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Biochemists are scientists who are trained in biochemistry. Typical biochemists study chemical processes and chemical transformations in living organisms. The prefix of "bio" in "biochemist" can be understood as a fusion of "biological chemist."

Contents

Role

The most common "industry role is to develop biochemical products and processes. This can be

Training

A degree in biochemistry or a related science such as chemistry is the minimum requirement for any work in this field. This is sufficient for a position as a technical assistant in industry or in academic settings. A Ph.D. (or equivalent) is generally required to pursue or direct independent research. To advance further in commercial environments, one may need to acquire skills in management.

In college, students take many biology and chemistry classes in addition to the required calculus, physics, and other core classes. Basic classes in biology including (but not limited to) microbiology, molecular biology, molecular genetics, cell biology, and genomics are focused on. All types of chemistry are required with emphasis on biochemistry and organic chemistry.

Biochemistry is a highly demanding and difficult field requiring research even at undergraduate level.

Employment

The most common area of employment for biochemists is in the life sciences field where biochemists frequently work in the pharmaceutical or biotechnology industry. In this field biochemists would be in a research role. The current national average salary for a biochemist is approximately $69,000 per year. In some areas this average may be as high as $160,000+ or more - it depends on the abilities and experience. Fresh out of school they can make anywhere between 15-32 dollars an hour.

Academia is also a promising avenue for biochemists. As principal investigators at an academic institution, biochemists can pursue their own research agenda. It is not uncommon for biochemists in academia to also be involved with their own biochemistry start-up companies. Biochemists in academia are also involved with teaching undergraduates, training graduate students and collaborating with post-doctoral fellows. Because of a biochemists' background in both biology and chemistry, there are many other employment areas such as medical, industrial, governmental and environmental fields. The field of medicine offers related careers such as nutrition, genetics, biophysics and pharmacology; industrial needs include everything from beverage and food technology to toxicology and vaccine production; while governmental and environmental fields require biochemists to work on everything from forensic science and wildlife management to marine biology and viticulture. This incredibly wide range makes biochemistry an extremely flexible career choice.

See also

References

  • Job guide for New South Wales & Australian Capital Territory, 2005

External links

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