Biochemistry technologists analyze specimens taken from patients and compile data for use by doctors. They are typically required to have a bachelor's degree, though certification or licensure may also be required.
Biochemistry technologists work in medical laboratories to analyze samples taken from patients for diagnostic purposes. These technologists usually require a bachelor's degree in life sciences or medical technology and may require certification or licensure depending on the state they work in.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree|
|Other Requirements||Certification and/or licensure requirements determined by the state|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||14% (for all medical and clinical laboratory technologists)*|
|Average Salary (2015)||$61,860 (for all medical and clinical laboratory technologists)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job Description of a Biochemistry Technologist
Biochemistry technologists are a specific type of medical laboratory technologist that assesses types and levels of chemicals present in bodily fluids. They receive samples with requests for specific tests from doctors. They perform various biochemical tests on various fluid samples, such as blood, mucus and urine, to look for abnormal or missing components as well as levels of particular elements, like sugars or toxic chemicals. They then analyze and compile the data obtained before sending the information to the requesting doctor for a final diagnosis.
Since biochemistry technologists work with possibly infected samples on a daily basis, using proper sterilization and safety techniques in the laboratory is essential. Biochemistry technologists need to ensure that samples are not contaminated and that they aren't infected by the samples they work with.
In addition to sample analysis, biochemistry technologists could set up and maintain laboratory testing equipment, such as a high-speed centrifuge, electron microscope or spectrophotometer. They need to assure that procedures and testing standards are met to confirm the accuracy of the results obtained using the equipment. Depending on their position and level of experience, they might also train and supervise laboratory assistants and other technologists.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for medical and clinical laboratory technologists are predicted to increase by 14% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). In May 2015, the BLS estimated that these technologists earned an average wage of $61,860 per year.
Career Advancement Information for Biochemistry Technologists
Career advancement in biochemistry technology is typically dependent on a combination of the level of education and relevant work experience. Some employers might require experience obtained from a lower-level laboratory technician position. However, without a bachelor's degree, advancement opportunities could be limited and take many years to achieve.
Professionals with a bachelor's degree might be able to qualify for entry-level technologist positions without additional job experience. However, bachelor's degree-holders with some laboratory experience might be promoted to senior positions, like a chief medical technologist, faster than those with less education. Further advancement to administrative positions, like that of laboratory director, generally requires a graduate degree and several years of experience. Relevant master's and doctoral degree programs include those in general management, chemistry a biological science or medical technology.
Biochemistry technologists perform biochemical testing on bodily fluids, such as urine and blood. The information obtained helps doctors with diagnosing patients. A master's or doctoral degree may assist biochemistry technologists with career advancement. The state may require certification and/or licensure.