What Can I Do With a Biochemistry Degree
- Grant Writing
- University laboratories
- Federal government laboratories/agencies including:
- National Science Foundation
- National Institutes of Health
- Food and Drug Administration
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Department of Agriculture
- Armed Services
- State and local government laboratories/agencies
- Public health departments
- Hospital laboratories
- Commercial medical laboratories
- Private testing laboratories including forensics
- Independent research foundations
- Industry laboratories:
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Biotechnology firms
- Food processors
- Cosmetic manufacturers
- Chemical and petroleum industries
- Agricultural industry
Bachelor's degree in biochemistry, biology, or chemistry qualifies one for laboratory technician or research assistant positions. Choose courses with laboratory work. Get on the job experience in a laboratory and/or complete a senior research project. Complete a certificate training program, usually one year, to learn specialized laboratory techniques. Take a course in grant writing.
Earn master's degree in biochemistry for better positions, advancement opportunities, more responsibility and higher pay. Obtain Ph.D. to direct research projects and lead research teams.
- Public and private elementary, middle, and high schools
- Two-year community colleges/technical institutes
- Four-year institutions
- Medical schools
Complete an accredited teacher preparation program for certification/licensure in biology and/or chemistry. Ph.D. required for college or university teaching. Some teaching positions in two-year institutions may be available for those with a master's degree. Prepare to attend graduate school by maintaining a high grade point average and securing strong faculty recommendations. Serve as a tutor for high school or college students. Learn to communicate effectively.
- Veterinary Medicine
- Allied Health
- Occupational Therapy
- Physical Therapy
- Medical centers
- Nursing homes
- Private practice
Plan on attending medical school or other related graduate program. Maintain an outstanding grade point average, particularly in the sciences. Secure strong faculty recommendations. Meet with a pre-health advisor periodically. Join related student organizations. Demonstrate leadership abilities. Volunteer to work in a hospital or healthcare setting. Find a summer job or internship in a hospital.
Develop a back up plan in case medical/graduate school admission is denied.
Consider alternative but related careers such as physician assistants. Research all of the various fields within medicine to determine a particular career goal.
Other Professional Opportunities
- Technical Writing
- Scientific Journalism
- Scientific Illustration
- Regulatory Affairs
- Scientific/Technical Recruiting
- Intellectual Property/Patent Law
- Biotechnology industry
- Pharmaceutical and chemical companies
- Publishers: Textbook, magazine, newspaper, book
- Software firms
- Regulatory agencies
- Search firms
- Law firms
- Legal departments of corporations
For sales positions, gain sales experience through internships, part-time work, or summer jobs. Take business and/or computer classes. Become familiar with desktop publishing and other software packages. Develop strong written and oral communication skills. Get experience writing for a school or local newspaper.
Obtain an MBA or Ph.D. to reach high levels of administration. Plan on attending law school if interested in law.
- As an undergraduate, seek laboratory experiences such as research projects, volunteering with professors, summer jobs, or internships.
- Participate in research programs sponsored by organizations like the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.
- Consider a certificate program or specialized master's program to qualify for research technician positions.
- Earn master's degree for greater variety and autonomy on the job.
Earn a Ph.D. to work on high-level research projects, to direct research programs, to enter high levels of administration, and to teach at four-year post-secondary institutions. Postdoctoral fellowships may also be required.
- Learn to work independently and as part of a team.
- Develop the ability to communicate clearly.
- Gain competencies in computers and mathematics.
- Read scientific journals and join related professional organizations.
- Combine an undergraduate degree in biochemistry with a degree in law, computer programming, business, education, information science, or other discipline to expand career opportunities.
Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA /ADEA Employer