Biochemical Engineers
SOC: 17-2199.01


Develop usable, tangible products, using knowledge of biology, chemistry, or engineering. Solve problems related to materials, systems, or processes that interact with humans, plants, animals, microorganisms, or biological materials.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
136,900 employed

Projected (2024):
142,300 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Biochemical Development Engineer
  • Biochemical Engineer
  • Bioengineer
  • Bioprocess Development Engineer
  • Bioprocess Engineer
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Engineering Director
  • Fermentation Engineer
  • Nanotechnologist
  • Pharmaceutical Engineer
  • Pharmaceutical Scientist
  • Process Development Associate
  • Process Development Engineer
  • Process Engineer
  • Stack Yield Engineer
  • Sustain Engineer
  • Yield Engineer
  • Yield Improvement Engineer

  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed


    A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.


    Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Troubleshooting
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Food Production
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Read current scientific or trade literature to stay abreast of scientific, industrial, or technological advances.
  • Prepare technical reports, data summary documents, or research articles for scientific publication, regulatory submissions, or patent applications.
  • Participate in equipment or process validation activities.
  • Collaborate in the development or delivery of biochemical manufacturing training materials.
  • Prepare piping or instrumentation diagrams or other schematics for proposed process improvements, using computer-aided design software.
  • Modify or control biological systems to replace, augment, or sustain chemical or mechanical processes.
  • Maintain databases of experiment characteristics or results.
  • Lead studies to examine or recommend changes in process sequences or operation protocols.
  • Direct experimental or developmental activities at contracted laboratories.
  • Develop statistical models or simulations of biochemical production, using statistical or modeling software.
  • Consult with chemists or biologists to develop or evaluate novel technologies.
  • Collaborate with manufacturing or quality assurance staff to prepare product specification or safety sheets, standard operating procedures, user manuals, or qualification and validation reports.
  • Review existing manufacturing processes to identify opportunities for yield improvement or reduced process variation.
  • Devise scalable recovery, purification, or fermentation processes for producing proteins or other biological substances for human or animal therapeutic use, food production or processing, biofuels, or effluent treatment.
  • Develop methodologies for transferring procedures or biological processes from laboratories to commercial-scale manufacturing production.
  • Design or direct bench or pilot production experiments to determine the scale of production methods that optimize product yield and minimize production costs.
  • Design or conduct studies to determine optimal conditions for cell growth, protein production, or protein or virus expression or recovery, using chromatography, separation, or filtration equipment, such as centrifuges or bioreactors.
  • Design or conduct follow-up experimentation, based on generated data, to meet established process objectives.
  • Develop experiments to determine production methods that minimize pollution or waste.
  • Review existing biomanufacturing processes to ensure compliance with environmental regulations.
  • Develop biocatalytic processes to convert biomass to fuels or fine chemicals, using enzymes of bacteria, yeast, or other microorganisms.
  • Confer with research and biomanufacturing personnel to ensure the compatibility of design and production.
  • Develop recovery processes to separate or purify products from fermentation broths or slurries.
  • Advise manufacturing staff regarding problems with fermentation, filtration, or other bioproduction processes.
  • Recommend biochemical process formulas, instrumentation, or equipment specifications, based on results of bench or pilot experimentation.
  • Communicate with bioregulatory authorities regarding licensing or compliance responsibilities.
  • Communicate with suppliers regarding the design or specifications of bioproduction equipment, instrumentation, or materials.
  • Design processes to manufacture synthetic molecules for applications such as pharmaceuticals or pesticides.
  • Develop bioremediation processes to reduce pollution, protect the environment, or treat waste products.
  • Prepare project plans for biochemical equipment or facility improvements, including time lines, budgetary estimates, or capital spending requests.
  • Develop alternative processes to produce crude oil, such as extraction from diatoms or thermochemical conversion of manure or other wastes.
  • Develop toxicological or environmental testing processes to measure chemical toxicity or environmental impact.
  • Develop processes or products, such as natural recovery monitoring, in situ capping or treatment, or sediment removal, to treat contamination of subaqueous sediment.
  • Create simulations or models to predict the impact of environmental factors, such as pollutants, climate change, or environmental remediation efforts.
  • Design products to measure or monitor airborne pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, or particulate matter.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Aerosol analyzers
  • Aerosol generators
  • Analytical balances
  • Autoclaves
  • Automated particle counters
  • Automatic titrators
  • Autosamplers
  • Bomb calorimeters
  • Camcorders
  • Capillary electrophoresis systems
  • Carbon dioxide CO2 incubators
  • Cell culture bioreactors
  • Centrifuges
  • Chemiluminescence analyzers
  • Condensation nuclei counters CNC
  • Confocal laser scanning microscopes
  • Contact angle goniometers
  • Deoxyribonucleic acid DNA synthesizers
  • Differential scanning calorimeters
  • Digital cameras
  • Digital luxmeters
  • Dissolved oxygen probes
  • Electroblotting apparatus
  • Ellipsometers
  • Environmental growth chambers
  • Enzymatic membrane reactors
  • Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay ELISA plate readers
  • Extruders
  • Fast protein liquid chromatographs FPLC
  • Flame ionization detectors FID
  • Flash point detectors
  • Flow cytometers
  • Fluorescence microscopes
  • Fluorospectrometers
  • Fourier transform infrared FTIR spectrometers
  • Freeze dryers
  • Gas chromatographs GC
  • Gel documentation systems
  • High pressure liquid chromatographs HPLC
  • Inverted light microscopes
  • Ion chromatographs
  • Ion exchange purification systems
  • Ion trap mass spectrometers
  • Laminar flow hoods
  • Liquid handling robots
  • Low-pressure impactors
  • Microbial fermenters
  • Microplate readers
  • Microplate spectrophotometers
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance NMR spectroscopes
  • Optical particle counters
  • Orbital shakers
  • Oxygen meters
  • Particle size classifiers
  • Personal computers
  • pH meters
  • Plant photosynthesis meters
  • Protein gel electrophoresis
  • Quadrupole mass spectrometers
  • Real-time polymerase chain reaction PCR equipment
  • Refractive index detectors
  • Rheometers
  • Scanning electron microscopes SEM
  • Sugar analyzers
  • Surface area analyzers
  • Tensionmeters
  • Thermal cyclers
  • Total organic carbon TOC analyzers
  • Toxic gas detectors
  • Ultraviolet spectrometers
  • Ultraviolet spectrophotometers
  • Viscometers
  • X ray diffractometers
  • ApE A Plasmid Editor
  • AspenTech HYSYS
  • Bioreactor Design
  • Intelligen SuperPro Designer
  • Maplesoft Maple
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • Minitab software
  • Polymath Software POLYMATH
  • SAS software
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • Thomson Reuters EndNote
  • UNIX
  • Wolfram Research Mathematica

  • architecture and engineering

    industry stats

    SOC: 17-0000

    Total Employed: 2,475,390

    Average Annual Salary: $82,980