Biochemists study the chemical components and processes of living systems, plants, insects, viruses, microorganisms, and mammals to explain how and why chemical reactions occur. Their work contributes to many fields of science.
Biochemists may specialize in biomedical equipment used in radiology, nuclear medicine, surgery, dialysis, intensive care, or the laboratory.
Biochemists work in hospitals, medical centers or clinics, or manufacturers in sales engineering/service. Colleges and universities employ the majority of biochemists as teachers or researchers. The Department of Agriculture, the National Institutes of Health, and the Environmental Protection Agency are just a few of the government agencies that employ biochemists specializing in basic research, analyzing food, drugs, air, water, waste, or animal tissue.
Other workplace settings:
According to the BLS, employment of biochemists and biophysicists is projected to grow 5 percent from 2020 to 2030, slower than the average for all occupations.
Despite limited employment growth, about 3,200 openings for biochemists and biophysicists are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Most of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.
Preparing for a career in this field requires earning a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry or chemistry, with specialties in cell biology, genetics, molecular biology, biophysics, or biochemical methods. Some universities offer a 1-year program after undergraduate school for training in specialized laboratory techniques. Positions that involve teaching in a college or directing research require at least a master’s degree, preferably a doctorate.
Licensure is not required in the state of Connecticut.
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
PO Box 2288
Rockville, MD 20847