Career Advice on How to Become A Biochemist or Biophysicist

General Career Information

A few careers can really confuse people.  If you want to see a really effective blank stare, simply tell the average person that you work as a biochemist or better yet, a biophysicist.  Most people will have no idea what a biochemist or biophysicist does on a daily basis, but the fact is that they do some of the more interesting work in all of science.

Biochemists and biophysicists study biological organisms, but do so in a considerably different way than biologists or medical doctors. Biochemists and biophysicists study how biology is influenced by energy, for example.  Their work may led them to explore brain functions, which can lead to new drugs, or they may study the chemical and molecular components of the immune system.  Because much of their work centers on the relationship between biology, chemistry and energy, their work can take them in a wide variety of paths.  This work can often lead to new understanding of biological processes and interactions, which, in turn, can lead to new drugs, treatments and discoveries.


Career Facts:

To get an idea of how varied this work can be, consider for a moment that biochemists and biophysicists may do work that is used in detecting disease. Or they may even work to study how x-rays can damage not just tissues but even cells.  If you are thinking that these must be some pretty brainy people, you are correct.


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook- Average:

Between now and 2016, the job outlook for biochemists and biophysicists is expected to be aboue average.  While the field of biotechnology is growing, there is a general consensus that governmental cutbacks may reduce the amount of research being done in the biotechnology.  This, of course, will impact the number of job openings, as competition for grants will intensify. 
Job Outlook is Fair

A Day in The Life:

A career as a biochemist or biophysicist is likely to vary greatly, due to the fact that biochemists and biophysicist study such a broad range of scientific interactions.  Often biochemists and biophysicists are expected to manage teams of scientists.  Many of the problems that biochemists and biophysicist work to solve will direct relate to human health and new discoveries about human health, which may lead to new treatments and new drugs.  In general, biochemists and biophysicist often work in lab settings.

Average Salary:

The earnings for biochemists and biophysicists can fluctuate considerably.  The average biochemist or biophysicist earns about $76,000 per year, with the top ten percent earning about $129,000.  The bottom ten percent of earners average about $41,000 annually.  Those biochemists and biophysicists in this earning bracket usually have a PhD in their field of study.



Career Training and Qualifications:

Normally, biochemists and biophysicist have a PhD in biology or a related field.  It is common that much of their work will be done in a lab setting.

Want to learn more about these careers?