Entry-Level Biotech Career Options
Biotechnology includes a range of engineering and science careers that aim to develop and/or use new technologies based on biology to improve human life in some way. Many of these positions do not require prior work experience or on-the-job training, but do vary in their education requirements. Explore a few of the entry-level biotech jobs here.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*|
|Biochemists and Biophysicists||$82,180||11%|
|Agricultural and Food Scientists||$62,920||7%|
|Medical Scientists (Except Epidemiologists)||$80,530||13%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Career Information for Entry-Level Biotech Jobs
Biomedical engineers are not required to have work experience in a related occupation or any on-the-job training to combine biology and engineering to create a variety of healthcare equipment. This biomedical equipment and biotechnology includes software programs, artificial organs and other devices that these engineers design, install and train healthcare professionals to use. Biomedical engineers also conduct their own research looking at engineering principles of biological systems and present their research in detailed reports and scientific articles. They should have at least a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering or a closely related field, but may need to hold a graduate degree.
Biochemists and Biophysicists
Biochemists and biophysicists do not need prior work experience or on-the-job training, and many of these professionals work in the field of biotechnology to develop new medicines, bioengineered crops and biofuels. These professionals perform studies and then may work to alter biological processes through the chemical makeup and physical properties of these mechanisms. To do this they plan complex research projects, conduct their experiments, analyze data and present their findings in technical reports. These scientists usually need a Ph.D. in biochemistry or biophysics to hold research positions, but may find work at the entry-level with a bachelor's or master's degree.
Agricultural and Food Scientists
Agricultural and food scientists do not need work experience or on-the-job training to improve agricultural products, often through the use of biotechnology. These professionals include food, animal, plant and soil scientists who study and develop ways to improve the efficiency of crop production and farm animal production using genetics and other biotechnology, like bioengineered seeds and pesticides. They typically conduct field research to examine environmental and chemical factors that may affect the growth of crops and animals and then work with farmers and other scientists to discuss and apply their research findings to possible solutions and improvements. Agricultural and food scientists usually have an advanced degree in their specific field, but must have at least a bachelor's degree.
Chemical engineers are not required to have on-the-job training or related work experience, but practical experience may be preferred by employers. Some of these engineers specialize in biological engineering and conducting research in biotechnology where they perform experiments to examine the biological, chemical and physical properties of products and work to solve a particular problem. They may develop new drugs, products and manufacturing techniques that must comply with environmental and safety standards and troubleshoot any production issues. Chemical engineers need at least a bachelor's degree, usually in chemical engineering.
Medical scientists do not need work experience in a related job or on-the-job training to conduct research in human health, which often involves biotechnology. These scientists conduct various clinical trials and medical studies looking at the effectiveness of different drugs, medical devices and treatment methods to try and improve human health. They work closely with health organizations and doctors to share and discuss their findings in order to figure out ways to prevent and treat a wide range of diseases and medical conditions. Many medical scientists hold a medical degree, but need at least a Ph.D. in biology or another life science.