Biotechnology careers

Biotechnology is an ever-changing, interdisciplinary industry that aims to create solutions for a range of scientific sectors (including genetics, medicine and immunology).

Biotechnology combines processes from both biology and technology fields to create products and technologies that help to improve people's lives and the health of the planet. It should therefore come as no surprise that many science graduates opt to pursue a career in biotechnology.

With the industry being as vast as it is, there are many different biotechnology career options available. Here, we take a look at some of the most in-demand biotechnology careers and the requirements that come with them!

 

Biochemist

A biochemist studies the chemical properties of biological processes and living things, such as disease, cell growth and development. They perform complex research projects and frequently isolate, analyse and synthesise DNA, carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and other types of molecules. They also research the effects of hormones, drugs and nutrients on tissues and biological processes in order to develop products and processes that may improve human health.

Education Requirements: Doctorate in biochemistry

Salary:

  • Graduate - £18,000 to £28,000
  • PhD - £28,000 to £32,000
  • Senior - £35,000 to £40,000
  • Leadership - £45,000 to £50,000
  • Management - £50,000 to £55,000+

Career Prospects: As your career progresses, you're likely to move into more senior roles that involve leading a team / project and making key decisions. With further experience, you may start to oversee the work of a wider multi-disciplinary team and become more involved in strategic decisions and the planning of research.

 

Microbiologist

A microbiologist studies viruses, bacteria and the immune system to create biomedical and industrial products. They perform complex research projects and lab experiments that help in the diagnosis and treatment of infectious illnesses.

Education Requirements: Bachelor's degree in microbiology, biochemistry or related field. PhD required to conduct independent research.

Salary: £31,000 to £100,000+ depending on experience and further qualifications.

Career Prospects: There are generally very good opportunities for career progression within microbiology. It's possible to move from practitioner, to specialist, to team manager and then consultant. At senior levels, there will be more responsibility for the work of the lab and staff management.

 

Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineers combine biology and engineering expertise to design solutions for issues within the spheres of both biology and medicine. With the aim to enhance the quality and effectiveness of patient healthcare, they develop biomedical devices, equipment and medical software such as prostheses, artificial organs and diagnostic machines.

Education Requirements: Bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering, which comprises a combination of biology and engineering courses.

Salary: £23,000 to £43,000 within public sectors. £21,000 to £45,000 within private sectors.

Career Prospects: UK biomedical engineers can, broadly speaking, choose from three main areas to work in: the industry, the NHS, or research. Research will typically involve undertaking a PhD, followed by a role at a university or academic institute. Working within the industry involves securing a job after your degree and starting to work your way up. Senior posts may offer roles in management, production and marketing. The NHS route involves a clear structure within the early years, and the possibility to progress to more senior roles later in your career.

 

Epidemiologist

The role of an epidemiologist involves learning how diseases are spread via people or animals, with their ultimate goal being to completely stop the spread of disease. Since biotechnology utilises farm animals such as chickens and pigs that can carry diseases which mutate and affect humans, epidemiologists are vitally important to ensuring food chain safety.

Education Requirements: Master's degree in epidemiology or an MPH; requirements include coursework in statistics, life sciences and biology.

Salary: £24,000 to £105,000 depending on experience and responsibility.

Career Prospects: There is a structured career path within both the NHS and Public Health England (PHE). Once qualified, you can progress through the grades by gaining experience and completing further study and research.

 

These are just some of the most in-demand biotechnology careers that you can pursue. Click the link below to view a wider range of biotechnology job listings from Hyper Recruitment Solutions!

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Science jobs no degree

Are you passionate about pursuing a career in science, but unsure how to without a degree ?

Don't worry - although lots of science jobs do require you to have a degree, all hope is not lost. We have selected just some of the science jobs you can do without a degree to give you an insight into the type of work you may be able to get, but there are lots of other examples out there!

Nursing Assistant

If you've always aspired to work in a hospital, caring for people and working alongside highly-trained doctors and other medical professionals, this career path could be perfect for you. Nursing assistants help doctors and nurses with their duties, including feeding, cleaning and moving the patients whenever necessary.

