Biochemists and Biophysicists

General Information

Description

Study the chemical composition or physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, growth, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, serums, hormones, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.

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Business Breakdown

People in this career work in these sectors.

  1. Private, for profit40.60%
  2. State and local government25.79%
  3. Federal government16.28%
  4. Private, not for profit13.57%
  5. Self-employed3.72%

Workplace at a Glance

What you can expect to experience while on the job

  • Responsibility
  • Exposure to job hazards
  • Physical activity
  • Decision making
  • Repetitiveness
  • Level of competition
  • Time pressure

Industry areas

  • Scientific Research and Development Services
  • Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing
  • Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools

Job Outlook

Employment of biochemists and biophysicists is projected to grow 11 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. More biochemists and biophysicists are expected to be needed to do basic research that increases scientific knowledge and to research and develop biological products and processes that improve people’s lives. Techniques, tools, and applications of biochemistry and biophysics are expanding as technology and knowledge progress. However, budgetary concerns may limit researchers’ access to funding for basic research. The aging population will drive demand for new drugs and procedures to cure and to prevent disease. This increased demand is, in turn, likely to drive demand for biochemists and biophysicists involved in biomedical research. For example, biochemists and biophysicists will be needed to conduct genetic research and to develop new medicines and treatments that are used to fight genetic disorders and diseases such as cancer. They will also be needed to develop new tests used to detect diseases and other illnesses. Areas of research and development in biotechnology other than health also are expected to provide employment growth for biochemists and biophysicists. These researchers will continue to study topics that advance our capabilities related to clean energy, efficient food production, and environmental protection.

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Salary

Average Salary

Salary

$103,430

Military salary*

$116,507

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State-by-state Salary

Gray states indicate no data available

$107,030
$33,410
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Education

Most Common Education Levels

People in this career achieve this level of education.

  • Doctoral degree 40%
  • Post-doctoral training 31%
  • Bachelor's degree 18%
  • Post baccalaureate 4%
  • First professional degree 4%
  • High school 0%
  • Some college 0%
  • Master's degree 0%
  • Associate's degree 0%
  • Less than high school 0%
  • Post-master's certificate 0%
  • Post-secondary certificate 0%

Knowledge

  • Biology
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • English Language

Skills at a Glance

Skills helpful in this career

  • Verbal skills
  • Critical thinking & problem solving
  • Equipment operation & maintenance
  • Math & science skills
  • Technology design & control
  • Leadership
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