Biochemistry Careers: What You Can Do With This Degree

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What You Can Do with a Biochemistry Degree

If you want to work right out of school with a bachelor's degree in biochemistry, you can pursue entry-level careers in many areas of science such as medicine, agriculture and the environment. Pursuing a graduate degree will help you qualify for careers in research, teaching, and applied careers.

 

Entry-level careers can be found in many areas of science such as medicine, agriculture and the environment. But that’s just the tip of the career options iceberg.

 

Because of the transferable, and highly employable skills you can develop during your studies, you have the choice to pursue a career outside of science altogether - meaning you could end up working as anything from an accountant to an event planner or even a sales manager.

 

Undergraduate biochemistry programs are also very effective preparation for a variety of graduate programs in the physical sciences. Such a degree can lead to many different careers in research, teaching, consulting, and applied science.

 

Biochemistry degrees are also excellent preparation for professional programs in a wide variety of fields, ranging from dentistry and medicine, to business administration and law. This makes biochemistry an excellent option if you’re considering a career in any of these areas.

 

 

What is Biochemistry?

Biochemistry is the study of molecules and mechanisms in living organisms. Its goal is to understand and explain the operation of living organisms by examining their chemical, molecular, and cellular properties.

Through coursework and lab work, biochemistry you’ll explore the structure and function of the key biomolecules (proteins, lipids, carbohydrates and nucleic acids) that allow the growth and development of all organisms.

 

In addition to covering the fundamentals of biomolecules, coursework in most biochemistry degree programs also cover the principles of biochemistry, principles of genetics, metabolism and molecular biology, general microbiology, physical chemistry and other areas.

 

 

 

The Role of Biochemistry in Industry

Biochemistry plays an important role in a wide variety of areas. Progress in this field has applications that span areas such as agriculture, the environment, medicine, cosmetics, and a variety of others. In fact, developments in biochemistry lead all the way to law and public policy.

 

Thanks to biochemistry, we can screen unborn babies for disease, develop new medicines to treat and cure various diseases, protect crops from pests and disease, combat pollution, design products that are biocompatible, and do many other things to make our food, bodies, and planet safer.

 

In industry, biochemistry is often a collaborative field. Biochemists typically work with professionals from various fields to accomplish their goals. These professionals can range from other scientists, to engineers, to marketing and sales teams, to legal professionals, and everyone in between!

 

 

Careers with a Biochemistry Degree

A degree in biochemistry serves as an excellent foundation for careers both in and out of science, including:

 

Bio-Analyst

Biochemist

Biologist

Biomedical Engineer

Biostatistician

Blogger

Brewmaster

Cell Biologist

Chemical Engineer

Chemical Oceanographer

Chiropractor

Clinical Chemist

Clinical Data Analyst

Clinical Research Associate

Clinical Research Coordinator

Clinical Technician

Crime Lab Assistant

Dentist

DNA Analyst

Doctor

Elementary School Teacher

Entomologist

Entrepreneur

Epidemiologist

Food and Drug Inspector

Food Chemist

Food Microbiologist

Food Safety Auditor

Food Scientist

Forensic Chemist

Forensic Lab Analyst

High School Teacher

Hydrologist

Journalist

Laboratory Manager

Medical Laboratory Technologist

Medical Writer

Microbiologist

Organic Chemist

Patent Agent

Pest Control Technician

Petroleum Chemist

Pharmaceutical Chemist

Pharmacist

Pharmacologist

Quality Control Specialist

Regulatory Affairs Manager

Regulatory Affairs Specialist

Research Assistant

Sales Representative

Science Advisor

Science Writer

Toxicologist

University Professor

Water Purification Chemist

Water Quality Analyst

 

Please Note: Some of the above listed careers require additional education, training and/or experience. Click on careers that are of interest to you to find out more about the qualifications you’ll need.

 

 

Who Employs Biochemistry Graduates?

The following list is a brief sampling of the kind of employers (in career fields directly related to biochemistry) that might hire you as a biochemistry graduate, as well as a brief overview of the type of function you may be hired to carry out.

 

• Agribusiness Companies: Developing safer and more effective agricultural products

• Hospital Laboratories: Analyzing samples from patients to provide treatment advice

• Pharmaceutical Companies: Developing drugs and other pharmaceutical products

• University Laboratories: Researching anything from gene therapy to disease treatments

• Cosmetic Companies: Creating safer and more effective products

• Food Product Development or Regulation Companies: Ensuring the safety of food

• Law Firms: Dealing with scientific cases

• Government (all levels): Providing advice on the latest scientific issues

• Sales and Marketing Firms: Marketing and selling the latest technology

• Publishing Companies: Commissioning, proofreading and peer reviewing scientific articles 

 

 

Job Postings Related to Your Biochemistry Degree!

Whether you're a student looking for a job to help you pay for school, or a graduate looking for an entry or mid-level job, our job board has opportunities directly and indirectly related to your degree.

 

 

Job Board for Biochemistry Students & Grads

Biochemistry Jobs

 

Jobs Boards for Similar Fields:

Biology Jobs

Chemistry Jobs

 

 

 

Transferrable Skills You Can Gain from Biochemistry

As a biochemistry graduate, your career options aren’t just limited to scientific professions. Because of the transferable skills you’ll gain, you’ll make a competent employee in almost any industry, and in virtually any profession. For example, you could end up working as anything from an accountant to a marketing manager or event planner.

