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Biotechnology Major

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Biotechnology

944 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
1,469 Master's Degrees Annually
#168 in Popularity
$97,340 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Biotechnology Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many biotechnology graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 1,469
Bachelor’s Degree 944
Basic Certificate 861
Associate’s Degree 198
Graduate Certificate 65
Undergraduate Certificate 37
Doctor’s Degree 17

What Biotechnology Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to biotech were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Biotech Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in biotech should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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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.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.

Skills for Biotech Majors

biotech 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.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Abilities for Biotech Majors

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

What Can You Do With a Biotechnology Major?

People with a biotech degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Biological Science Professors 15.1% $82,550
Clinical Research Coordinators 9.9% $123,860
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 Biotechnology?

944 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
51% Percent Women
43% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 944 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology in 2019, making it rank #168 in popularity. Roughly 51% of the graduates are women, and 49% are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

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

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Biotech Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 128
Black or African American 43
Hispanic or Latino 185
White 456
International Students 53
Other Races/Ethnicities 79

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Biotech, too. About 5.6% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • India
  • China
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Malaysia
  • Nepal

How Much Do Biotechnology 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 biotechnology made a median starting salary of $39,250 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $35,700 (25th percentile) and $42,800 (75th percentile).

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It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to biotech.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $83,600 to $139,680 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to biotech. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

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 Biotechnology Major  ( 83600 to 139680 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with biotech may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to biotech have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 0.7%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 1.7%
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) 1.8%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 2.4%
Bachelor’s Degree 35.6%
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. 2.0%
Master’s Degree 18.8%
Doctoral Degree 19.9%
Post-Doctoral Training 17.0%

Online Biotechnology Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 243 schools offered some type of biotechnology program. 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) 27 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 18 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 59 0
Bachelor’s Degree 20 4
Post-Baccalaureate 27 0
Master’s Degree 81 3
Post-Master’s 4 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 9 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Biotechnology Worth It?

The median salary for a biotech grad is $97,340 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 144% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $1,148,800 after 20 years!

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

Major Number of Grads
General Biology 98,638
Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology 14,004
Neurobiology & Neurosciences 9,504
Physiology & Pathology Sciences 7,844
Ecology, Evolution & Systematics Biology 6,987
Cell Biology & Anatomical Sciences 5,671
Microbiological Sciences & Immunology 4,469
Biological & Biomedical Sciences (Other) 3,646
Zoology 2,974
Biomathematics & Bioinformatics 2,404
Genetics 1,326
Pharmacology & Toxicology 1,148
Botany/Plant Biology 684
Molecular Medicine 71

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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