Do you wonder how your body cells work together?

Man holding a sign that says,

You might be interested in becoming a cell biologist!

What Do They Do?

On a typical day, cell biologists:

  • Study the structure and function of cells, which are the basic units that make up any living organism.

  • Research micro-organisms, plants and animal cells or tissues.

  • Grow and manipulate cells outside a living body to find new medications.

  • Design and conduct experiments and interpret their results.

  • Perform procedures such as DNA sequencing, RNA purification and cloning.

    Biologist looking into a microscope Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

What Qualifications Are Required?

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Educational requirements

To become a cell biologist, you must:

  • Begin with a Bachelor's degree in biology or a mathematics-related field.

  • Complete a Master's program in cell and developmental biology.

  • Pursue a doctoral program or begin your career as a researcher or laboratory assistant.

Soft skills

In this career, you will do well if you like working on complex problems regularly. Working hours are often long. A never-say-die attitude will also help as sometimes experiments and research may not yield desired results and you may have to start over.


Leah loves being outdoors. She also enjoys working with other people and prefers finishing her work quickly. She thinks it is frustrating to revisit completed tasks. Would a cell biologist career suit Leah?

Where Do They Work?

Cell biologists usually work in a laboratory setting.

Woman filling a petrie dish in a laboratory

Some biologists who study agriculture or diseases may also work in the field.

Two scientists walking through a forest path

Potential employers

Cell biologists can find jobs with various private, non-profit, and government employers in industries such as pharmaceutical, life sciences, agriculture, and academics.

What Do They Earn?

On average, cell biologists earn up to:

  • USD $39.53 per hour in USA

  • CAD $38.04 per hour in Canada

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Take Action

Biologist in a lab opening his lab coat to reveal a Superman t-shirt

If you enjoy research-based work, solving complex problems, and are perseverant, being a cell biologist might be the career for you!


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