Nursing assistants are also trained in basic medical care so that they can be of assistance during patient emergencies. Although you won't need a formal degree to apply for this type of job, you will need to:

  • Complete a nursing / caregiving education program of some sort
  • Pass a competency exam
  • Get some clinical work experience under your belt

If you love looking after people and thrive under pressure, why not consider becoming a nursing assistant? This can be a great stepping stone towards a more senior medical role in the future.

Laboratory Assistant

Many companies hire laboratory assistants to help senior members of staff, such as researchers, complete lengthy or difficult projects.

The perfect candidate for this job is a highly-organised individual who is capable of following precise instructions and willing to learn from others. As a lab assistant, you may be asked to:

  • Prepare laboratory equipment
  • Set up and carry out experiments
  • Clean the equipment afterwards

This type of role gives you a great insight into the inner workings of a laboratory and can be a great way of earning valuable experience that can be parlayed into a more advanced laboratory role later in life. Many laboratory technicians praise their jobs for being closely linked to 'real' science and thoroughly fascinating to boot!

Science Teacher for Young Children

If you don't mind putting on a bit of a show and bringing lots of energy to the workplace, why not consider being a science instructor for young children? Many jobs of this nature require you to have:

  • Some experience working with children
  • A science, maths or teaching background
  • Confidence when presenting and entertaining

This type of science job doesn't require you to have a degree, can be very rewarding, and may even be suitable for you if you're looking for a part-time position while you study towards a degree.

If none of these jobs take your fancy, don't worry - there are all sorts of other science jobs listed here on the Hyper Recruitment Solutions website. Click the link below to browse our latest vacancies!

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Immunoassay Jobs

Immunoassay is a biochemical assessment that measures the concentration or presence of a macromolecule in a solution through the use of an antibody or antigen. If and when detected, the molecule is referred to as an 'analyte' and can be a range of different molecules, all of different forms and sizes, as long as the sufficient properties for the assay are created. Analytes in biological liquids such as urine are regularly measured using immunoassays for medical and research purposes.

Immunoassays come in a variety of different formats. Some assays are known as multi-step assays and are deployed - just as their name suggests - in multiple steps, with reagents being added and washed away or separated at various times. These are also commonly referred to as heterogeneous immunoassays or separation immunoassays.

Another type of immunoassay is known as a homogeneous or non-separation immunoassay. Here, the immunoassay is performed by simply mixing the reagents and sample, creating a physical measurement.

Calibrators are often used during immunoassays. These are solutions that are known to contain the analyte being tested, with the concentration of that analyte generally known. Being able to compare an assay's response to a real sample against the assay's response as a result of a calibrator enables researchers to interpret the signal strength in terms of the concentration or presence of an analyte in the sample.


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Immunoassays play a vital role in various bioanalytical settings such as food testing, security, clinical diagnostics and environmental monitoring. Therefore, talented individuals are required to fill important roles within various scientific establishments in order to continue the development of IAs. Immunoassays have come a long way over the last few decades, with technologies and increased understanding drastically shortening the IA procedure. With continued support, IA can progress even further.

We work with a number of the very best scientific organisations in the country, who are constantly looking to recruit the best talent available. With our help, we are able to pair these employers with gifted individuals who are ready to take the next big step in their career.

Click the link below to view all current immunoassay job vacancies.

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Research and development

Would you like to know what a typical science research and development job looks like? Perhaps you've studied a core science like biology or physics, and now you're not quite sure what career to pursue. Research and development (R&D) is an important part of almost every scientific industry, so you can be confident that there are lots of R&D jobs on offer at any given time.

Within the science industry, research and development jobs look like this:

  • Research involves exploring different materials, processes and phenomena. Someone who works in scientific research designs and conducts experiments, observes and analyses results, and draws conclusions from their findings.

  • Development uses the knowledge gained from the research to implement new products, procedures and services.


