Researchers in biotechnology typically enter the industry in one of three tracks, although they use their expertise in biological processes and lab research in similar ways. Biotechnologists identify practical uses of biological material – including the physical, chemical, and genetic properties of cells – to improve agricultural, environmental, or pharmaceutical products, although biotechnologists also work in related capacities, as in marine biotechnology. Advanced degree candidates in environmental and biological science often transition into research and development (R&D) roles at major corporations specializing in food science and pharmaceutical aims, including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Baxter, although others have worked in marketing and sales roles.
A successful researcher in the biotechnology industry has a demonstrated capacity to:
- Design and conduct lab experiments autonomously and collaboratively
- Document, interpret and present experiment results
- Incorporate the latest findings from the wider scientific community into research methods and interpretation of findings
- Rely on state-of-the-art technology when conducting experiments
- Conduct investigative procedures in relevant fields of expertise, including pharmacology, environmental biology, or molecular biology
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in biotechnology fields – including biochemistry, earn a median salary of $91, 190, although salaries vary for scientists working in other capacities, including environmental science and pharmacology. Employers in biotechnology industries often seek candidates with advanced degrees (Ph.D., M.D., and M.S. with additional experience) and significant laboratory experience, along with proficiency in communicating their expertise via Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and relevant scientific software.
Biotechnology Communities and Professional Associations:
- Biotechnology Innovation Organization
- Massachusetts Biotechnology Council
Biotechnology Job Boards:
- AGCareers.com: A major employment platform for careers in biotechnology, including agriculture and food science.
- PharmaDiversity Job Board: This niche job search platform specializes in connecting minority applicants with employment in pharmaceutical and biotechnology jobs.
- CareerVitals: This platform is devoted to a wide range of jobs in health care, including jobs in biotechnology research and development.
- BioSpace: This platform is a job board related to the influential professional association, BioSpace.
- IFT Career Center: This board features jobs for food scientists.