biochemistry

So you've got a biochemistry degree - what's next?

You will have acquired / developed a wide range of specialised skills and invaluable experience as part of your degree, including the ability to understand complex biological processes. Your course will also have sharpened many of your more general skills, like numeracy and communication. But what happens once you've graduated and it's time to head into the wider science jobs market?

In truth, you may not feel ready to apply for science roles straight away. Indeed, many of those wishing to pursue bioscience careers undertake further studies first (a PhD, for example, is essential for academic research). Alternatively, you may decide to enter the general graduate jobs market or look to gain professional qualifications in a non-science field like teaching, law or finance.

However, for the purposes of this guide, we're going to assume that you want to turn your biochemistry degree into a scientific career right away.

Becoming a biochemist

As with other science jobs, work experience can play a big role in helping you to secure your dream biochem job. Having successfully completed a biochemistry degree, you will have already developed practical and technical skills through laboratory-based work and your final year research project, but you may further boost your marketability to employers by acquiring relevant work experience, such as in a research lab as part of a summer internship.

As one of the most respected science recruitment agencies in the UK, Hyper Recruitment Solutions is here to provide you with all the assistance that you require to secure a rewarding role in biochemistry after you graduate. When you're ready to start applying for jobs, we can provide CV and interview advice in addition to helping you find attractive biochemistry vacancies.

Developing your biochemistry career

Once you have secured a biochemistry role, you will develop your skills on the job, possibly as part of a structured graduate training programme provided by your employer. You may also seek to reinforce your professional scientist status and keep your biochemistry knowledge up to date through membership of a professional body, such as the Society of Biology or the Biochemical Society.

Your work as a biochemist will mainly take place in a laboratory, working from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Some jobs may require you to work shifts, as well as for longer hours during busy periods. Many biochemists also work on a part-time basis.

How much do biochemists earn?

As detailed by the National Careers Service, trainee clinical biochemists on the NHS Scientist Training Programme can expect to earn a salary of around £25,000 a year, from which point the NHS's Agenda for Change (AfC) pay structure applies. Qualified clinical biochemists in the NHS, for example, start in Band 6, earning between £26,302 and £35,225. With experience, you will have the option of applying for Band 7 jobs commanding salaries of up to £41,373.

Postdoctoral researchers and research fellows, meanwhile, can command salaries of £29,000 to £36,000 a year, and for research scientists in industry, the guideline wage is between £23,000 and £42,000 a year.

With biochemistry graduates employed by a wide range of public sector organisations (such as the Environment Agency and various government departments), as well as across a wide range of companies in such industries as biotechnology, agriculture, food and water, there's no question that a biochemistry degree will stand you in extremely good stead as you look to climb the career ladder.

Talk to the experts here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions about the best next steps to take after graduation.

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