Biochemist & Biophysicist Careers

biochemistry-500Biochemistry uses living cells and the products of living cells to make a variety of products meant to help society. The types of products that are made include pharmaceutical products, diagnostic products, environmental products, and agricultural products. It is an applied science that is right on the cutting edge of technology.

Many different types of biochemistry and biophysicist careers can be pursued. Entry level and primary investigative positions include those in research and development, clinical research, careers in academia, manufacturing and production, quality control, regulatory issues, information systems, and administration.

Biochemist & Biophysicist Career Assessment

Take our career assessment. This 30 question quiz let’s you know if you’re cut out for a career as a biochemist or biophysicist by analyzing your abilities, skills, and interests.

1. Are you interested in studying living cells or organisms?

2. Do you like the idea of sharing research findings by writing and publishing articles or giving presentations at conferences?

3. Are you OK teaching or advising college or university students?

4. Do you like the idea of supervising the research efforts of college or university students?

5. Would you like the opportunity to manage a laboratory team?

6. Are you interested in chemical compositions and chemical interactions?

7. Do you have an interest in understanding the details of cellular interactions?

8. Do you like learning about physics and physical principles along with their interrelationships?

9. Do you have knowledge of the English language including spelling and grammar?

10. Do you have knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, and other basic math principles?

11. Can you use logic and reasoning to approach problems?

12. Does the idea of using scientific rules and methods to solve problems sound appealing to you?

13. Do you have the ability to understand complex written sentences?

14. Can you give full attention to what other people say and take time to understand the points being made?

15. Can you convey information effectively?

16. Can you apply deductive and inductive reasoning?

17. Do you have the ability to read and understand the ideas you just read?

18. Do you have the ability to use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways?

19. Do you have the ability to arrange things in a certain order or pattern?

20. Can you see details at close range?

21. Are you OK with analyzing and evaluating information to solve problems?

22. Do you have the patience to obtain information from all relevant sources?

23. Can you continually apply new knowledge?

24. Do you have the ability to process information?

25. Do you like the idea of having to continually learn and keep up-to-date in your area of expertise?

26. Do you like the idea of communicating by email several times a day, every day?

27. Are you OK working indoors every day?

28. Are you OK working more than 40 hours a week in a typical week?

29. Are you OK having face-to-face discussions with coworkers on most days?

30. Do you like having the freedom to make decisions, without supervision?

Biochemist & Biophysicist Snapshot

Biochemists work in a laboratory setting. In addition to the lab, they may also have access to an office. They often work in a team and many are employed in the research and development department of a company or university.

Learn more about a career as a biochemist (statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Onet Online):


is the average earnings for biochemists/biophysicists per year.


increase in employment between 2014 and 2024.


have a Doctorate, 32% have Post-Doctoral training.

Biochemist/Biophysicist Education

Biochemists and biophysicists hoping to become primary investigators will need a Ph.D. in biochemistry or biophysicist or a very closely related field.  In addition, time spent as a post-doc is also required in many cases. Competition is fierce among Ph.D. candidates.  It is possible to gain entry into the field with a Bachelor’s or Master’s in biochemistry as a research associate, but in that case you will expect much lower salaries.

Biochemist/Biophysicist Job Duties

Biochemists and biophysicists conduct scientific experiments involving biological and cellular processes. They may work in a team. Often the goal is on publishing scientific papers that help advance knowledge in a very specific area.  In addition to working in a laboratory environment, many will also need to spend time securing funding. Many biochemists and biophysicists work in research departments at a university and teach students.

Biochemist/Biophysicist Salaries

The average salary for biochemists and biophysicists is fairly high with the median earnings at $82,150 a year. The lowest paid individuals in these professions earn less than $44,640 per year while the highest paid earn more than $153,810 per year. Education and past experience will play a definite role in earnings.

Biochemist/Biophysicist Job Outlook

According to the, employment for biochemists and biophysicists is expected to increase by 8% between 2014 and 2024 which is about as fast as the average occupation. Helping to drive the growth is the fact that more work is needed to continue making scientific advancements. Budget constraints limit the growth in these industries.

Biochemist & Biophysicist Career

Biochemists and biophysicists use a number of tools in their day-to-day activities. Review common tools and required skills of those working in these professions.

Biochemist Skill Set:Required Abilities:Tools Used by Biochemists:Typical Work Activities:
• Critical Thinking
• Reading Comprehension
• Active Learning
• Scientific Ability
• Deductive Reasoning
• Inductive Reasoning
• Written Comprehension
• Flexibility
• Centrifuges
• Lasers
• Spectrometers
• Light scattering equipment
• Analyzing Data
• Updating Knowledge
• Getting Information
• Processing Information

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