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!
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
- 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.
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 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.
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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