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Biochemist or Biophysicist

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What is a Biochemist or Biophysicist?

Position 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.

A Day in the Life of a Biochemist or Biophysicist

  • Determine the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules.
  • Investigate the nature, composition, or expression of genes or research how genetic engineering can impact these processes.
  • Develop or execute tests to detect diseases, genetic disorders, or other abnormalities.
  • Research the chemical effects of substances, such as drugs, serums, hormones, or food, on tissues or vital processes.
  • Research how characteristics of plants or animals are carried through successive generations.
  • Design or perform experiments with equipment such as lasers, accelerators, or mass spectrometers.

What a Biochemist or Biophysicist Should Know

Biochemists and Biophysicists state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

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.

  • Physical Biochemist
  • Research Assistant
  • Quality Control Associate (QC Associate)
  • Genetic Engineer
  • Clinical Biochemist

Is There Going to be Demand for Biochemists and Biophysicists?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 31,500 jobs in the United States for Biochemist or Biophysicist. 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. There will be an estimated 3,200 positions for Biochemist or Biophysicist per 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.

How Much Does a Biochemist or Biophysicist Make?

The typical yearly salary for Biochemists and Biophysicists is somewhere between $49,230 and $177,680.


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

Becoming a Biochemist or Biophysicist

Education needed to be a Biochemist or Biophysicist:


What work experience do I need to become a Biochemist or Biophysicist?


Biochemists and Biophysicists Sector


Below are examples of industries where Biochemists and Biophysicists work:


Other Jobs You May be Interested In

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Career changers with experience as a Biochemist or Biophysicist sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


Image Credit: Shrout, Bill via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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