Biotechnology Career Overview
If biology is your bag, you may be interested in biotech careers. Biological technicians often work at universities or in commercial labs assisting with experiments and tests. Biochemists, biophysicists and microbiologists are biotech jobs worked in universities or commercial or private offices and labs studying organisms, microorganisms, biological development and growth.
If you re looking at biotechnology careers, be prepared to get an education. Technicians and microbiologists need at least a bachelor s degree in biology, microbiology or a related field. Biochemists and biophysicists need a doctoral degree to find employment doing independent research and even development. Occasionally, you may find an entry-level biotech job that only requires a bachelor s or master s degree, but you ll want to go on to complete your Ph.D. if you aspire to move up the biotechnology ladder.
Biotechnology Job Market
Overall, biotech careers are expected to increase in demand over the next 10 years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 10 percent growth for biological techs, biochemists and biophysicists between 2012 and 2022, and a seven percent increase in microbiologists jobs. Increased demand for research in the biotechnology field and the aging baby boomer population are the key issues that the BLS names for the positive job market outlook in these fields. That s good news for biochemists, biophysicists and microbiologists, as they held roughly only 49,300 jobs in 2012. The biotech techs, however, were almost double the other three biotech careers combined, expected to be around 88,300 by 2022, up from 80,200 jobs in 2012.
As with any job that requires a degree, biotech positions command higher salaries. Techs are the low men on the totem pole with an average annual salary of $38,750. If you put the time and effort into earning a master s degree or a Ph.D. for one of the other biotech jobs, however, the pay increases. Microbiologists earn an annual median wage of $66,260 and biochemists and biophysicists bring in even more with average annual pay at $81,480.
The State of Biotechnology Careers