R&D Job Description

For most scientific research and development jobs, you will need to have a good degree (2:1 or above) in a relevant subject and some good experience working in a laboratory. Alternatively, you might be able to begin your career in R&D as a technician, but it can be tricky to progress without a degree. 

If you're currently working towards a scientific degree, you might be wondering how you can gain relevant laboratory experience in the meantime. Here are a few different ways you can gain lab experience:

  • Do a placement in a laboratory in a foreign country. There are often placements in laboratories abroad, and being open to travelling broadens your options!

  • Pursue a year in industry. Many universities offer this, and even if it isn't a typical part of your course, it's always worth asking. Most universities will try to accommodate you.

  • Try to pick a final-year project which allows you to work in the laboratory. Being able to demonstrate a good understanding and interest in scientific research and development looks great to employers.

If you have completed your degree and you're ready to start pursuing an R&D job, we at Hyper Recruitment Solutions can offer you helpful career and interview advice. We also have a range of current job vacancies in research and development roles that you can browse and apply for!

Click the link below to browse the latest R&D jobs with Hyper Recruitment Solutions.

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According to the British Toxicology Society, the primary purpose of any toxicologist's job is “to help us avoid chemical injury or manage accidental exposure of humans or the environment”.

Essentially, toxicologists observe the impact of chemicals, medicines and toxic materials on living organisms, focusing on preventing, diagnosing and treating adverse effects of toxicants.

With substantial implications for human health, wildlife and the environment, jobs in toxicology are extremely important and require highly skilled and qualified practitioners.

Toxicology Jobs

Types of Toxicology Jobs

When diving into the world of professional toxicology, it’s important to note that not all toxicology jobs are the same. There are a number of sub-groups that toxicologist jobs fall into, broadly categorised under three primary labels:

- Medical toxicology

A sub-division of medicine, medical toxicology is concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of adverse effects relating to medications, toxicants and biological agents. Medical toxicology jobs typically require physician status.

- Clinical toxicology

Closely related to medical toxicology, clinical toxicology also covers the diagnosis and treatment of patients who have been exposed to toxic substances. Not requiring physician status, this field is accessible to other appropriately-qualified health professionals, including nurses, pharmacists and allied health professionals.

- Computational toxicology

As the name suggests, computational toxicology primarily focuses on the development and implementation of computer-based models to better understand and predict the adverse effects of chemicals, including pharmaceuticals and environmental pollutants.


Toxicology Job Requirements

A typical toxicologist job description will include a laundry list of duties and responsibilities; however, before anything else can be considered, these vacancies will also come with a number of essential criteria attached.

These typically include:

Relevant qualifications

Like any scientific profession, toxicology requires you to be appropriately qualified. This will usually mean holding a relevant degree in a life sciences discipline (e.g. toxicology, biomedicine, pharmacology, etc).

Industry knowledge / experience

Most toxicology job vacancies will also require a certain amount of job experience and/or training. This often includes experience of product-related risk assessments and knowledge of effective testing protocols to identify potential health hazards.

Appropriate certification

Some toxicology jobs also require applicants to be verified by a trusted health science or professional medical authority as proof that they are accredited to carry out certain tasks. This may include registration with the Health & Care Professions Council or certification as a European Registered Toxicologist.


Duties and Responsibilities of Toxicology Jobs

Toxicologists are tasked with creating and developing efficient ways to identify potential hazards relating to chemicals and physical agents. This also extends to assessing the relative dosage of these substances, monitoring the amount that will cause these harmful effects, and identifying how substances can be used safely.

Knowledge of diseases caused by exposure to chemicals or physical substances is essential, as is the continued research of the associated basic molecular, biochemical and cellular processes. Through controlled studies, you will be required to help establish and update industry rules and regulations, with the primary focus being on protecting and preserving human health and the environment.

Toxicology is classified as an “integrative science”, which means that most toxicologists will work with fellow scientists specialising in other areas as part of a collaborative team. As such, a co-operative, synergistic approach to work is also essential.

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