Biology is the study of life, making it one of the most universal sciences in the world. In every country on Earth, life can be found in any direction you look, which means biology jobs can be found literally anywhere. There may not be any field that is better to explore on an international scale than biology, as internationally minded biologists tend to have the greatest opportunities for discovery. Biology jobs abroad will allow you to uncover the true diversity that exists in the world by exploring life in all its forms.
Why Work Abroad in Biology
As with many science fields, biology is a truly global field with a seemingly infinite range of sub-concentrations and areas of specialty. Field work is the cornerstone of biology research jobs abroad, and collecting the right samples for specific types of research inherently requires traveling to a specific area of interest. Therefore, it is this specific area of interest that should dictate where you search for biologist jobs abroad. For example, if your interest lies in studying polar bears, you probably won’t have much luck finding biology jobs in Egypt that interest you or if examining rainforest flora is more your thing, don’t expect to be find a fiable biology job in Austria.
Field work aside, it is possible to find biology jobs abroad in every country around the world, so there is no need to limit yourself to one specific country or region. The important thing is to find a job that suits your interest area and take time to fully collaborate with biologists from around the world, as these experiences with propel your career as a biologist for many years to come.
The best locations for biologist jobs abroad will inherently have a good mix of biological species to study and access to advanced laboratory equipment to analyze organisms of interest. Here are just a few of the best locations for biology work abroad:
New Zealand is a great place for to look for biology jobs abroad, since it presents no language barrier for English speakers and it is home to several world-class research universities. Popular areas of study among Kiwi biologists include marine biology (the country is composed of two islands, after all) and avian biology. New Zealand is a naturally gorgeous country that is teeming with biological wildlife, and its residents are adamant that it stay that way, which makes environmental biology another very popular area of work.
For professionals interested in biological life that is unseen by the human eye, France is a prime destination to seek out biology jobs abroad. Beginning with Louis Pasteur, one of the most important figures in the history of microbiology (and human health in general), France has had a long history in the vast world of microscopic life. Some of the top microbiology universities and laboratories in the world are located in France, and therefore, there is a constant need for new scientists and perspectives. Businesses and academic institutions in France alike frequently hire international biologists to conduct laboratory work, assist with analysis of microorganisms, or fulfill biology teaching positions.
South Africa has long been one of the most ecologically varied nations on Earth, but with the way the nation is headed, this may not be the case forever. Biologists looking to make a difference for species facing the threat of extinction will feel right at home working on conservation biology research in South Africa. Considering the numerous game reserves in South Africa, it is a dream destination for work with mammals, which means the competition for biology jobs in South Africa can be significant. However, finding a job as a biologist in South Africa can be the opportunity of a lifetime, as biologists are able to make literally a world of a difference in the fight to preserve some of our planet’s rarest animal species.
Biology Jobs Abroad
The types of duties performed by biologists abroad will depend entirely on the environment in which they work. The daily tasks and educational background required for each biology job abroad will differ based on the overall focus of the job. The two main divisions of biology jobs abroad are fieldwork and laboratory research, although there are many other forms of biology work abroad.
Field Work. Overseas biology jobs focused on field work will present both similarities to field work you may have done at home and unique challenges you may have never encountered. Naturally, a language barrier may exist, and organizing expeditions into the field will be difficult without knowledge of the “lay of the land” or familiarity with the environment. An educational background in biology or ecology is always recommended for this type of biology work abroad, and typically required, and taking up lessons in the local language will only make your day to day work easier.
Laboratory Research. Working in a laboratory setting will involve constant and effective communication with other biologists, whether local or foreign. Performing this type of biology work abroad means that a language barrier can be quite limiting in the workplace, in terms of both communication regarding task assignments and analysis results. A solid grasp of the local language is therefore required for many lab-based biology jobs abroad. It is important to keep in mind that the most advanced laboratories, capable of performing cutting edge biology research, will be found primarily in well developed nations. In order to have access to the newest and most useful biological research tools, you may want to consider focusing your job search on the developed world. That is not to say that biologist are not needed in the developing world, however. No matter what country you decide to look for work in, a thorough knowledge of the topic of focus and the testing procedures utilized will likely be needed for biology research jobs abroad in laboratory settings.
Salary & Affordability
Considering the wide scope of biologist jobs abroad that exist, an average salary for biology work abroad is hard to pinpoint. However, since biology is a well-respected and crucial science for the world, overseas biology jobs will most definitely compensate workers sufficiently, factoring in the local cost of living. Entry level laboratory technicians can expect to make a livable wage, if not more, and more specialized positions will have increasing salaries. Fully tenured biology professors and biological researchers at academic institutions can easily earn salaries in the six figures in the United States, and similar levels of compensation can be found in many other nations as well.
The benefits of biologist jobs abroad are as varied as the concentrations within the field and specialized jobs available. International collaboration is crucial on both the business and academic side of biology, so regardless of where you live and work abroad, you can expect your experience interacting with people from other countries to be a good boost to your resume.
If you have an area of interest or desired specialization within the field, it is more than likely that there is a biology job abroad that will fit perfectly with your professional goals. Biologists are needed overseas constantly, so a simple willingness to travel is a huge advantage in the field.
If you have a biology degree and a desire to see the world, there are plenty of biology jobs abroad out there waiting for you!