Biochemistry & Biophysics
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|
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:
- 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:
- 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:
- 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|
|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?
At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of biochemistry majors is as follows:
|Race/Ethnicity||Number of Grads|
|Black or African American||557|
|Hispanic or Latino||1,260|
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:
- South Korea
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).
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.
Amount of Education Required for Careers Related to Biochemistry & Biophysics
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.
|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%|
|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%|
|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%|
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|
|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!
Majors Related to Biochemistry & Biophysics
You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to biochemistry.
|Major||Number of Grads|
|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|
|Biomathematics & Bioinformatics||2,253|
|Pharmacology & Toxicology||1,167|
- College Factual
- College Scorecard
- National Center for Education Statistics
- O*NET Online
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Usual Weekly Earnings of Wage and Salary Workers First Quarter 2020
- Image Credit: By Shrout, Bill under License
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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