65216. Columbia College is a large college located in Columbia, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,081 students and an admission rate of 53%. Columbia College has a bachelor's degree program in Biology/Biological Sciences which graduated twenty-one students in 2008.

Westminster College - Fulton, MO

Westminster College, 501 Westminster Ave, Fulton, MO 65251-1299. Westminster College is a small college located in Fulton, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 992 students and an admission rate of 77%. Westminster College has 2 areas of study related to Biologist. They are:

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

Central Methodist University-College of Liberal Arts & Sciences - Fayette, MO

Central Methodist University-College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, 411 Central Methodist Square, Fayette, MO 65248-1198. Central Methodist University-College of Liberal Arts & Sciences is a small university located in Fayette, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,031 students and an admission rate of 66%. Central Methodist University-College of Liberal Arts & Sciences has 2 areas of study related to Biologist. They are:

  • Biology/Biological Sciences, bachelor's degree.
  • Marine Biology and Biological Oceanography, bachelor's degree.

University of Missouri-Columbia - Columbia, MO

University of Missouri-Columbia, 105 Jesse Hall, Columbia, MO 65211. University of Missouri-Columbia is a large university located in Columbia, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,130 students and an admission rate of 85%. University of Missouri-Columbia has 10 areas of study related to Biologist. They are:

  • Biology/Biological Sciences, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated 218, two, and eight students respectively in 2008.
  • Biochemistry, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated forty-eight, four, and five students respectively in 2008.
  • Plant Pathology/Phytopathology, doctor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Microbiology, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Medical Microbiology and Bacteriology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated one and fifteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Entomology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated three and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Physiology, doctor's degree which graduated 7 students in 2008.
  • Neurobiology and Neurophysiology, doctor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Pathology/Experimental Pathology, master's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Conservation Biology, post-master's certificate which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Lincoln University - Jefferson City, MO

Lincoln University, 820 Chestnut, Jefferson City, MO 65102-0029. Lincoln University is a small university located in Jefferson City, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 3,109 students. Lincoln University has a bachelor's degree program in Biology/Biological Sciences which graduated four students in 2008.

Stephens College - Columbia, MO

Stephens College, 1200 E Broadway, Columbia, MO 65215. Stephens College is a small college located in Columbia, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,147 students and an admission rate of 71%. Stephens College has a bachelor's degree program in Biology/Biological Sciences which graduated eight students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Missouri

Columbia, Missouri
Columbia, Missouri photo by Grey_Wanderer

Columbia is situated in Boone County, Missouri. It has a population of over 100,733, which has grown by 19.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 85, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia are valued at $171,800 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Columbia, down from six hundred fifty-three the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, accommodation and food services, and health care. The average travel time to work is about 15 minutes. More than 50.5% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 6.8%, which is less than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 40.9%, is less than both the national and state average. Sugar Grove Church, Fairview Church and Emmanuel Church are among the churches located in Columbia. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

Columbia is home to the Columbia Country Club and the Columbia Plaza as well as Nickell Park and Stephens Park. Shopping centers in the area include Whitegate Shopping Center, North County Shopping Center and Biscayne Mall. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Churchill's, Columbia Super 8 Motel and Arrow Head Motel LLC for temporary stays in the area.