from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Biologists are natural scientists who have studied biology . Around two thirds of all biologists work in schools, universities and research, the majority of them as teachers in public schools. The Association of Biology, Biosciences and Biomedicine in Germany sees itself as representing the interests of biologists .

Biology degree

Study places for a bachelor's or master's degree in biology are allocated by the individual universities in Germany. Study places for the biology degree “ teaching post ” are only awarded for North Rhine-Westphalia by the Foundation for University Admissions, otherwise applications must be sent directly to the universities. Since the German universities generally have the right to develop their own selection criteria for the allocation of study places, it is imperative for potential applicants to obtain detailed information about the application requirements of the desired university location in order to be able to assess the chances of admission. It is estimated that more than 60 percent of the students in Germany today are female.

The Federal Employment Agency recommends studying chemistry or another natural science subject as an additional subject for teaching biology .

Subjects among biologists

Many biological courses at universities do not have the title "Biology" but are named after specializations in the life sciences. This applies in particular to master’s courses in which the training is geared towards a specific biological subject. The specializations of biologists include in particular:

The Mycology is traditionally attributed to botany, although fungi are not part of evolutionary biology to the plants, but occupy a separate kingdom in the biological system. The marine biology is a part of Environmental Biology.


Up until the 1970s, the basic biology course had two main focuses: getting to know the diversity of species and training in the most important physiological processes in the cells and organs of animals and plants. Later on, ecological and neurobiological issues became increasingly important and opened up opportunities for professional activity.

Today the typical activities are mainly the areas of genetics , genetic engineering , microbiology and molecular biology . It is a problem for biologists that jobs in industry and trade are given to applicants with a doctorate with professional experience and a low age, while biologists often have a chance to do a doctorate at research institutions immediately after graduation; However, there they usually do not acquire any business management knowledge - which is desired by industry and trade .

labour market

For many years, biologists in Germany have had relatively little chance of finding “permanent” employment after completing their academic training. Although from this field important impetus for the research to go out, for example in the field of biotechnology (especially of genetic engineering ) of Cell Biology (Cancer Research), the Environmental Research and the Brain Research , this has in the opinion of the Federal Employment Agency is not yet on the labor market depressed . Biologists are therefore primarily dependent on finding employment in research institutions that are publicly funded. However, their positions are usually advertised with a time limit of a maximum of five years.

In the private sector, biologists often compete with biochemists , doctors and pharmacists when applying for a position and are often at a disadvantage because the training profile of biologists is comparatively less clearly defined. Biologists who, for example , have studied pharmacy or pharmacology as a minor , or have acquired business knowledge, have a sound IT and foreign language skills, as well as stays abroad , have an advantage . Serious competition for biologists is also the biological-technical assistants who are mostly trained in a much more practical way .

Biologists often find permanent employment in niches such as pharmaceutical consultants , in the field of clinical testing of drugs, as product managers in pharmaceutical companies , as scientific documentaries and in the field of museum education and science journalism . Biologists are also employed for the maintenance and repair of technical equipment on behalf of the manufacturing companies, since they have mastered the technical side of the equipment and know laboratory work processes.

The starting salary for biologists in the public sector is around 35,000 euros per year, in some cases significantly higher in industry. According to the Federal Employment Agency , permanently employed biologists with a doctorate can expect a salary of more than 50,000 euros per year.

In addition to working as a civil servant or employee, biologists can also work as freelancers .

The proportion of women and men who start studying biology is now the same; Even in more prestigious and well-paid positions, the proportion of women in biology is slowly increasing (it is currently almost 15% for professorships).

See also

Portal: Biology  - Overview of Wikipedia content on biology


  • Tilman Achstetter, Gerd Klöck: Biologists in industry: What can you expect? Spectrum Academic Publishing House, 2009, ISBN 978-3-8274-1877-7 .
  • Gerd Klöck: Career entry for Bio-Bachelor. In: Biology in Our Time . Volume 40, No. 1, 2010, p. 11.
  • Association of Biology, Biosciences and Biomedicine in Germany (Ed.): Perspektiven: Job profiles by and for biologists, bioscientists and other natural scientists. Association of Biology, Biosciences and Biomedicine in Germany V., 9. completely revised. Ed., 2015, ISBN 978-3-9810923-2-5

Web links

Wiktionary: Biologist  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Labor market information for qualified specialists and managers: biologists. (PDF) On: ; Ed .: Federal Employment Agency , July 2004
  2. ^ Subjects of biology. Technical University of Munich, accessed on May 21, 2020 .
  3. Hochschul-Informations-System GmbH (Ed.): First-year students in the winter semesters 2003/04 and 2004/05. Paths to study, choice of study and university, situation at the start of studies. Issue 180, 2005.