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Career and Education Opportunities for Biologists in Alexandria, Virginia

Alexandria, Virginia provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, 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 $31 per hour or $63,631 per year in Virginia, and an average of $30 per hour or $62,473 per year nationwide. Jobs in this field include: cytologist, scientist, and genetic engineer.

The Alexandria area is home to eighty-four schools of higher education, including fourteen within twenty-five miles of Alexandria where you can get a degree as a biologist. The most common level of education 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 Alexandria 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.
  • 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

Howard University - Washington, DC

Howard University, 2400 Sixth St NW, Washington, DC 20059-0001. Howard University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,696 students and an admission rate of 49%. Howard University 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 114, one, and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Biochemistry, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated three and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • Anatomy, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated three and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Microbiology, bachelor's degree.
  • Medical Microbiology and Bacteriology, doctor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Zoology/Animal Biology, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Genetics, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated eight and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Physiology, doctor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Pharmacology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated zero and two students respectively in 2008.
  • Pharmacology and Toxicology, master's degree.

Columbia Union College - Takoma Park, MD

Columbia Union College, 7600 Flower Ave, Takoma Park, MD 20912. Columbia Union College is a small college located in Takoma Park, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 974 students. Columbia Union College has 2 areas of study related to Biologist. They are:

  • Biology/Biological Sciences, bachelor's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Biochemistry, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Trinity Washington University - Washington, DC

Trinity Washington University, 125 Michigan Ave NE, Washington, DC 20017-1094. Trinity Washington University is a small university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,734 students and an admission rate of 74%. Trinity Washington University has 2 areas of study related to Biologist. They are:

  • Biology/Biological Sciences, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Biochemistry, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

University of the District of Columbia - Washington, DC

University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008. University of the District of Columbia is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,339 students. University of the District of Columbia has 3 areas of study related to Biologist. They are:

  • Biology/Biological Sciences, bachelor's degree which graduated 16 students in 2008.
  • Cell/Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Endocrinology, master's degree.

Georgetown University - Washington, DC

Georgetown University, 37th and O St NW, Washington, DC 20057. Georgetown University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,318 students and an admission rate of 19%. Georgetown University 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 forty-eight, zero, and four students respectively in 2008.
  • Biochemistry, bachelor's degree which graduated 11 students in 2008.
  • Biochemistry/Biophysics and Molecular Biology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated fifteen and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Cell/Cellular Biology and Histology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated one and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Microbiology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated six and two students respectively in 2008.
  • Microbiological Sciences and Immunology, Other Specialties, master's degree which graduated 14 students in 2008.
  • Physiology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated 168 and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Pathology/Experimental Pathology, master's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Pharmacology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated seventeen and four students respectively in 2008.
  • Biostatistics, master's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Biotechnology, master's degree which graduated 28 students in 2008.
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other Specialties, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated three and eight students respectively in 2008.

Marymount University - Arlington, VA

Marymount University, 2807 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22207-4299. Marymount University is a small university located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,541 students and an admission rate of 84%. Marymount University has a bachelor's degree program in Biology/Biological Sciences which graduated thirteen students in 2008.

Bowie State University - Bowie, MD

Bowie State University, 14000 Jericho Park Rd, Bowie, MD 20715-9465. Bowie State University is a medium sized university located in Bowie, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,541 students and an admission rate of 85%. Bowie State University has a bachelor's degree program in Biology/Biological Sciences which graduated thirty-four students in 2008.

George Washington University - Washington, DC

George Washington University, 2121 I Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052. George Washington University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,027 students and an admission rate of 37%. George Washington University 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 one, four, and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Biomedical Sciences, doctor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Biochemistry, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated six and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Biophysics, bachelor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Cell/Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences, Other Specialties, doctor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Microbiology, postbaccalaureate certificate which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Immunology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated two and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Genetics, doctor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Molecular Genetics, doctor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Human/Medical Genetics, bachelor's degree which graduated 10 students in 2008.
  • Biostatistics, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated two and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Epidemiology, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated two, one, and two students respectively in 2008.

