Associate of Biotechnology: Degree Overview

Students enrolled in associate's degree programs in biotechnology can learn how to perform a myriad of tasks in molecular biology laboratories. These duties include isolating proteins, analyzing data and completing lab experiments.

Essential Information

Some schools offer two separate tracks for students to choose from, including a transfer track and a track for immediate employment. The transfer track is geared toward students who want to continue their education with a bachelor's degree or further, while the immediate employment track is ideal for those who want to find a job after graduation.

  • Prerequisites: GED or high school diploma, some schools recommend completion of specific biology, chemistry and algebra prior to enrollment
  • Length of Study: Two years
  • Experiential Learning: Lab intensive courses; internships may be offered with biotechnology companies

Associate of Biotechnology

In addition to general education courses, students typically complete courses in specialized areas of biology and chemistry. Courses may include:

  • Microbiology
  • Genetics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Inorganic chemistry
  • Genetics

Popular Career Options

Biotechnology is a combination of biology and technology that uses cells and molecules to find solutions to human and environmental problems. Associate's degree holders can seek entry-level employment in laboratory settings where they might help researchers in a variety of subjects, such as pharmaceutical, medical research, governmental and legal issues. They may be able to work their way up in the ranks with experience or additional education. Some career options include:

  • Biotechnician
  • Research technician or assistant to biologists or chemists
  • Agricultural research assistant
  • Process technician

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for biological technicians are predicted to increase by 10% between 2012 and 2022 (www.bls.gov). As estimated by the BLS in 2014, these technicians received an average annual salary of $$44,610.

Continuing Education Information

If students opt to further their education, they can seek out bachelor's degree programs in biotechnology, and eventually master's and doctoral degree programs. Bachelor's degree programs typically expand upon associate's degree programs and offer students additional internship opportunities. The graduate degree programs prepare students for work as biological scientists or researchers, and can allow students to learn about bioengineering and biomedical science.

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