A degree in biotechnology is not a one way ticket into a lab coat. An education in biotechnology can set you up for a wide variety of careers including management, marketing, and of course, laboratory science. Your career in biotechnology is really dependent on your highest level of education you have achieved. Below you will find a comprehensive view of the career potential of a biotechnology graduate at all levels - associates, bachelors, masters, and doctorate.
We provide the average salary from multiple credible data sources – the BLS and Simply Hired – as well as the degrees required to obtain employment in the biotechnology careers listed. Simply click into one of the careers to view all of the information.
Different Types of Biotechnology Careers
Biochemist, Bioinformatician, and Biophysicist
Bioinformatician’s enjoy one of the most challenging areas of biotechnology. They are required to have highly advanced knowledge of both biology and computer science.
This use information technology and computer science skills in order to take biomedical data and create useful information. You have probably heard of the effort to map the human genome. This is made possible because of the skills utilized by a bioinformatician.
Biomedical Engineers use knowledge of engineering, biology, and he medical field to develop new tools and products that better the lives of patients. They often undertake research products with scientists from other fields, engineers or business professionals to develop these products. Biomedical engineers develop products such as prostheses (artificial limbs), artificial organs, information systems, and imaging systems.
Biomedical engineering also involves developing products for inside the body as well. This includes devices for regulating heart beat or insulin. At the leading edge of this area of biomedical engineering is bionics. The development of something like the Terminator would require a lot of help from biomedical engineers. For graduates not interested in the lab, sales offers a lot of benefits for the right person. Professional salespeople with a background in biotechnology enjoy high salaries and a fast paced work environment. Companies selling biotechnology products or pharmaceuticals often place a premium on candidates with both sales talent and a solid knowledge of the field. A biotechnology degree allows a salesperson to converse with and understand their customers in a way other sales people can’t.
Biotechnology / Pharmaceutical Sales
Unfortunately the BLS does not have a specific job title and career description for this unique position. The growth of the biotechnology industry means that students don’t need a Ph.D or masters degree to enter the field. Many Biotechnology Laboratory Technicians have an Associates degree or certificate and are an extremely important, and growing portion of the biotechnology job market.
Biotechnology Laboratory Technician
The biotechnology laboratory technician’s primary responsibility is to assist other scientists and the tasks that they perform vary greatly. Laboratory technicians may monitor and set up instruments, check on and record test results and other basic tasks. In manufacturing settings, they often are in charge of monitoring parts of the process for quality and accuracy. A research associate is responsible for research and development in collaboration with others on projects. He or she makes detailed observations, analyzes data, and interprets results. Research associates prepare technical reports, summaries, protocols, and quantitative analyses. An incumbent maintains familiarity with current scientific literature and contributes to the process of a project within his or her scientific discipline, as well as investigating, creating, and developing new ethods and technologies for project advancement. He or she may also be responsible for identifying patentable inventions and acting as principal investigator in conducting his or her own experiments. A research associate may also be asked to participate in scientific conferences and contribute to scientific journals.
Biotechnology Research Associate
The BLS equivalent for this career is a Biological Technician. A clinical research associate is responsible for the design, planning, implementation, and overall direction of clinical research projects. He or she evaluates and analyzes clinical data and coordinates activities of associates to ensure compliance with protocol and overall clinical objectives. He or she may also travel to field sites to supervise and coordinate clinical studies. An entry-level clinical research associate position typically requires a bachelor of science, a registered nurse degree or equivalent, and a minimum of 0 to 2 years’ clinical experience in medical research, nursing, or the pharmaceutical industry. Knowledge of FDA regulatory requirements is also preferred.
Clinical Research Associate
The most similar position the Bureau of Labor Statistics lists is Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians. Crime Lab Technicians live at the intersection of criminal justice and science. They use their knowledge of science to assist law enforcement in making decisions about cases. This field growing in importance and is what makes the difference in many modern criminal cases.
Crime Lab Technician
People with a knowledge of biotechnology and biology can give much needed assistance to law enforcement. Many cases require the ability to determine who a strand of hair or spot of blood belong to. Employees with a background in biology and biotechnology are well prepared to provide this chemical and physical analysis.
The BLS equivalent for this career is a Forensic Science Technician. Environmental engineers combine engineering science, biology, and data to solve issues for the environment, which creates obvious crossover with the biotechnology industry. Many biotechnology engineers work in the environmental engineering field.
As with most higher level engineering positions, a degree is typically required. Most environmental engineers have bachelor’s degrees, and some obtain their masters or above degree. There are also steps for obtaining licensing, such as the PE exam (Professional Engineer), set by the National Society of Professional Engineers.The Quality Control Analyst performs analysis of ingredients to ensure everything is operating according to specifications.
They run tests, collect data, and review data obtained for compliance with specifications, to be sure that processes and products meet with company and industry approval. If anything out of the ordinary is discovered, they report it. They also make changes to the organization’s operating procedures.
Quality Control Analyst / Engineering
The BLS equivalent is Quality Control Inspector. The Quality Control Engineer manages the quality systems that go into the product development process. They design the inspection and testing that go into ensuring that the product is developed according to specifications.
The BLS equivalent is an industrial engineer. Senior Researchers often work in a college or university setting, but more and more these talented scientists hold top positions in the R & D departments of biotech companies. As more biotechnology companies spring up, the demand for this level of skill will continue to increase. Many Senior Researchers are specialist in a few areas of biotechnology. The high level knowledge needed at this level requires specialization.
Senior Research Scientist
Within the corporate setting, the Seniors Researcher is responsible for the direction of the research, the quality of the experiments, the management of assistants and associates, and ultimately, the viability of the product produced. They also participates in the development of patent applications, and may be responsible for managing the developing of a research group.
The BLS equivalent for this specific career title is Computer and Information Research Scientist. Validation Technicians are an important part of the biotechnology manufacturing process. This is an entry level position that helps to ensure quality products are being manufactured. They make sure that products comply with all regulatory and safety rules established by outside agencies, laws and within the company. To accomplish this, they gather validation data and analyze the data to make sure that the process in place results in a standards compliant product.
Validation Technicians may also help with troubleshooting and making suggestions of ways to improve processes.
Biochemists and Biophysicists
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians
Quality Control Inspectors
Computer & IT Information Research Scientists
Forensic Science Technicians
Bureau of Labor Statistics
List of Biotechnology Jobs & Career Resources
At Biotechnology Degree Guide, we mostly focus on helping people interested in getting into biotechnology to find a degree, so most of our dealing and knowledge is with education and different degree paths. We do not currently have any featured relationships with any companies hiring anyone within biotechnology, but we have provided a resource of links below just in case you are looking for a job.
American Society of Plant Biologists
American Society for Microbiology
Biotechnology Jobs in Seattle Washington
Eisenhower National Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science Education
LinkedIn Biotech Jobs
NASA Kids Science News Network
Pharma opportunities Biotech Jobs
Tiny Tech Jobs
Biotechnology Jobs in California