Career Options Involving Chemistry and Biology
There are several career options in the field of science that involve both chemistry and biology. These two areas most commonly meet in the laboratory as they are used to test the chemical components of living organisms and life processes. Below are a few examples of career options that involve chemistry and biology.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2014-2024)*|
|Biochemists and Biophysicists||$82,180||8%|
|Veterinary Technologists and Technicians||$32,490||19%|
|Agricultural and Food Scientists||$62,920||5%|
|Environmental Scientists and Specialists||$68,910||11%|
|Forensic Science Technicians||$56,750||27%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Career Information for Jobs that Involve Chemistry and Biology
Biochemists and Biophysicists
Biochemists and biophysicists may be a couple of the more obvious careers that combine chemistry and biology. These scientists conduct complex research projects examining the chemical and physical characteristics of biological processes. Their research may be used to study how things like drugs and hormones affect cell development, DNA, disease and more. They typically work in a laboratory setting and may oversee teams of laboratory workers. They are also responsible for presenting their findings in technical reports and detailed research papers. Most of these scientists need a Ph.D. to conduct research, but jobs are available for those with a bachelor's or master's degree.
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians
Veterinary technologists and technicians assist veterinarians in the diagnoses and treatment of a variety of animals. They help veterinarians examine animals, feed and exercise the animals, observe animals for illness or injury and administer medications and vaccinations as needed. The part of their job that combines chemistry and biology is when they are required to collect various tissue and other biological samples for medical testing. They may use chemistry to help diagnose different illnesses and conditions an animal has. Veterinary technologists and technicians need to be certified or hold a license, but technologists generally have a 4-year degree, while technicians have a 2-year degree.
Biological technicians are similar to veterinary technologists and technicians in that they combine chemistry and biology and run a variety of laboratory tests and experiments, but they may work on human lab samples. These technicians usually work with a biological or medical scientist to conduct biological tests on samples like bacteria cultures, blood and more. They must take detailed notes of their procedures and results in order to interpret and present their findings. Biological technicians need a bachelor's degree and some laboratory experience.
Agricultural and Food Scientists
Agricultural and food scientists research and conduct experiments on things like crops and farm animals to try and improve efficiency, sustainability and the safety of producing different kinds of agricultural products. This involves chemistry as they study the composition of soil or test food for safety, as well as biology when they work with animals and/or run laboratory tests on biological samples. Agricultural and food scientists work closely with farmers and present their findings to the farmers, the public and others in the scientific community. These professionals have at least a bachelor's degree.
Environmental Scientists and Specialists
Environmental scientists and specialists protect the environment and human health by conducting fieldwork to monitor different environments and their conditions. They combine chemistry and biology during their data collection and analysis phase, as they collect air, soil and water samples for testing in the lab. They may check the samples for pollution or other contamination, as well as check for levels of chemicals that may begin to harm or affect plants, animals and even people. They present their findings, suggest and implement solutions and then carefully monitor the progress in the environment. Environmental scientists and specialists usually have a bachelor's degree in a natural science.
Forensic Science Technicians
Forensic science technicians use chemistry and biology to help them perform chemical and biological analysis on evidence compiled from crime scenes. Some forensic science technicians may specialize in collecting the evidence at crime scenes, taking pictures, making observations and more, while other technicians may specialize in the laboratory side of the profession. Those in the lab are the ones who typically use chemistry and biology as they try to link a suspect to a crime scene through evidence like DNA. These professionals receive on-the-job training, but usually hold a bachelor's degree in biology, chemistry or forensic science.