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Biochemistry & Biophysics Major

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Biochemistry & Biophysics

11,963 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
812 Master's Degrees Annually
#43 in Popularity
$96,420 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Biochemistry & Biophysics Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 11,963
Doctor’s Degree 1,047
Master’s Degree 812
Graduate Certificate 203
Associate’s Degree 13
Basic Certificate 10

What Biochemistry & Biophysics Majors Need to Know

In an O*NET survey, biochemistry majors were asked to rate what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important in their occupations. These answers were weighted on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the most important.

Knowledge Areas for Biochemistry Majors

Biochemistry majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Skills for Biochemistry Majors

biochemistry majors are found most commonly in careers in which the following skills are important:

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • 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.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Abilities for Biochemistry Majors

Biochemistry majors often go into careers where the following abilities are vital:

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  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

What Can You Do With a Biochemistry & Biophysics Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with biochemistry:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Biochemists and Biophysicists 11.4% $93,280
Biological Science Professors 15.1% $82,550
Clinical Research Coordinators 9.9% $123,860
Medical Scientists, Except Epidemiologists 13.4% $84,810
Microbiologists 8.2% $71,650
Molecular and Cellular Biologists 8.0% $79,590
Natural Sciences Managers 9.9% $123,860
Water Resource Specialists 9.9% $123,860

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Biochemistry & Biophysics?

11,963 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
52% Percent Women
40% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology runs middle of the road when it comes to popularity, ranking #43 out of all the undergraduate majors we track. In 2018, about 11,963 graduates completed their bachelor’s degree in this field. Roughly 52% of the graduates are women, and 48% are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of biochemistry majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Biochemistry Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 2,447
Black or African American 557
Hispanic or Latino 1,260
White 6,100
International Students 754
Other Races/Ethnicities 845

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Biochemistry. About 6.3% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • India
  • South Korea
  • Vietnam
  • Canada

How Much Do Biochemistry & Biophysics Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology made a median starting salary of $31,500 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $28,900 (25th percentile) and $36,500 (75th percentile).

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Note that some of these people may have jobs that are not directly related to a biochemistry degree.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $83,600 to $105,940 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to biochemistry. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Biochemistry & Biophysics Major  ( 83600 to 105940 )
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Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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Some careers associated with biochemistry require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

Find out what the typical degree level is for biochemistry careers below.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 0.4%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 1.1%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 1.2%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 2.0%
Bachelor’s Degree 30.7%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 3.7%
Master’s Degree 16.6%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 0.4%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 0.5%
Doctoral Degree 21.7%
Post-Doctoral Training 21.7%

Online Biochemistry & Biophysics Programs

In 2017-2018, 704 schools offered a biochemistry program of some type. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 3 1
Certificate (1-2 years) 0 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 0 0
Associate’s Degree 4 1
Bachelor’s Degree 7 1
Post-Baccalaureate 3 1
Master’s Degree 238 6
Post-Master’s 7 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 251 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 2 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Biochemistry & Biophysics Worth It?

The median salary for a biochemistry grad is $96,420 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 142% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,130,400 after 20 years!

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to biochemistry.

Major Number of Grads
General Biology 95,805
Neurobiology & Neurosciences 8,716
Physiology & Pathology Sciences 8,072
Ecology, Evolution & Systematics Biology 6,799
Cell Biology & Anatomical Sciences 5,493
Microbiological Sciences & Immunology 4,316
Biological & Biomedical Sciences (Other) 3,131
Zoology 3,044
Biotechnology 3,038
Biomathematics & Bioinformatics 2,253
Genetics 1,379
Pharmacology & Toxicology 1,167
Botany/Plant Biology 684
Molecular Medicine 52

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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