Biochemistry is an exciting field in which to work and study, and since biochemists are often responsible for some of the best medical technologies and innovative designs that can enhance or even prolong life, the overall job outlook for a biochemist is excellent.
Biochemistry professionals are responsible for outstanding achievements and advancements in the medical industry today. However, there are currently only 25,000 biochemists in the US. While some individuals who have earned Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees in chemistry and related fields may be able to find entry-level positions in this field, the majority of people who work as biochemists have PhDs or professional degrees and this is expected to make competition for available jobs fierce. By the year 2020, just fewer than 33,000 individuals will become biochemists. This means that only 7,700 new jobs will be added to the field.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of biochemistry professionals will rise just over 30% through the year 2020, which is much faster than other industries. However, since this increase only represents the addition of about 7,700 new jobs, there will be a lot of competition for them. The most employment opportunities are expected to come from the medical field, though there will also be an increased demand for individuals to work within the government and in various teaching positions across the country.
Reasons for Growth
In the medical field, the constant demand for new technologies and drugs that can be used to treat diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s and even AIDS has driven the need for new biochemists in the past and will continue to do so in the future. These individuals also perform the genetic research that may be responsible for the production of new lifesaving drugs and techniques that can cure or suppress many diseases. In the government sector, biochemists are often hired to help with the design of clean energy systems. Biochemists may also find themselves working to develop genetically engineered crops with higher yields that are designed to feed the growing population of the world.
For research and teaching positions, individuals will experience the most success if they have obtained PhDs as well as plenty of post-Doctoral experience. Those who want to work in the medical field will often be required to have a broad knowledge of various subjects relating to biochemistry, so individuals who understand how biochemistry relates directly to the human body should have the best prospects. Finally, individuals who want to work for the government should study earth sciences and agriculture in addition to biochemistry. While entry-level positions have been obtained by Bachelor’s degree holders in the past, it is expected that at least a Master’s degree will be needed in the future.
The biochemistry industry is a very broad one indeed, so individuals should be sure to study subjects related to their chosen career path in order to enjoy the most employment opportunities. Individuals with double majors in related fields or a PhD in Biochemistry as well as a Master’s in another subject such as biology or medicine should enjoy the best job security.