Biochemists and Biophysicists
SOC: 19-1021.00

Description:

Study the chemical composition or physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, growth, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, serums, hormones, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.


National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.


Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
34,100 employed

Projected (2024):
36,900 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:

  • Analytical Research Chemist
  • Biochemist
  • Biological Chemist
  • Chief Scientific Officer
  • Clinical Biochemist
  • Clinical Laboratory Scientist
  • Clinical Researcher
  • Director of the Biophysics Facility
  • Genetic Engineer
  • Laboratory Director
  • Nanotechnologist
  • Pharmaceutical Scientist
  • Physical Biochemist
  • Professor of Physics/Researcher in Biophysics
  • Quality Control Associate (QC Associate)
  • Research Affiliate
  • Research Assistant
  • Research Associate
  • Research Scientist
  • Scientist
  • Staff Toxicologist
  • Toxicologist


  • Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed

    Experience:

    Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

    Education:

    Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).

    Job Training:

    Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or 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
  • Equipment Selection
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • 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
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation


  • Tasks:

  • Prepare reports or recommendations, based upon research outcomes.
  • Develop new methods to study the mechanisms of biological processes.
  • Manage laboratory teams or monitor the quality of a team's work.
  • Share research findings by writing scientific articles or by making presentations at scientific conferences.
  • Develop or execute tests to detect diseases, genetic disorders, or other abnormalities.
  • Develop or test new drugs or medications intended for commercial distribution.
  • Study the mutations in organisms that lead to cancer or other diseases.
  • Study spatial configurations of submicroscopic molecules, such as proteins, using x-rays or electron microscopes.
  • Study the chemistry of living processes, such as cell development, breathing and digestion, or living energy changes, such as growth, aging, or death.
  • Determine the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules.
  • Prepare pharmaceutical compounds for commercial distribution.
  • Research the chemical effects of substances, such as drugs, serums, hormones, or food, on tissues or vital processes.
  • Research how characteristics of plants or animals are carried through successive generations.
  • Develop methods to process, store, or use foods, drugs, or chemical compounds.
  • Investigate the nature, composition, or expression of genes or research how genetic engineering can impact these processes.
  • Study physical principles of living cells or organisms and their electrical or mechanical energy, applying methods and knowledge of mathematics, physics, chemistry, or biology.
  • Produce pharmaceutically or industrially useful proteins, using recombinant DNA technology.
  • Isolate, analyze, or synthesize vitamins, hormones, allergens, minerals, or enzymes and determine their effects on body functions.
  • Design or perform experiments with equipment such as lasers, accelerators, or mass spectrometers.
  • Teach or advise undergraduate or graduate students or supervise their research.
  • Research transformations of substances in cells, using atomic isotopes.
  • Examine the molecular or chemical aspects of immune system functioning.
  • Design or build laboratory equipment needed for special research projects.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Amino acid analyzers
  • Analytical balances
  • Analytical ultracentrifuges
  • Argon lasers
  • Atomic force microscopes
  • Auto gamma counters
  • Autoclaves
  • Automated electrophoresis equipment
  • Automatic pipetters
  • Automatic x ray film developers
  • Balances
  • Basic vapor pressure osmometers
  • Beakers
  • Binocular light compound microscopes
  • Biofreezers
  • Biological safety hoods
  • Brewster angle microscopes
  • Capillary electrophoresis equipment
  • Carbon dioxide CO2 incubators
  • Cell sorters
  • Charge-coupled device CCD cameras
  • Chemical fume hoods
  • Chemistry analyzers
  • Circular dichroism spectroscopes
  • Circulating water cooling systems
  • Computerized axial tomography CAT scan equipment
  • Confocal microscopes
  • Continuous flow centrifuges
  • Cryocut microtomes
  • Cryogenic freezers
  • Cryomicroscopes
  • Cryostat tissue microtomes
  • Cryotransmission electron microscopes
  • Cytospin centrifuges
  • Darkroom equipment
  • Deoxyribonucleic acid DNA sequencers
  • Desktop computers
  • Dichroic beamsplitters
  • Differential scanning calorimeters
  • Dual wavelength spectroscopes
  • Electroencephalography EEG equipment
  • Electron microscopes
  • Electron paramagnetic resonance EPR spectrometers
  • Electron spin resonance spectroscopes
  • Electrophoresis power supplies
  • Erlenmeyer flasks
  • Fermenters
  • Filtering funnels
  • Flame ionization detectors FID
  • Flexi-dry lyophilizers
  • Flow cytometers
  • Fluorescence spectroscopes
  • Fourier transform infrared FTIR spectroscopes
  • Freeze dryers
  • Funnels
  • Gamma ray irradiators
