How to Become a Biochemist and Biophysicist

Projected Job Growth: 31%
Projected Employment Change: 7,700

Biochemists and biophysicists are responsible for performing research on the biological processes that living things undergo, such as growth and cell mutations. They also study the effect of synthetic and natural substances on tissues, cell division, and other biological processes. Biochemists and biophysicists must write reports on their discoveries and research results. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field of biochemistry and biophysics is experiencing faster than average growth, as noted above in the provided figures.

Why Biochemistry and Biophysics?

In addition to being a field of fast growth, biochemistry and biophysics can offer competitive salaries. In fact, these scientists can earn approximately $79,390 yearly on average, according to the BLS, though this figure can vary depending on an individual’s employer, experience, and field. Biochemists and biophysicists also have the satisfaction of helping the public by developing research on disorders and diseases. They have a strong impact on the development of treatments and procedures, and therefore help improve quality of life. Biochemists and biophysicists who are interested in agriculture or energy can also assist with the genetic engineering of crops or the development of energy sources and energy conservation. The field therefore offers the opportunity for employees to specialize in their desired fields.

Getting Into Biochemistry and Biophysics

The first step toward becoming a biochemist or biophysicist is to earn a bachelor’s degree in biology, biochemistry, or biophysics. Students can earn these degrees through online degree programs or traditional degree programs. As part of their degrees, students should take both lecture and laboratory classes. As doctoral degree programs are highly competitive, and as all biochemists and biophysicists must earn a doctorate, some students may opt to complete online masters degree programs prior to applying for a doctoral program. Online doctoral degree programs are rare, as doctorate programs require hands-on learning. The best job prospects are awarded to biochemists and biophysicists who have field experience and who have been published in journals.