 

The transferable skills you can gain in biochemistry include:

 

• Analytical skills

• Numeracy and math

• Preparing reports

• Presentation skills

• Time management

• Problem solving and logical thinking

• Skills with various computer applications

• Planning skills

• Observational skills

 

 

 

 

Areas of Specialty for Biochemistry Study and Careers

Since biochemistry is a fairly broad field, it allows you to specialize in a variety of areas, depending on what your personal, academic and professional interest are. For example, you may choose to pursue further study, or a career in one of the following areas of biochemistry (not a comprehensive list):

 

Antibiotics: Class of natural and synthetic compounds that inhibits the growth of, or kills, other micro-organisms.

 

Proteomics: The study and cataloging of proteins in the human body. What are the component proteins, how they interact with each other, what kinds of metabolic networks or signaling networks they form, etc. These proteins and how they interact with each other may hold the keys to curing diseases in humans or targets for drug development.

 

Genomics: Large-scale investigation of the structure and function of genes. This knowledge aids in drug discovery and development, agro-science research, as well as other fields.

 

Neurobiology: Branch of biology that deals with the anatomy and physiology and pathology of the nervous system.

 

Neurochemistry: Includes research on the molecular, chemical, and cellular biology of the nervous system.

 

Reproductive Biochemistry: The study of the biochemistry, physiology, endocrinology, cell biology, genetics and molecular biology relating to human and animal reproduction.

 

Molecular Biology: The study of genetic composition and the mechanisms of living organisms at the molecular level.

 

Immunology: The study of disorders and treatments of the immune system including its structure and function, disorders of the immune system, immunization and organ transplantation.

 

Biotechnology: Use of living organisms to make a product or run a process developed through basic research and now applied to research and product development.

 

Genetic Engineering: The manipulation of an organism's genetic material to modify the proteins it produces, the selective, deliberate alteration of genes.

 

Toxicology: The study of the harmful effects of substances on the body, including the level of toxicity, the mechanism by which toxicity occurs and how it can be controlled, the study of the harmful effects of chemicals on the health of organisms.

 

Enzymology: The branch of biochemistry dealing with the chemical nature and biological activity of enzymes.

 

Bio-inorganic Chemistry: Knowledge of biological functions of metal complexes in living organisms.

 

 

Employability Tip: Consider an Advanced Degree

An advanced degree (such as a professional, master’s or doctoral degree) enables you to develop highly specialized knowledge. This can open the doors to careers that aren’t accessible with only an undergraduate degree, including many research, consulting and teaching positions.

 

A Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry serves as excellent preparation for further study in various fields. If you are considering a career in a field related to biochemistry, then you should strongly consider further study. This may be in the form of a graduate or professional degree in one of the following fields:

 

• Medicine

• Veterinary Medicine

• Dentistry

• Nutrition

• Pharmacy

• Business Administration

• Law

• Areas of specialty within biochemistry (listed below)

 

 

FIND A SCHOOL >

 

Factors that Affect What You Could Earn as a Biochemistry Graduate

The salary you could earn as a biochemistry graduate depends on what career you pursue. For example, if you go on to become a food microbiologist, your earnings may be different, for better or for worse, from what you would earn if you choose to become a medical equipment sales representative. Other than your chosen profession, other factors that will influence your level of earnings can include:

 

• Your level of education (such as if you went on to graduate studies)

• The industry in which you find work

• The type of job you have

• The size and type of your employer

• The region in which you work

• Other work experience you may have accrued

• Other skills you may have

 

 

Some Actual Salary Figures

Biochemistry Graduate Salary Ontario: According to a study in 2011 conducted by the Ontario Council of Universities, $42,181 CAD* is the average salary earned by graduates in the “Agricultural and Biological Sciences” category, 2 years after graduating from Ontario universities in 2010.

 

*This figure is a composite of all graduates who earned a Bachelor’s degree in “Agricultural and Biological Sciences”, not specifically for biochemistry graduates. Unfortunately, similar statistics for other Canadian provinces and the United States cannot be found from reputable sources.

 

Success Tip: To get a better idea of what you could earn, click on some of the career fields listed above, in the "Career Guides Related to a Biochemistry Degree" section. There will be more specific salary information if you search by occupation, rather than by degree.

 

 

Biochemistry Scholarships

If you’re a biochemistry student looking for help in paying for school, then you’re in luck! Our scholarships database has scholarships that are specific to your field of study, as well as those that are open to any field of study.

 

Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any and all scholarships for which you qualify, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships in Canada and the United States that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants.

 

 

Professional Associations for Career Fields in Biochemistry

To find out more about careers directly related to your biochemistry degree, consult the following professional association websites. They offer career-related information, and many have opportunities for student membership, as well as job placement and mentoring opportunities.

 

Canada

BIOTECanada

Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Canadian Society for Molecular Biosciences

ExPASy

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada

Research Canada

 

United States

American Association for Clinical Chemistry

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Biochemical Society

 

International

International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

 

 


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