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Biochemist or Biophysicist

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Life As a Biochemist or Biophysicist

Job Description & Duties 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.

Daily Life Of a Biochemist or Biophysicist

  • Share research findings by writing scientific articles or by making presentations at scientific conferences.
  • Examine the molecular or chemical aspects of immune system functioning.
  • Produce pharmaceutically or industrially useful proteins, using recombinant DNA technology.
  • Prepare pharmaceutical compounds for commercial distribution.
  • Develop or test new drugs or medications intended for commercial distribution.
  • Research how characteristics of plants or animals are carried through successive generations.

Skills Needed to be a Biochemist or Biophysicist

Below is a list of the skills most Biochemists and Biophysicists say are important on the job.

Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

  • Chief Scientific Officer
  • Analytical Research Chemist
  • Research Associate
  • Nanotechnologist
  • Director of the Biophysics Facility

Biochemist or Biophysicist Employment Estimates

In the United States, there were 31,500 jobs for Biochemist or Biophysicist in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 11.4% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 3,600 new jobs for Biochemist or Biophysicist by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 3,200 job openings in this field each year.


The states with the most job growth for Biochemist or Biophysicist are Utah, Florida, and Colorado. Watch out if you plan on working in West Virginia, Nevada, or Illinois. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Biochemist or Biophysicist

Biochemists and Biophysicists make between $49,230 and $177,680 a year.


Biochemists and Biophysicists who work in New Jersey, New Hampshire, or Massachusetts, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Biochemists and Biophysicists in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $87,520
Arizona $96,610
California $101,770
Colorado $82,940
Delaware $93,530
Florida $82,830
Georgia $89,450
Illinois $111,760
Indiana $107,040
Iowa $63,890
Kentucky $84,320
Maine $74,430
Maryland $99,370
Massachusetts $104,650
Michigan $79,560
Minnesota $77,740
Missouri $92,000
New Hampshire $102,910
New Jersey $145,180
New York $68,990
North Carolina $90,150
Ohio $62,140
Oregon $79,130
Pennsylvania $94,860
Tennessee $95,440
Texas $88,680
Utah $67,210
Washington $74,370
Wisconsin $82,170

Tools & Technologies Used by Biochemists and Biophysicists

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Biochemists and Biophysicists may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Python
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • SAS
  • Linux
  • Extensible markup language XML
  • IBM SPSS Statistics
  • Minitab
  • Practical extraction and reporting language Perl
  • Graphics software
  • Statistical software
  • Presentation software

How do I Become a Biochemist or Biophysicist?

Individuals working as a Biochemist or Biophysicist have obtained the following education levels:


How Long Does it Take to Become a Biochemist or Biophysicist?


Where Biochemists and Biophysicists Are Employed


The table below shows the approximate number of Biochemists and Biophysicists employed by various industries.


Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Those interested in being a Biochemist or Biophysicist may also be interested in:

Are you already one of the many Biochemist or Biophysicist in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


Image Credit: Shrout, Bill via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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