Biotechnology is one of the most progressive sectors of science. It is the scientific discipline that focuses on advancing the conditions of living organisms. It is an interdisciplinary field that includes Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Computing. The conjunction of the knowledge of all these sectors combines biology with technology and therefore has a widespread application from industries like textiles to pharmaceuticals. It is one of the fastest-growing fields with ample opportunities.
Below listed are a few of the jobs you can consider applying for in the biotech sector.
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Biochemistry is the branch of science that deals with the study of the molecules of life. It is a case of emergent properties i.e. about the properties that arise when certain biochemicals come together. Biochemists study these chemical and physical principles of biological processes, such as cell development, growth, heredity and disease, or try to understand and solve specific biological problems. Biochemistry has a very wide range of application, but many of the duties that biochemists do in these different fields are similar. They plan and conduct experiments that isolate and analyze hormones, enzymes, and toxins to determine the effects it has on biological processes. They also develop new analytical techniques to detect metabolites or various substances or study biological processes. They share their findings by writing reports, recommendations or scientific articles, or by presenting at scientific conferences.
Biochemists earn about $91,000 annually and usually require a PhD degree to work independently, which usually takes about six years. On the path to a PhD in biochemistry one needs to complete his/her undergraduate in biology, chemistry, physics or biochemistry with the additional computer and mathematical classes. Students narrow down their interests inside the field of biochemistry to clinical biochemistry, food biochemistry, etc. for their graduate degree.
Microbiology, as the name suggests, is the study of microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, algae, protozoan, etc. which are generally too little to see through naked eyes. Microbiologists are scientists who study these microscopic organisms and try to solve a range of problems affecting health, environment, climate or agriculture. Solutions to these problems include measures for its prevention, diagnosis and control of infections and disease, food safety and developing green technologies by understanding the roles of microbes.
As microbiology is a vast subject that overlaps with other life sciences, the typical workplace of a microbiologist is usually in medicine, healthcare or environment. Depending on the area of expertise, a microbiologists work can vary from managing infections to studying crop samples. The median pay of a microbiologist is $71,650 annually, and the job opportunities are expected to grow by 5-8% per year. The way to specialize in microbiology is the same as any other biotech degree. First, one needs an undergraduate degree in biology, microbiology, chemistry with knowledge in computing and math, then you specialize in your graduate and PhD studies.
Engineering is a very innovative field that includes coming up with ideas and developing them into a reality. Biomedical engineering is the application of this innovative thinking and problem-solving techniques of engineering in biology and medicine. A biomedical engineer analyzes and designs solutions to problems in biology and medicine in order to improve the quality of life. These solutions may be computer software or equipment and devices. Biomedical Engineer’s field of work is to advance diagnostic, analytical and therapeutic health care methods. Their work’s application can be seen in development of pacemakers, micro-implants, imaging, and other clinical types of equipment.
Biomedical engineers work in a wide variety of settings and disciplines with a median annual wage of $88,550. Some biomedical engineers work in hospitals whereas some work in laboratories. They often work in a team with other professionals, create equipment, install them, measure the outcomes and research on advancing technologies. In order to pursue this career one needs an undergraduate degree in physics, engineering or biomedical science. Specialization is then done is graduate study.
Food scientists study the makeup of the food. They study the microbiological, physical and chemical properties of food and ingredients to make sure they are safe. They also research, create or improve food and food processes. Food science includes extensive use of chemistry, microbiology, engineering, and other sciences in order to analyze the food contents, research ways to package food safely and determine the best ways to create process, package, preserve, store, and distribute food.
Most food scientists work in the research and development departments of food processing companies whereas some work in quality control, as supervisors, in advertising or in research. The average annual salary for food scientists is above $60,000 and job opportunities are projected to grow seven percent in the next ten years, faster than the average for all occupations. Becoming a food scientist requires an undergraduate degree only, but many choose to specialize it with further studies.
Biological technicians are laboratory assistants responsible for doing scientific tests, experiments and analyze them. They usually work under medical scientists, microbiologists or biologists. They use ideologies of science and math to help in their research’s development and improvement. In addition to the experiments, biological technicians set-up, operates and sanitizes lab equipment to ensure substances are not exposed to cross-contamination. Biological technicians also work in many research areas by administering new medicines and treatments, separate proteins, study microbes, identify organisms and their functions, sequence DNA, etc. and be a part of major breakthroughs.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), career opportunities for biological technicians will increase significantly due to the new development in the biological sector and increased competition in this industry. The average annual salary is $45,000 annually. Students should take biology, biological technology or other related majors for their undergraduate studies. Additional computer and mathematics classes also aid in them becoming exceptional biological technicians.
