Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics > Biochemists > Overview

Biochemists - Overview

Biologists study plants, animals, and their environments.

Biologists study plant and animal life ranging from single cell organisms to large animals. Their findings help solve problems, such as plant diseases or possible extinction of some animals. They also research ways to solve problems in human health.

Some biologists do basic research. They study the world to gain knowledge. Other biologists do applied research. They use knowledge gained from research to create new products or processes.

Biologists read articles and attend conferences to learn more about their research area. They determine research questions and design experiments to study those questions. Depending on the type of organism they study, biologists conduct experiments in a lab, forest, or other site.

They may work with the organisms themselves, or have research assistants do much of the work for them. If they have assistants, scientists train them how to conduct the research and keep records.

Once data is gathered, biologists analyze the data. They interpret the results and write reports. They may present their findings at conferences.

Some biologists teach at colleges and universities. If they have a teaching certificate, they can also teach at high schools.

There are several subfields in biology:

  • Biochemists study the chemical makeup and processes of living things.
  • Biophysicists study the electrical and mechanical energy properties of cells and organisms.
  • Microbiologists study the growth, development, and characteristics of bacteria and other small organisms.


Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.