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Biochemist or Biophysicist

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Life As a Biochemist or Biophysicist

Career 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.

Life As a Biochemist or Biophysicist: What Do They Do?

  • Develop new methods to study the mechanisms of biological processes.
  • Develop methods to process, store, or use foods, drugs, or chemical compounds.
  • Prepare reports or recommendations, based upon research outcomes.
  • Research the chemical effects of substances, such as drugs, serums, hormones, or food, on tissues or vital processes.
  • Manage laboratory teams or monitor the quality of a team’s work.
  • Study spatial configurations of submicroscopic molecules, such as proteins, using x-rays or electron microscopes.

Things a Biochemist or Biophysicist Should Know How to Do

These are the skills Biochemists and Biophysicists say are the most useful in their careers:

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.

Types of Biochemist or Biophysicist

  • Pharmaceutical Scientist
  • Biochemistry Research Associate
  • Analytical Research Chemist
  • Research Associate
  • Biological Chemist

Biochemist or Biophysicist Employment Estimates

There were about 31,500 jobs for Biochemist or Biophysicist in 2016 (in the United States). 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.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Biochemists and Biophysicists in U.S.

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.

What is the Average Salary of a Biochemist or Biophysicist

The average yearly salary of a Biochemist or Biophysicist ranges between $49,230 and $177,680.

Salary Ranges for Biochemists and Biophysicists

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

How much do Biochemists and Biophysicists make in each U.S. state?

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

What Tools & Technology do Biochemists and Biophysicists Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Biochemists and Biophysicists:

  • 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?

Learn what Biochemist or Biophysicist education requirements there are.

Biochemist or Biophysicist Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Biochemist or Biophysicist Work Experience

Who Employs Biochemists and Biophysicists?

Biochemist or Biophysicist Sectors

Below are examples of industries where Biochemists and Biophysicists work:

Biochemist or Biophysicist Industries

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

Those who work as a Biochemist or Biophysicist sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


Image Credit: Shrout, Bill via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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