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Biotechnology Major

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Biotechnology

969 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
1,364 Master's Degrees Annually
#164 in Popularity
$97,340 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Biotechnology Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many biotechnology graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Master’s Degree 1,364
Bachelor’s Degree 969
Basic Certificate 342
Associate’s Degree 249
Graduate Certificate 50
Undergraduate Certificate 47
Doctor’s Degree 17

What Biotechnology Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to biotech and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

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

As a biotech major, you will find yourself needing the following abilities:

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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?

Below is a list of occupations associated with biotech:

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?

969 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
54% Percent Women
45% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 969 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology in 2018, making it rank #164 in popularity. According to recent stats this major attracts about equal numbers of men and women. Roughly 54% of the graduates are women, and 46% 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 147
Black or African American 47
Hispanic or Latino 203
White 423
International Students 79
Other Races/Ethnicities 70

Geographic Diversity

Biotech appeals to people across the globe. About 8.2% 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

According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biotech have a median salary of $39,250 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $35,700 (25th percentile) and $42,800 (75th percentile).

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It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in biotech, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

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 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 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 careers associated with biotech 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.

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 2017-2018, 246 schools offered a biotech 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) 28 0
Certificate (1-2 years) 17 0
Certificate (2-4 Years) 1 0
Associate’s Degree 60 1
Bachelor’s Degree 14 3
Post-Baccalaureate 28 0
Master’s Degree 81 2
Post-Master’s 5 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 95,805
Biochemistry, Biophysics & Molecular Biology 14,048
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
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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