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Salary Range of Biological Consultants

Updated on August 14, 2012

© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.

Biological consultants offer their expertise on plants, animals and other living organisms to organizations that lack the skill in-house. Though their educational qualifications differ by subject, they all share several years experience in their specialties. This enables them to develop the reputation needed for consulting. Salaries vary according to job title.

Biomedical Engineers

Consultants in biomedical engineering earned an average $42.63 per hour or $88,670 per year as of May 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They look for solutions to problems that combine biology and medicine so they can improve patient care. They design medical products such as artificial organs, body part replacements and diagnostic machines. They provide technical support for biomedical equipment, and train clinicians on their use. They also work with other scientists such as chemists and biologists to offer an engineering perspective on human and animal biology. A bachelor’s degree is needed to enter the field, though some have a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field and a graduate degree in biomedical engineering.


Microbiology consultants averaged $34.21 per hour or $71,150 per year in 2011. Microbiologist research microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, for such projects as creating new drugs to combat disease. They identify and classify microorganisms, grow bacteria cultures for study and monitor how microorganisms affect the environment, plants, animals and human beings. They write technical reports on their findings, and present them to scientists, non-scientist decision-makers, engineers and the general public. A bachelor’s degree in microbiology is the minimum requirement. However, those who consult on high-level research typically have a Ph.D.

Wildlife Biologists

In 2011, consultants for zoology and wildlife biology received an average $28.12 per hour or $58,500 per year. Both zoologists and wildlife biologists study the behavior and characteristics of animals. However, the former do so in the controlled settings of zoos, while the latter travel to different environments such as forests or under the sea. They collect biological specimens for study, discover how animals interact with themselves and other species, and analyze how human populations have affected wildlife migration and population. They may be called to recommend conservation policies to the general public or government bodies. A bachelor’s degree is sufficient for entry-level positions, though a Ph.D. is needed for research.

Animal Scientists

Animal scientist consultants made an average $41.37 per hour or $86,050 per year in 2011. They conduct their research on domestic farm animals to improve the production and quality of food. They study animal genetics, nutrition, growth and diseases; look for better way to process food such as meat, eggs and milk; and crossbreed different strains to produce better characteristics. They may also advise farmers on how to improve animal housing, increase production and reduce death rates. Animal scientists have at least a bachelor’s degree although many also have doctoral degree. Some also have veterinary backgrounds.


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    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      Sounds like quite a diverse and interesting field of employment to enter. Biological consultants certainly aren't fairing badly on the pay scale either.

      Up, useful, shared, tweeted and pinned.

      P.S. Would you be interested in sharing links? The hubs I have been writing would complement your earnings hubs, and your earnings hubs would complement my career hubs. If not, no problem, but thought it may work well ...

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      Aurelio, It's surprising that wildlife biologists have low pay scales even though their job is tougher. Quite a paradox, I must say! Voted intesting and up.

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      I wasn't sure what a biological consultant was until reading your hub. What a fascinating field, and the salary isn't bad either! Very interesting information. Voted up and shared!

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 5 years ago from West Virginia

      Alocsin, voted up and useful. I enjoy this series of yours. I find it amazing that you come up with all these numbers and stats! Another great job.

    • Saloca profile image

      Saloca 5 years ago from Liverpool, UK

      Very useful hub!

    • Mama Kim 8 profile image

      Sasha Kim 5 years ago

      Very interesting hub! I'm surprised by some of the pay differences.

      Voted up and interesting. ^_^

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 5 years ago from England

      This was really interesting as I had a friend who was a microbiologist, and another one who made medical equipment, fascinating to see the range of pay, voted up! cheers nell

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Aurelio congrats on your Hubbie win!! I always enjoy your savvy Hubs and this one is right up there with the best of them. Rated Up and interesting :) Cheers.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      How very interesting learning about the salary ranges for these type of jobs. What struck me for the wildlife biologists is that travel would be a part of the job as well which would be interesting. All of these are important jobs. Hope young people thinking about what they want to become are reading your hubs. Up, useful and interesting votes.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 5 years ago from Western NC

      I am beginning to really look forward to these hubs! Other than online writing and photography, perhaps I'll stumble upon my dream career through one of your hubs. :D I used to want to be a wildlife biologist - until I took the required chemistry/organic chemistry classes in college. That was when I learned I was a right-brained person and not a science-minded, logical left-brained person. LOL. Thanks for compiling this!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm surprised by the low pay for wildlife biologists. Another interesting hub Aurelio! Well done!

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

      I didn't realize the field is so broad and a person could be a consultant. I just couldn't touch icky things. Great hub!