Biotechnology Research and Development Career Pathway | BioPhase Solutions

There are many biotechnology research and development pathway careers. However, finding the one that best fits one’s skills and experience can be daunting. If you don’t know whether to be a biomedical engineer or biostatistician, this is the article for you. We will look at various career choices in this field, the qualifications needed, and more. So, let us dive in.

What Does a Biotechnologist Do?

A biotechnologist is an expert who works with doctors and other medical practitioners in laboratories. They are mainly tasked with conducting experiments, maintaining lab equipment, and assisting other workers in a lab setting.

In addition, a biotechnologist can work outside a lab setting, especially when collecting data such as evidence at a crime scene. 

Again, they can work in different industries such as food and beverage, government institutions, universities, and others. They are also popular in environmental institutions as they assist in developing green energy.

Some of the day-to-day duties of a biotechnologist include:

  • Identifying and preparing samples for experiments and other tests.
  • Creating new biotechnology equipment and developing new procedures.
  • Testing the effects of physical agents on living organisms.
  • Identifying living organisms ideal for new products or that can improve existing ones.
  • Training their teams on how to use biotechnology equipment.

The Process of Becoming a Biotechnologist

A career in biotechnology is intellectually challenging; they undergo thorough training. Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can become a certified biotechnologist.

Earn a bachelor’s degree

Registering for a bachelor’s degree; one should ensure they have a solid background in biology, chemistry, physics, and math. With these skills, learning biotechnology principles will be a seamless journey.

Now, they can enroll in a bachelor’s degree in either biotechnology, physics, chemistry, or any related field. For optimal results, ensure the class has the theory and practical sessions. 

And as expected, ensure the institution is accredited. It takes four to five years to attain a degree in biotechnology. 

Seek internship opportunities 

Next, a biotechnologist student should complete their attachment program. The best part? Getting an opportunity from most companies is easy. This is because the demand for biotechnologists outweighs their supply.

Besides, one can liaise with their faculty for opportunities. If they take an online program, most universities will guide them on which companies or institutions to apply to.

Internship opportunities provide the student with real-life skills. The chances of being admitted to a graduate school are high.

Join a graduate school

A master’s degree allows one to pursue specific subsets of biotechnology. For example, one can choose to study quality operations or pharmaceutical technologies.

Besides, getting a supervisory or lead role is more accessible than being a degree holder. It takes time and immense investment to pursue a master’s in biotechnology. As such, one should take advantage of university or federal grants. 

Find work 

If one performs well during the internship, most biotech companies absorb you into their workforce. One can also attend conferences and seminars to network with leaders in the industry. By doing so, they can find employment opportunities.

As mentioned, biotechnologists work in different industries. Students can seek opportunities in universities, hospitals, manufacturing companies, etc. 

Different Career Paths in Biotechnology

Research and development 

This career option encompasses many career paths in healthcare, with the primary aim to advance technology and innovation in the industry. It is an ideal path for a student who wants to work with new advancements in health care.

It is also crucial in advancing biotechnology discoveries. Some job opportunities available include toxicologists, lab technicians, and pharmaceutical scientists, among others.

Biomedical Engineer

These engineers work combines engineering and science principles to create biotechnology equipment. They’ll develop systems, software, and devices to improve laboratory processes. They work in different settings such as research facilities, hospitals, and others.

To become a biomedical engineer, one must earn a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering or bioengineering. What’s more, the job outlook is expected to grow by 6 percent between 2020 and 2030. 

Biochemist/Biophysicist

A biochemist or biophysicist will examine biological processes’ physical and chemical aspects. They focus on the molecular composition of living organisms. For example, cell metabolism, cell structure, and chemical and biological agents’ effects on a cell.

A biophysicist will focus on the atomic composition of living organisms. Some of their duties include analyzing DNA and proteins, developing gene therapies, and reporting research findings. They use equipment such as lasers, 3D printing, and fluorescent microscopes. 

