Students learn the fundamentals of biotechnology through a 2-year associate's degree program. In addition to math and science coursework, programs require hands-on laboratory training. Students work with DNA, cells, enzymes, and other biological agents. Graduates find employment in entry-level biotechnology positions, including jobs as manufacturing, research, and lab technicians. Applicants to these programs must have a high school diploma or GED, and previous related science and math coursework is recommended.
Associate Degree in Biotechnology
Biotechnology programs begin with introductory science and math coursework before transitioning to specialized biology and chemistry classes. Colleges recommend that prospective students have previous high school or work experience in the areas of biology, chemistry, and algebra.
- Molecular biology
- Technical writing
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, biological technicians held 79,300 jobs in 2014. They can expect 5% job growth from 2014-2024, which is about average compared to other professions. In May 2015, biological technicians earned a median hourly wage of $20.02.
Students who have earned bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degrees may see enhanced career opportunities. A bachelor's degree may be the minimum requirement for many biotechnology technicians; however, graduates of associate's degree programs can often complete an accelerated bachelor's degree program by transferring credits.
An associate's degree in biotechnology gives students an overview of biology, chemistry, and biotechnology to prepare them for higher undergraduate programs, graduate degree programs, or a career as a biological technician.