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Physiologist

Physiologists are scientists who study the whole organism and cellular function in humans, animals and plants.

  • Avg. Salary $84,973.00
  • Avg. Wage $45.86
  • Minimum Education 8+ years post-secondary
  • Outlook N/A
  • Employed 1,600
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Biological Scientist, Research Scientist

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

43%
43%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Physiologist is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Biologists
NOC code: 2121.1
INNOVATIVE

Interest in synthesizing information to conduct ecological and environmental impact studies and to prepare reports, and to develop new practices in biological research

OBJECTIVE

Interest in precision working with instruments and equipment to conduct experiments in plant and animal growth, heredity and breeding

DIRECTIVE

Interest in consulting to advise on issues related to biological processes and research and the development of new products; may supervise biological technologists and technicians and other scientists

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Nov 03, 2014

In the biological sciences, physiology is a fundamental field defining the functions of cells, organs and tissues and their inter-relationships. It employs numerous techniques and approaches including molecular biology, pharmacology, biochemistry, anatomy, cell biology, engineering and computing science. Many physiologists work in research and teaching. In general, they:

  • plan and conduct laboratory experiments
  • write papers for scientific journals, reports and grant proposals
  • sit on university committees and research grant panels
  • attend meetings with other scientists and administrators
  • educate medical, paramedical and science students about physiology.

Physiologists who have doctoral (PhD) degrees often start their careers as post-doctoral fellows, then become university professors who teach and oversee research programs. They may specialize in studying areas such as:

  • the heart and circulatory system
  • individual cell function
  • hormones and glandular secretions
  • the digestive system
  • metabolism (the conversion of food to energy)
  • the kidneys and associated body fluids
  • the reproductive system
  • the lungs and respiratory system
  • the nervous system at all levels up to co-ordinated neural functions
  • the effects of physical activity on various body systems
  • the effects of high altitudes on humans
  • the effects of radiation on biological systems
  • how genes control body functions
  • how biological membranes function
  • mathematical modeling of physiological processes.
Working Conditions
Updated Nov 03, 2014

Physiologists employed by universities usually divide their time between teaching and research. Teaching requires many hours preparing for class, grading papers and meeting with students.

Physiologists who work as full time researchers spend most of their time in laboratories but also travel to scientific meetings to present their results. They use a wide variety of electronic, optical, chemical and mechanical devices to discover how the body operates. They may work long hours conducting precise experiments and analyzing results.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Nov 03, 2014

In common with other scientists, physiologists need the following characteristics:

  • good powers of observation
  • the ability to integrate data from many sources and test hypotheses rigorously
  • an open and inquiring mind
  • excellent oral and written communication skills.

They should enjoy synthesizing information (for example, analyzing data and developing models) and finding innovative solutions to problems, working with equipment and instruments at tasks requiring precision, and co-ordinating or supervising the work of others. They should enjoy presenting their research findings to fellow scientists, the public and other interested parties.

Educational Requirements
Updated Nov 03, 2014

University graduates who have a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in physiology or a related discipline such as pharmacology, biochemistry, biology, physics, chemistry or engineering may work in the drug or biotech industry. Some physiologists train as physicians, then take advanced degrees in physiology. Post-secondary teaching and research positions generally require a doctoral degree (PhD) followed by postdoctoral work.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Ambrose University

Concordia University of Edmonton

St. Mary's University

The King's University

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Nov 03, 2014

Physiologists are employed by:

  • universities and colleges
  • hospitals
  • institutes related to sports health
  • pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies
  • firms working in rehabilitation medicine.

Physiologists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2121: Biologists and Related Scientists. In Alberta, 80% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Nov 03, 2014
Biologists and related scientists
NOC code: 2121

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $19.50 $54.74 $33.14 $31.25
Overall $27.99 $68.42 $45.86 $43.04
Top $33.00 $106.05 $61.02 $56.29

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Health Care & Social Assistance
Public Administration
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

43%
43%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

33%
33%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

16%
16%

2015 Vacancy Rate

5%
Related High School Subjects
  • English Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Physics
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
  • Health Care and Medical Sciences
  • Sciences
Other Sources of Information
Updated Nov 03, 2014

Canadian Physiological Society (CPS) website: www.cpsscp.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Nov 03, 2014. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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