Medical science is the science concerned with the study of the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. Medical scientists study and research human diseases and conditions to improve human health. Most medical scientists conduct experiments to advance their knowledge of life processes of infectious organisms and properties of other non-living agents that affect human health. They also study the human body’s minute parts and minor changes to understand the disease and treat it like studying chromosomal changes or cellular level activities. Their researches have resulted in the advancement of treatment and prevention of many diseases by the development of new vaccinations, drugs or other procedures.
Most medical scientists work with hospitals, or government laboratories, companies or research universities to explore different aspects of human health. In order to become a medical scientist one benefits from taking multiple sciences and mathematics classes during their undergraduate studies. After their undergraduate studies, they typically enroll in dual PhD programs which give them the required clinical skills as well as research skills. The average pay of medical scientists is $84,810. The job openings are projected to grow faster than average (more than 8% over the next 10 years).
Professors are a rank for teachers in the post-secondary level of education. Their main job is to teach university students, produce scholarly articles, and perform research. Their typical workplace is public and private colleges and universities, professional schools, junior or community colleges, and career and vocational schools. Professors develop a course plan and ensure that it meets college and department standards and work with students who are studying for a degree or certification to improve their knowledge or career skills. They also evaluate the students and advise what classes to take and how to reach their end goal.
Professors, alongside their personal research, have a direct hand in shaping and equipping young minds. In order to become a biotechnology professor, one needs to complete his doctorate level education biotechnology. It is very difficult to get into a post as a professor directly and therefore most people start as assistant professors. Biotechnology professors, in addition to huge amount of respect, can earn a median annual wage of $77,190.
Animal scientists specialize in domestic animal species and research on livestock to understand their biological and chemical processes by which the animal survives. They play a key role in maintaining and improving the world food supply. Their main focus during studying livestock is efficient food production. For this purpose, they explore genetic, nutrition, growth, reproduction and diseases and find out ways to improve production. In many cases, they cross-breed animals to improve characteristics and also work on reducing the livestock’s death rates.
An animal scientist typically works in research universities, industries, or for the government. Their work includes research, forming hypothesis by tabulating the data and finding out ways to tackle the problem or improve the current condition. The median salary an animal scientist is paid is $60,760. The projected percent change for animal scientist’s employment from 2019 to 2029 is 7%. To become an animal scientist, one needs a bachelor’s degree in science with coursework for an animal science degree. After this, many scientists go for a graduate or doctorate degree in order to access the field with more knowledge.
Genetic engineering is the direct manipulation of an organism’s DNA by molecular biological techniques. A genetic engineer is a highly trained individual who uses various tools and technologies to rearrange fragments of DNA. The overall goal of rearranging DNA is to add or remove DNA parts to modify the genetic makeup of the organism. This work involves using techniques to cut up and join together genetic materials of usually different biological species to produce the desirable hybrid which thrives better in the selected environment. Genetic engineering research has lead to numerous medical breakthroughs concerning antibiotics, diseases and hereditary problems. An example of genetic engineering is a plant that withstands herbicide or artificial insulin.
Becoming a genetic engineer is not an easy task. This field requires an undergraduate degree preferably in biochemistry or biophysics with skill in using computer programming efficiently. A bachelor or master’s degree is required for an entry-level job in this field whereas one needs a PhD to conduct independent research. For entry-level job at least three years in the field under the direct guidance of a supervisor is usually preferred. This field demands a strong understanding of scientific methods as well as complex problem solving and critical thinking skills. The median pay in this field is $86,000 annually.
The world is full of young creative thinkers. Entrepreneurship, being an industry that invites innovation, attracts many young minds. Entrepreneurship often starts with a technical background i.e. scientific laboratory research. It is often started by a group of scientists with years of experience, a young graduate or a business person may employ experts in a startup. Whatever the background of the startup maybe, an entrepreneur should have a number of qualities in order to become successful. The most important quality they need is being able to market themselves and their ideas or company to raise capital and secure funding. They also need to be innovative and goal-oriented. It extremely important to learn about the market and its trend to properly conduct the startup.
Starting a biotech company requires about $100,000 at least which can be managed through government and startup loans. The funds may increase if the company goes on a track that has promising outcomes and right now seems like a great time to be on the realm on startups.