Biology Career Facts
Lansing Community College offers four applied science degrees in biological sciences:
- Environmental Technology
- Molecular Biotechnology
- Histologic Technology
- Veterinary Technology
An associate degree in environmental technology can lead to a career as a technician in an environmental consulting firm, in manufacturing, recycling and waste management companies, or utility and public service departments. Within these organizations, an environmental technician might work with clients to comply with environmental standards, assist in field investigations, track the movement and effects of environmental hazards or work as a team member in environmental cleanup. Jobs in this field are expected to grow faster than average. Concern about the environment will lead to career opportunities. With an associate degree and some experience, median annual earnings were $40,000 in 2000.
LCC offers the only program in the state that leads to an associate degree in molecular biotechnology. The degree is a laboratory-intensive curriculum that emphasizes the applications of DNA technology and genetics. Employees with this degree work in many areas of biotechnology such as research into the causes and cures of disease, improvement of plants and crops, pharmaceutical research, environmental cleanup, and forensics. With advances in basic biological knowledge related to genetics and molecules, this career field has experienced growth which should continue. Wages vary greatly depending on the type of organization, geographical location, education, and experience but generally range from $13 to $28 an hour.
LCC partners with the Ingham Intermediate School District and the Capital Area Career Center to offer both a certificate and an associate degree in histologic technology. Histologic technicians work with other laboratory personnel to provide doctors with the information they need to diagnose their patients. They prepare blood and tissue for diagnosis working under the supervision of a pathologist. Employment is most often found in medical settings such as hospitals, clinics, and medical research labs. Technicians might also work in drug companies helping with research and development. Jobs in this area are plentiful. Starting salaries range from around $13 an hour to $20 an hour.
In partnership with Michigan State University's world-renowned veterinary school, LCC offers one of only two programs in the nation associated with a university vet school. The degree in veterinary technology qualifies students to care for animals in the areas of nursing care, laboratory analysis, physical therapy, surgical assistance, radiography, animal health and nutrition and client education. Vet techs could work in a veterinary clinic or hospital, in biomedical research, or in a zoo or animal care facility. Employment opportunities are expected to remain high as increases in the pet population, new technology, and developments in animal care will contribute to a healthy job market. Depending on location and responsibilities, salaries for vet techs can range from $11,000 to $40,000 yearly.
For those who choose to transfer and receive a bachelor's degree, a master's degree, or a Ph.D., careers in biology include biological and medical scientists who study living organisms and their relationship to the environment. Most specialize in a particular area of biology. These scientists work mostly in research and development in private industry, university or government laboratories. Most biologists are further classified by the type of organism they study. These include:
- Aquatic biologists who study plants and animals living in water;
- Biochemists who study the chemical composition of living things;
- Botanists who study plants and their environment;
- Physiologists who study life functions of plants and animals,
- Zoologists and wildlife biologists who study animals and wildlife;
- Soil scientists who study soil characteristics;
- Agricultural and food scientists
A degree in biology often serves as an entry into medical school Median earnings of biological scientists were $49,239 in 2000, ranging from a high of close to $80,000 to a low of $30,000.
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