Catholic University of America - Washington, DC

Catholic University of America, 620 Michigan Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20064. Catholic University of America is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,705 students and an admission rate of 81%. Catholic University of America has 3 areas of study related to Biologist. They are:

  • Biology/Biological Sciences, bachelor's degree and doctor's degree which graduated ten and two students respectively in 2008.
  • Biochemistry, bachelor's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.
  • Cell/Cellular Biology and Histology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated one and two students respectively in 2008.

University of Maryland-College Park - College Park, MD

University of Maryland-College Park, , College Park, MD 20742. University of Maryland-College Park is a large university located in College Park, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,000 students and an admission rate of 39%. University of Maryland-College Park has 9 areas of study related to Biologist. They are:

  • Biology/Biological Sciences, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated three, thirty-one, and three students respectively in 2008.
  • Biochemistry, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated two, one, and two students respectively in 2008.
  • Molecular Biology, doctor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Cell/Cellular and Molecular Biology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated four and eleven students respectively in 2008.
  • Microbiology, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Entomology, master's degree and doctor's degree which graduated three and four students respectively in 2008.
  • Ecology, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Conservation Biology, master's degree which graduated 15 students in 2008.
  • Ecology, Evolution, Systematics & Population Biology, Other Specialties, doctor's degree which graduated 2 students in 2008.

American University - Washington, DC

American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016-8001. American University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,684 students and an admission rate of 53%. American University has 2 areas of study related to Biologist. They are:

  • Biology/Biological Sciences, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated zero and five students respectively in 2008.
  • Biochemistry, bachelor's degree which graduated 6 students in 2008.

University of Maryland-University College - Adelphi, MD

University of Maryland-University College, 3501 University Blvd East, Adelphi, MD 20783-8010. University of Maryland-University College is a large university located in Adelphi, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 34,130 students. University of Maryland-University College has 2 areas of study related to Biologist. They are:

  • Biotechnology, postbaccalaureate certificate and master's degree which graduated thirteen and fifty-seven students respectively in 2008.
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other Specialties, two to four year and bachelor's degree which graduated two and three students respectively in 2008.

Gallaudet University - Washington, DC

Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Ave, NE, Washington, DC 20002-3695. Gallaudet University is a small university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,389 students and an admission rate of 64%. Gallaudet University has a bachelor's degree program in Biology/Biological Sciences which graduated four students in 2008.

George Mason University - Fairfax, VA

George Mason University, 4400 University Dr, Fairfax, VA 22030-4444. George Mason University is a large university located in Fairfax, Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 30,800 students and an admission rate of 63%. George Mason University has 3 areas of study related to Biologist. They are:

  • Biology/Biological Sciences, bachelor's degree and master's degree which graduated 189 and two students respectively in 2008.
  • Epidemiology, postbaccalaureate certificate and master's degree which graduated two and one students respectively in 2008.
  • Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Other Specialties, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated five, fifty-one, and thirty students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Alexandria, Virginia

Alexandria, Virginia
Alexandria, Virginia photo by SchuminWeb

Alexandria is situated in Alexandria City County, Virginia. It has a population of over 143,885, which has grown by 12.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Alexandria, 124, is far greater than the national average.

The three big industries for women in Alexandria are professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and health care. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 30 minutes. More than 54.3% of Alexandria residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 24.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Alexandria is 4.6%, which is less than Virginia's average of 6.4%.

Church of Resurrection Episcopal, Agudas Achim Synagogue and Alexandria Bible Church are some of the churches located in Alexandria.

Alexandria is home to the Circle Terrace Hospital and the Kate Waller Barrett Branch as well as Marina Park and Founders Park. Shopping centers in the area include Hamlet Shopping Center, Landmark Shopping Center and Arlandria Shopping Center. Visitors to Alexandria can choose from Comfort Inn-Landmark, Best Western Old Colony Inn and Hilton Inn for temporary stays in the area.