  • Gas chromatographs GC
  • Gel boxes
  • Glassware adaptors
  • Glassware condensers
  • Graduated cylinders
  • Growth chambers
  • Heat blocks
  • Heat incubators
  • Heating mantles
  • Hemoglobin analyzers
  • High-pressure high-temperature reactors
  • High-pressure liquid chromatographs
  • Homogenizers
  • Hot plates
  • Incubators
  • Inverted microscopes
  • Ionometers
  • Isothermal titration calorimeters ITC
  • Krypton lasers
  • Laboratory convection ovens
  • Laboratory vacuum pumps
  • Laminar flow hoods
  • Langmuir balances
  • Large upright microscopes
  • Laser Doppler zeta potential analyzers
  • Laser induced temperature jump nanosecond relaxation spectrometer systems
  • Laser particle sizers
  • Laser printers
  • Laser tweezers
  • Lasers
  • Light scattering devices
  • Linear accelerators
  • Liquid handling robots
  • Liquid nuclear magnetic resonance NMR equipment
  • Magnetic piconewton-force transducers
  • Magnetic tweezers
  • Mainframe computers
  • Mass spectrometers
  • Medical magnetic resonance imaging MRI equipment
  • Medical magnetic resonance imaging MRI microscopes
  • Megafuge centrifuges
  • Mettler balances
  • Microcalorimeters
  • Microcentrifuges
  • Microdosimeters
  • Microinjectors
  • Microphysiometers
  • Microplate readers
  • Microscope slides
  • Microsusceptometers
  • Mossbauer spectroscopes
  • Multi-angle elastic-light scattering systems
  • Multichannel detectors
  • Nanoscopes
  • Near-field light microscopes
  • Neodymium-doped Yttrium Aluminum Garnet Nd:YAG lasers
  • Notebook computers
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance NMR spectroscopes
  • Optical tweezers
  • Orbital shakers
  • Pasteur pipettes
  • Peptide synthesizers
  • Personal computers
  • pH meters
  • Phosphorimager video cameras
  • Phosphorimagers
  • Pipettes
  • Plotters
  • Positron emission tomography PET scanners
  • Power amplifiers
  • Protein sequencers
  • Raman difference spectrometers
  • Refrigerated centrifuges
  • Rheometers
  • Rotating anode X ray generators
  • Sample concentrators
  • Sapphire lasers
  • Sartorius balances
  • Scanners
  • Scanning electron microscopes SEM
  • Scanning laser microscopes
  • Scintillation counters
  • Shaking incubators
  • Shaking waterbaths
  • Signal generators
  • Solid state diode lasers
  • Solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance NMR equipment
  • Sonicators
  • Specific gravity balances
  • Spectrofluorimeters
  • Spectrophotometers
  • Spectropolarimeters
  • Stopped-flow spectrophotometers
  • Synchrotrons
  • Tabletop centrifuges
  • Test tubes
  • Thermal imagers
  • Top-loading electronic balances
  • Transillumination microscopes
  • Transmission electron microscopes TEM
  • Ultracentrifuges
  • Ultramicrotomes
  • Ultrasonic cleaners
  • Ultraviolet UV spectroscopes
  • Ultraviolet UV transilluminators
  • Vacuum freezers
  • Vibratome tissue sectioning systems
  • Video enhanced differential interference contrast microscopes
  • Video positioning equipment
  • Viscometers
  • Water baths
  • Water purification units
  • X ray crystallography equipment
  • X ray microscopes
  • 3D graphics software
  • ABAQUS software
  • Accelrys Cerius2
  • Accelrys FELIX
  • Accelrys Insight II
  • Accelrys QAUNTA
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software
  • Analysis and building software
  • Assisted model building with energy refinement AMBER software
  • AutoQuant AutoDeblur
  • Basic Local Alignment Search Tool BLAST
  • Carrier-mediated transport software
  • Chang Bioscience ToolKit
  • ChemInnovation Software Chem 4-D
  • Chemistry at Harvard Molecular Mechanics CHARMm software
  • Crystallographic software
  • Crystallography & NMR System CNS software
  • Docking and ligand binding software
  • Elsevier MDL ISIS/Draw
  • Email software
  • eNotebook software
  • Equilibrate software
  • ESRI What if?
  • Expression DNA and protein sequence software
  • Extensible markup language XML
  • Fujitsu BioMedCache
  • Fujitsu MOPAC
  • Gaussian software
  • GE Healthcare ImageQuant TL
  • Genetics computer group GSG software
  • Gepasi software
  • Golden Helix ChemTree
  • Golden Helix HelixTree
  • Graphics software
  • Hodgkin-Huxley Model software
  • Intelligent Imaging Innovations SlideBook
  • Internet browser software
  • ItemTracker software
  • JustBio SeqPainter
  • Laboratory information management system LIMS software
  • Linux
  • Macroscopic diffusion software
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Microsoft Word
  • Minitab software
  • Molecular Devices Corporation MetaFluor
  • Molecular Devices Corporation MetaMorph
  • Molecular Networks GmbH Biochemical Pathways
  • Molecular simulation software
  • Molecular Simulations WebLab ViewerPro
  • Multivariate statistical program MVSP software
  • Practical extraction and reporting language Perl
  • PREMIER Biosoft Array Designer
  • Presentation software
  • Python
  • SAP software
  • SAS software
  • Semichem AMPAC
  • Sequence database software
  • Shrodinger Jaguar
  • Spartan software
  • SPSS software
  • Statistical software
  • Structure prediction software
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • Tripos SYBYL
  • Video analysis software
  • Voltage-gated ion channels software
  • Wavefunction Titan
  • Word processing software
  • Yet another scientific artificial reality application YASARA software


  • life physical and social science


    industry stats

    SOC: 19-0000

    Total Employed: 1,146,110

    Average Annual Salary: $71,220