What are the Different Biochemistry Jobs?

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Because biochemistry is an interdisciplinary field to begin with, joining elements of biology with elements of chemistry, the possibilities for biochemistry jobs are wide and range across a number of fields. Because of this, some biochemistry jobs may be advertised with the names of fields or areas other than biochemistry. Biochemical jobs may show up as biomedical jobs, like vaccine research. hormone production, studies in virology or immunology; food science jobs in areas ranging from quality control to nutritional analysis; plant science jobs ranging from forestry to horticulture; or zoology jobs in areas from marine biology to entomology.

Biochemists may work in the entomology field.
Biochemists may work in the entomology field.

People with biochemistry degrees from community colleges can find biochemistry jobs as technicians in research laboratories, carrying out work that allows the researchers time to turn their attention elsewhere. They may find jobs in hospitals, public health facilities, and biomedical research laboratories.

Biochemists may work for the FBI.
Biochemists may work for the FBI.

College graduates with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry have more options. They can work in a range of fields including health care, law, biotechnology, pharmacology, biochemical engineering, toxicology, animal science, teaching, and food science. With a master’s degree, one has all these employment possibilities, plus some that may arise from specialized master’s programs that focus on material not covered as an undergraduate, like focused study of bioinformatics or computational biology. In addition, the holder of a master’s degree may receive preference in hiring.

A biochemistry researcher may oversee experiments conducted by technicians in a laboratory.
A biochemistry researcher may oversee experiments conducted by technicians in a laboratory.

Biochemistry jobs are offered to candidates with a bachelor’s or a master’s degree by a wide range of employers. Federal and state governments use biochemists, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Institute of Health (NIH), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Pharmaceutical companies, K-12 schools—provided the candidate has a teaching degree, and biotechnology companies are other potential employers. And law enforcement uses biochemists in agencies from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to state forensics labs to private laboratories.

People with biochemical degrees from community colleges can find biochemistry jobs as technicians in research laboratories.
People with biochemical degrees from community colleges can find biochemistry jobs as technicians in research laboratories.

The Ph.D. degree confers on its holder the credentials to direct biochemical research programs, become a college or university professor in the field of biochemistry, or hold an executive position in one’s field in a government or industry setting. Biochemists with doctorates often combine teaching and research.

Vaccine research is a type of biochemical job.
Vaccine research is a type of biochemical job.
Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth

Mary Elizabeth is passionate about reading, writing, and research, and has a penchant for correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to contributing articles to wiseGEEK about art, literature, and music, Mary Elizabeth is a teacher, composer, and author. She has a B.A. from the University of Chicago’s writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont, and she has written books, study guides, and teacher materials on language and literature, as well as music composition content for Sibelius Software.

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Discussion Comments

watson42

@stolaf23, I think it also helps to point out even "health care" as a profession can be so much more diverse than just the various kinds of doctor a person could be. There are technicians, consultants, medical lawyers, and all sorts of researchers and engineers that work right in the field of revolutionizing medicine as well.

stolaf23

When you talk about jobs for things like biochemistry or even just biology, I think a lot of people overlook the options beyond becoming a doctor, the one so often put at the top of the list these days.

Yes, working as a doctor has its rewards and can pay well, but it isn't for everyone, and a lot of the other things mentioned here can be really rewarding careers as well. Things like research,pharmacology, or law can all make a difference in their own way.

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