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Bio-technologies Professional: Job Description & Requirements

Read on to learn what bio-technologies professionals do. See what the education and skills requirements are, and learn about the career outlook to decide if this field is right for you.

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Career Definition for a Bio-Technologies Professional

Bio-technologies professionals look for ways to put biology and technology to use in solving medical, agricultural, environmental, engineering, and related problems. They pursue careers that support this function in a variety of ways. Bio-tech professionals may work for academic research departments, government agencies, pharmaceutical and bio-tech companies, agricultural firms or environmental groups. Bio-technologies professionals can specialize in biofuels, biological weapons, biodiversity, biomedical research, vaccine research and development, genetically-modified crops, and more. Working conditions for bio-tech professionals vary by job title. For example, research scientists work in a lab while bio-tech sales reps spend a lot of time on the road.

Education Bachelor's, master's, or doctorate degree
Job Skills Good communication, research, record-keeping, and reporting skills
Median Salary (2015)* $41,650 (for biological technicians)
Job Growth (2014-2024)* 5% (for biological technicians)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Bio-technologies professionals' job prospects vary with the type of degree they hold. A bachelor's degree is required for most for entry level jobs like lab tech or sales representative. Mid-level bio-tech jobs like research and development can be had with a master's degree. Bio-tech careers in pure research or academia often require a Ph.D. A bachelor's degree in a scientific field like chemistry, biology or engineering can be earned in four years, a master's degree in two years and a Ph.D. in five to seven years. Bio-technologies professionals can study bioinformatics, research methods, biomedical technology, computers, biochemistry, lab work, advanced math and statistics, genetics, and cellular biology.

Skills Required

Bio-technologies professionals need excellent research, record-keeping, and reporting skills. They also need outstanding communication skills for varied job responsibilities like sales activities and collaboration with fellow bio-tech scientists, professionals, management, and government teams.

Career and Economic Outlook

Following are some careers that fall under the umbrella of bio-technologies professionals and their projected 2014-2024 job growth and 2015 median annual salary, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov). Biological technicians, whose employment opportunities are expected to increase 5%, earned median salaries of $41,650. Job growth of 7% is predicted for wholesale and manufacturing sales representatives (including pharmaceutical sales reps), who earned a median of $59,080 per year. Biochemists and biophysicists can expect job growth of 8%, and they earned median salaries of $82,150. And microbiologist jobs are expected to increase 4%, with median pay per year of $67,550.

Alternate Career Options

Similar careers to a bio-technologies professional include:

Chemist

Chemists study the properties and reactions of various substances at the microscopic level for the purpose of basic and applied research, such as understanding how a chemical reaction occurs or designing new medicines or plastics. Chemists need a bachelor's degree for entry-level work, but a graduate degree is often necessary for advancement. The BLS predicts that the number of jobs in this field will increase 3% from 2014-2024. The median pay rates for chemists varied widely by industry; in 2015, the median salary for all chemist jobs was $71,260, per the BLS.

Physicist

Physicists study matter and energy in either theoretical or applied pursuits. They plan and execute experiments and mathematical calculations to test theories or advance practical knowledge. They can try and figure out the origins of the universe or develop new medical equipment, such as MRI technology machines. This job typically requires completion of a Ph.D. program. According to the BLS, jobs for physicists are expected to increase 8% from 2014-2024; the median annual salary for physicists was $111,580 in 2015.

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