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CAREER GUIDE B.S. Science Education (Secondary Biological Science)

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Career guide: biology teacher.

Teaching biology can be a fascinating and satisfying way to mix a passion for the natural world with a desire to inspire young minds. Imagine a workday filled with opportunities to show students how genetic mutations can lead to common diseases or how microscopes are used to examine tiny plant and animal structures. These are the kinds of things biology teachers get to do every day!

If you have an inquisitive mind and an interest in helping students understand the world they live in, the right bachelor's degree can provide you with the knowledge and skills in general science, advanced biology, and teaching methods necessary to become a highly qualified high school biology teacher. You'll graduate with a deep understanding of the six main topics of biological science, including cellular biology, heredity, evolution, diversity of life, interdependence of life, and ecology.

The wonders of the world and the ways intricate life forms are connected to each other are fascinating to most students. Teach biology and you might end up playing a role in helping our next generation of doctors, nurses, and scientists find their calling in life. Do something inspiring – become a biology teacher!

Job listing growth 2016–2026.

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Career opportunities.

Earning your degree in biology can open doors well beyond the field of teaching. Just ask Lisa Kudrow or WWE wrestler Trish Stragus; both of them studied biology but moved on to make friends in very different arenas! Whether you choose to spend your entire career teaching biology to curious kids or follow your natural and professional curiosity in a different direction, your course of study will prepare you for a broad range of areas within the science and health sectors.  

Positions in the field.

  • Middle or high school biology teacher
  • Postsecondary teacher
  • Microbiologist
  • Conservation specialist
  • Scientific researcher
  • School principal
“I had two different schools fighting over me. I'm a highly qualified teacher and I absolutely love it. I'm going to do something worthwhile. I'm going to affect people's lives.” Ken Spruel
B.A. Science (5–9)

Job market forecast.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the job market for high school instructors, including biology teachers, to grow by about 8% from 2016–2026. Some teachers have the ability to secure tenure, which can provide excellent career stability.

Job growth 2016–2026.

Work environment.

If you love science and enjoy working with kids, being a biology teacher can be a very rewarding career. You'll more than likely end up working at a public or private school, where your responsibilities will include developing an engaging curriculum, planning and preparing lab experiments, teaching your students, and evaluating their performance. You'll also meet and collaborate with parents, administrators and other teachers. Generally speaking, you'll have a long summer break and good benefits in most states.

Professional organizations.

If you have a passion for the study of life and living organisms and a desire to play a role in the education of our youth, think about becoming a biology teacher. These organizations will support and encourage your aspirations.

Job search resources.

Bachelor's degree in biology? Check. Teaching license? Check. Professional teaching portfolio? Check. When you have all of your credentials in order, here are a few places to begin exploring the market for biology teachers.


Salary stats.

Whether you're teaching middle or high school biology, your salary will most likely be related to how much experience you have and the level of education you have achieved. Where you live and teach will also play a significant role in how much you can make. The BLS reports the median annual wage for middle school teachers was $56,720 in May 2016. High school teachers earned slightly more – $58,030.

Average salary of jobs with related titles.


Summary.

From middle school through high school, biology class plays a huge role in helping students discover, explore, and understand the world we live in. A great biology teacher understands how to pique students' interest in areas like genetics, ecology, zoology, and evolution and can explain how life evolves and adapts to the environment.

Becoming a biology teacher requires at least a bachelor's degree and a valid teaching license in the state where you'll be working. It can be an extremely rewarding career, and the American education system places great importance on the study of science, including biology. Some forward-thinking universities have been recognized for top-ranked teaching degrees that emphasize the study of biology and lead to teacher licensure.

Choosing the right university and degree program is key to becoming a highly qualified educator. Look for an NCATE-accredited curriculum like WGU's online bachelor's degree for aspiring science teachers. The curriculum is designed to combine your enthusiasm for science with your passion for inspiring young minds. Before you know it, you might be rubbing elbows in the teacher's lounge with other members of our next generation of biology teachers!

Next Start Date

Jul 1

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Your career’s next step: Earn a degree.

Ready to jump-start your career in teaching biology? The next step could be earning your B.S. in Science Education, Secondary Biological Science. Accredited, competency-based WGU offers this degree online for at a surprisingly affordable flat-rate tuition. Flexible enough for a working adult’s schedule with the option to accelerate, your degree may be closer than you think!