Agricultural Engineer

As the name suggests, they work in the agricultural sector. They work to address environmental and pollution issues. They also ensure the safe storage of agricultural products, ensuring they are fit for consumption. While most work in agricultural industries, some work in the food and beverage industry.

A bachelor’s degree in biological or agricultural engineering is a good fit for this career path. Like Biomedical engineering, its job outlook is expected to grow by 6 percent between 2020 and 2030. 

Microbiologist

Microbiologists work to better our health. They are involved in coming up with new drugs and products to fight diseases. They work in research institutes, universities, food industries, and others. 

They also play a critical role in coming up with clean energy sources. For example, they help governments use methane gas for energy production. 

Epidemiologist

An epidemiologist studies diseases, their spread, their source, and how people respond. They help come up with processes to prevent and contain diseases and epidemics. Some of their common employers include governments, hospitals, and universities.

The World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control are some of their employers. While most work in labs, others will work outdoors, carrying out random tests and collecting data. 

What is Biotechnology Research and Development?

This is a career pathway where experts discover or develop new treatment procedures. They also create new equipment ideal for treating new and existing diseases. It is a broad career pathway that spans most subsets in the healthcare industry.

Some popular career paths include bioinformatics scientist, biochemist, cell biologist, clinical trials monitor, and biostatistician, among others.

Biotechnology Research and Development Pathway Careers

As mentioned, there are many career choices in biotechnology research and development. Whether one has one or five-year experience, there’s a career pathway for you.

Less than one year

Bioinformatics technicians 

They use computational technology and information management to input and analyze biological data. They work closely with other scientists in pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, and others. 

Their duties range from developing analytical programs to training their team members. One needs a bachelor’s degree in computational biology, computer science, or bioinformatics. 

1-3 years of experience 

Compliance manager 

A compliance manager creates and oversees a biotechnology compliance program. They ensure the teams work within the stipulated company guidelines and relevant governing agencies. 

As such, they work closely with the executive team to develop guidelines that will enforce compliance protocols.

Regulatory affairs managers 

Like compliance managers, they ensure the production of drugs, vaccines, and other products is within agency guidelines. They will develop strategies to enable the company to comply with industry regulations. Most companies will require a bachelor’s degree in business administration. 

Regulatory affairs specialists 

They obtain government approval for food products, drugs, vaccines, and related products. They can work in pharmaceutical companies, biotech, food, and other related fields. 

They strongly understand the manufacturing process, research, regulations, and more. Some of their duties include providing technical review of reports, interpreting regulatory guidelines, and maintaining databases. 

Bachelor’s Degree (4 years)

Technical writer 

Like in other fields, technical writers explain intricate details. They develop documentation and manuals of products produced by scientists. 

They also publish journals about the products. The minimum requirement is a bachelor’s degree in communications or English, with a science background.

Biomedical engineers

Biomedical engineers use technological advances to develop new drugs, biotech equipment, and programs. Most biomedical engineers work in research institutes, pharmaceuticals, and manufacturing. A bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering or bioengineering is adequate to secure a job. 

Advanced Degree (4+ years)

Clinical data managers

They handle and maintain data from trials in pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Their fundamental duties are to collect, process, and analyze the data. They also ensure safe storage, mitigating sabotage of the data. They have a good understanding of biology and computer science principles.

Biostatisticians

As the name suggests, they use statistics, data, and mathematics to explain biology. For example, they show figures of how many people smoke in a given population. They use this data to conclude diseases and other health risks. They can work in pharmaceuticals, government agencies, and others. 

Bioinformatics scientists

They use computer science and technology principles to come up with solutions. In most cases, they will use genetic information to develop better drugs or products to treat humans, plants, and animals. They’ll also build software programs ideal for mining biological data.

Conclusion

A career in biotechnology research and development is worthwhile and provides many opportunities. The best part? It accommodates people with less than one year of experience, which is a rarity in most medical fields. Are you looking for a career switch or want more information about careers in biotechnology? At BioPhase we match individuals with the perfect job opportunities. Click the button below to get into contact with one of our many recruiters to start the process of finding your dream job today!