Bioinformatics Analyst: Job Duties, Salary and Outlook

Bioinformatics analysts require significant formal education. Learn about the degree requirements, job duties, salary and job growth expectations to see if this is the right career for you.

A bioinformatics analyst typically works in a laboratory or office setting, where they assist in research experiments related to the Human Genome Project. They build sophisticated databases on bioinformatics in order to help researchers discover cures for diseases while also ensuring databases are organized and kept up-to-date. Most positions in this field require a doctorate degree, however in some cases a master's or even bachelor's degree may be sufficient.

Essential Information

Bioinformatics analysts study the complex life chain through working with biological data, such as RNA and DNA. Bioinformatics combines biology and computer science and is still a relatively new area of biotechnology. Bioinformatics analysts conduct research in labs and develop informatics algorithms and bioinformatics databases that can help in the understanding of disease and other physical conditions. A Ph.D. is typically needed to work in this field; however, some jobs may be available with a lower degree.

Required Education Doctor's degree generally required, although some positions may be open to individuals with bachelor's or master's degrees in relevant fields
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 8% (biochemists and biophysicists)
Average Annual Salary (2015)* $77,190

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

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Job Duties of Bioinformatics Analysts

Bioinformatics analysts study information received from the Human Genome Project, a research project that determines the pairs that create DNA, in an effort to develop cures for human diseases. They are skilled in the use of complex algorithms, computer databases and software. Analysts perform the initial studies of genomic data and consult with researchers. They design informatics algorithms and create bioinformatics databases.

Bioinformatics scientists, including bioinformatics analysts, work in laboratories and offices conducting research. Bioinformatics analysts are responsible for manipulating and presenting genomic data and organizing and keeping databases up-to-date. They are also responsible for quality assurance and must adhere to specific protocols. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), they typically work a 40-hour workweek; however, they may be required to work odd hours.

Salary and Career Info for Bioinformatics Analysts

According to the BLS, the average annual salary for biological scientists, which includes bioinformatics analysts, was $77,190 in May 2015. The top-paying field for this occupation was medical equipment and supplies manufacturing, with an average salary of $95,940 in 2015.

States with the highest levels of employment in this area in 2015 were California, Maryland, Massachusetts, Texas, and Florida, reported the BLS. The District of Columbia was the top-paying state, with a mean salary of $106,320.

Bioinformatics analysts utilize their expertise in genomic information and algorithms to gather, store, and analyze data within the field of human genetics. Typically working a 40-hour week, they are often responsible for performing quality assurance duties and presenting complex data to researchers. According to the BLS, in 2015 the highest paying industry for these professionals was in medical equipment and supplies manufacturing.

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