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Are you graduating with a degree in biochemistry and wondering what jobs await you? We know it can be overwhelming to find the right job and it may feel like a daunting task. But you’re not alone, many biochemistry graduates are in your position.
The good news is that there are plenty of career paths to explore and the demand for science careers increased by 4x in London alone. We cover 10, outlining the requirements, responsibilities, and potential salary.
By the end of this guide, you’ll have a clear understanding of the opportunities available to you as a biochemistry graduate, and you’ll be one step closer to landing your dream job. If you’re a student that’s not yet applied to university, then check out our chemistry summer courses which give you an insight into university life and what studying chemistry is like.
So, are you ready to discover what exciting career paths are waiting for you with a biochemistry degree? Let’s dive in!
What Is Biochemistry?
Biochemistry studies the chemical process within living organisms. You can see from the word alone that it’s a combination of biology + chemistry. If you’re not sure you want to study Biochemistry, we have our career options for chemistry students article to help.
Most biochemistry topics deal with macromolecules. Do you remember what they are? Proteins, nucleic acids, lips, and carbohydrates. You’ll learn everything from their structures and functions to bondings and interactions.
Is Biochemistry A Good Major?
Yes, biochemistry is a good major although it depends on your personal goals. Is your goal to get a high-salary career? Then biochemistry is an excellent choice. There are loads of high-paying jobs available to you.
Do you want to become a researcher? Then again a biochemistry degree is a great first step to doing so. Regardless of your passions, biochemistry is a growing industry and will keep growing – with an over demand of jobs and undersupply of qualified biochemists your chance to accelerate your career is high.
But if you want to become a lawyer, it’s easy to see why biochemistry is not your best option.
What if you want to become a doctor? The best route to becoming a doctor is to study medicine at the university level. Doing so will save you time. But if you want to explore related subjects first, then biochemistry is a viable option.
Is Biochemistry A Hard Major?
No, biochemistry is not as hard major as much as chemistry is. Why? Because chemistry is the umbrella subject, much broader than biochemistry!
With biochemistry, you’re more focused. Allowing you to go in-depth on the macromolecules. Also, it has less math than chemistry. So if math is not your strongest suit, you’d love biochemistry.
That said, you do need good study habits. Without consistency and dedication, you’ll find it hard to adjust. If you need help with study tips, check out our guide on staying focussed whilst studying.
What Jobs Can A Biochemistry Degree Get You?
Average Base Salary: £37,500 per year
Biochemists aim to improve our quality of life. How? By understanding living organisms at the molecular level. Most biochemists work in research laboratories.
They use computers and other technology to study DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), RNA (ribonucleic acid), enzymes, hormones, and other molecules to determine their structure and function.
Average Base Salary: £27,813 per year
What does an analytical chemist do? Find out the chemical composition of a substance. In so doing, you’ll understand how it behaves in different conditions. Analytical chemists are essential for drug development.
Average Base Salary: £31,740 per year
Biology and technology, can you guess what a biotechnologist does? They use living organisms to design products. Think vaccines, medicines, food and beverage. Biotechnologists work in many industries, both private and public.
Medical Science Liaison
Average Base Salary: £65,000 per year
Medical science liaisons educate stakeholders about a company’s medical products. They build relationships with Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs). Who are KOLs? KOLs are influential figures in medicine. It’s essential to get their feedback to build trust for your company’s drugs.
Average Base Salary: £27587 per year
Do you have a knack for knowing ahead who the criminal is when watching crime shows? A career in forensic science may be for you. Forensic scientists use their knowledge of biochemistry to help solve crimes. They may collect and analyze evidence from crime scenes.
Average Base Salary: £30234 per year
Medicinal chemists play a vital role in drug development. How? By designing active molecules to fight a specific disease. They need to do several tests to check if the formulation worked. Aside from creating new products, they also improve existing ones.
Average Base Salary: £42,500 per year
Would you like to experiment matter on a nanoscale? That’s one billionth of a metre! A nanotechnologist’s goal is to create new materials using nanoparticles. You can find nanoparticles in various industry – from sports to medicine.
Average Base Salary: £36,642 per year
What does a biomedical scientist do? A biomedical scientist examines tissues and fluids to diagnose diseases. They work in hospitals and healthcare facilities. A typical day involves conducting tests on blood, urine, and other body samples.
Average Base Salary: £40,000 per year
A pharmacologist studies how drugs affect the body. The aim? To develop new and improved medications. They also find out why people have different reactions to medications. Here’s a fun fact: you can specialise in pharmacology on animals.
Average Base Salary: £42,948 per year
A physician associate has a generalist medical education. Do you know that they work with doctors and surgeons to carry out medical tasks? They are healthcare professionals that are part of the medical team. And they also conduct physical examinations.
What Is The Highest-Paying Job In Biochemistry?
One of the highest-paying jobs in biochemistry is that of a medical science liaison. They have an average base salary of £65,000 per year. Their role? To educate important experts in medicine about their company’s medical products.
These influential figures are called Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs). You will need to answer their questions and receive their feedback. Then present the information back to the company you represent.
How do you become a medical liaison? The position requires that you hold a doctorate in the life sciences. Of course, prior experience with related positions helps you stand out.
Is Biochemistry A Good Major For Medical School?
Having a strong biochemistry background can significantly benefit first year medical students, as learning anatomy under pressure is easier than mastering the TCA cycle.
The LCME has advocated for biochemistry to become an undergraduate requirement for medical school, and their efforts have been successful.
While some MD’s may claim that what they learned in their undergraduate studies and medical school is not useful in practice, they may be referring to their personal experience rather than the general value of these subjects.
Biochemistry Skills For Your CV
Why is it important to know the skills you will get with a biochemistry degree? Because your skills will determine what career opportunities are available to you. Here are some of the biochemistry skills for your CV:
- Understand biological processes
- Know-how with molecular biology techniques
- Statistical analysis
- Research and writing
- Communication and presentation
- Familiarity with the scientific method
- Problem-solving skills
- Critical thinking
- Attention to detail
- Create and do laboratory procedures
- Organisation skills
- IT skills
- Time management
It’s vital to get work experience to help you stand out. Good thing that you’ll have laboratory and research experience by the time you graduate. Plus, you can include your undergraduate thesis in your portfolio.
If you want to increase your chances of better job opportunities, apply for summer internships. Reach out to a company or research laboratory where you can take an assistant position. Here you can sharpen your skills and broaden your network.
Typical Employers For Biochemistry Graduates
Who are the typical employers of biochemistry graduates? Here are a few:
- National Health Service (NHS)
- Environment Agency and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Government departments
- Research Institutes
- Forensic science companies