Area

Employer


Area:

Research

Sub-Area:
  • Basic Research
  • Applied Research
  • Grant Writing
  • Administration

  • Some areas of specialization:
    • Healthcare: virology, immunology, enzymology
    • Pharmacology: drug properties, interactions, application and development
    • Environmental: testing, air, water, and waste management, regulation
    • Agricultural: crop production, herbicide/pesticide development and application
    • Food science: preservation, nutrition
    • Cosmeceutical: development and application
    • Forensic: toxicology, DNA analysis, scientific instrumentation
Employers:
  • University laboratories
  • Federal government laboratories/agencies:
    • National Science Foundation
    • National Institutes of Health
    • Food and Drug Administration
    • Environmental Protection Agency
    • Department of Agriculture
    • Department of Energy
    • Armed Services
  • State and local government laboratories/agencies
  • Public health departments
  • Hospital laboratories
  • Commercial medical laboratories
  • Private testing laboratories including forensics
  • Independent research foundations
  • Industries:
    • Pharmaceutical
    • Biotechnology
    • Food processing
    • Cosmetic
    • Chemical
    • Petroleum
    • Agricultural

Area:

Teaching

Sub-Area:
  • Elementary
  • Secondary
  • Post-secondary
  • Non-classroom settings
Employers:
  • Public and private schools, K-12
  • Two-year community colleges/technical institutes
  • Four-year institutions
  • Professional schools including colleges of pharmacy, dentistry, medicine, veterinary medicine, and agriculture
  • Museums
  • Zoos
  • Nature centers and parks

Area:

Healthcare

Sub-Area:
  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Optometry
  • Podiatry
  • Pharmacy
  • Chiropracty
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Public Health
Employers:
  • Hospitals
  • Colleges or universities
  • Medical centers and clinics
  • Private and group practice
  • Health networks
  • Nursing homes
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Correctional facilities
  • Large corporations
  • Armed services
  • Government agencies
  • State and local public health departments

Area:

Other Professional Opportunities

Sub-Area:
  • Sales/Marketing
  • Technical Writing
  • Scientific Journalism
  • Scientific Illustration
  • Regulatory Affairs
  • Administration/Management
  • Scientific/Technical Recruiting
  • Intellectual Property/Patent Law
  • Bioinformatics
Employers:
  • Biotechnology industry
  • Pharmaceutical and chemical companies
  • Publishers: Textbook, magazine, newspaper, book
  • Software firms
  • Regulatory agencies
  • Search firms
  • Law firms
  • Legal departments of corporations

General Information and Strategies

  • Biochemists are typically curious and creative with strong observational skills and the ability to persevere.
  • Biochemists often interact with scientists from other disciplines. Learn to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Develop the ability to communicate clearly to compile and share results in oral and written forms.
  • Gain competencies in computers and mathematics.
  • Read scientific journals to stay current on relevant issues in the field, and join related professional organizations to network and build contacts.
  • As an undergraduate, seek laboratory experiences such as research projects, volunteering with professors, summer jobs, or internships.
  • Visit government laboratories or research centers to learn more about opportunities in biochemistry. Schedule informational interviews to learn about the profession and specific career paths.
  • Participate in research programs sponsored by organizations like the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.
  • Consider a certificate program or specialized master's program to qualify for research technician positions.
  • Become familiar with the specific entrance exam for graduate or professional schools in your area of interest.
  • Maintain a high grade point average, and secure strong faculty recommendations.
  • Earn master's degree for greater variety and autonomy on the job.
  • Earn Ph.D. to work on high-level research projects, to direct research programs, to enter high levels of administration, and to teach at four-year post-secondary institutions. Postdoctoral fellowships may also be required.
  • Combine an undergraduate degree in biochemistry with a degree in law, computer programming, business, education, information science, or other discipline to expand career opportunities.
  • Learn the job application process for government positions.