Facts about Biotechnology Research Jobs

Biotechnology research jobs are in the middle of the most rapidly expanding area of job growth in the sciences. Biology, biochemistry and biophysics are expected to expand by up to four times the U.S. average job growth in the coming decade.

The Work Environment for Biotechnology Research Jobs

Biotechnology research is conducted in multiple environments. A researcher may work in a lab, a college, the field or clinical testing environments on a regular basis. This is also an advanced professional work culture, highly collegiate, but also very competitive in terms of employment.

Biotechnology research is driven by commerce, pharmaceutical, medicine, philanthropic and public-sector organizations. The range of work extends across multiple employment sectors and grant-funded independent research, including the following:

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Agriculture
  • Environmental studies
  • Industrial chemistry
  • Energy
  • Botany
  • Zoology
  • Microbiology
  • Mycology
  • Molecular biology
  • Genetics
  • Disease research.

This extremely diverse work environment is based on a high level of demand for products and data across the spectrum of industries and sectors. Research work ranges from pure research to targeted product development and testing.

Biotechnology research jobs involve professionally demanding work, constrained in the commercial and public sector areas by public policy and commercial objectives. Much of the grant-based research is directed according to specific endowments and institutional, government or corporate goals.

Wages for Biotechnology Research Jobs

Median wages for biotechnology research jobs are $82,840.

Hours for Biotechnology Research Jobs

Working hours are highly variable, depending on research programs. These jobs also include fieldwork in many cases.

Career Development

The researcher’s form of career dynamics is quite different any other profession, even within the sciences. This is a very complex class of profession in terms of career development. Much of the biotechnological researcher’s career is based on specific areas, projects and fields of specialization.

Research careers traditionally involve a hierarchical progression from postgraduate level through higher levels of research, research fellowships and research establishment positions. These opportunities can create a complex career track as researchers advance in their chosen fields by using the opportunities available.

In practice, research opportunities are largely governed by funding issues. Research laboratories are highly efficient managers of their projects, and career opportunities are created on a needs basis. Researchers need to balance their career needs with a realistic understanding of different paths to their career goals.

The expansion of biotechnology has created a high level of mobility for qualified researchers, through market demand and a large increase in research funding. Career advancement is made easier to a point, but the need to make career decisions has been made more complicated by the array of new choices.

At the higher professional levels, biotechnology is producing enormous amounts of valuable intellectual property, particularly patents based on pure research. The “IP factor” is another basic element for consideration in the career choices available to researchers. Top researchers may be directly involved in equity arrangements in this area, and as consultants.  

Biotechnology researchers have another career consideration: Pure research is the true groundbreaking science which has driven so many major advances in biotechnology in recent years. Genetics, in particular, is a major area of research which is rewriting the basic concepts of medicine and biology.