What Does An Entry Level Biotech's Salary Look Like?

As a diverse industry, biotechnology provides many rewarding careers. In stepping into a career here, some might wonder what to expect from an entry-level biotech job salary. Since biotechnology covers a vast field of professions, entry-level jobs will vary on several factors. In a competitive job market, there are a few influences to consider when looking at entry-level roles and their salary ranges. For this reason, we’ve put together this guide on entry-level biotech jobs, their career paths, and salaries. 

Demand for Biotechnology Professionals

After the impact COVID-19 had on the world, more are turning to biotechnology and pharmaceuticals for advancements in science, health, and technology. With the development of CAR-T cell therapies, CRISPR technology, and AI in health care, there is still a significant drive to explore these technologies and others. With worldwide demand for life science professionals, the next decade will see an increase in life science roles. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects overall employment of life science jobs to grow by 7% within the decade. When looking to get in on the action, there are many ways to break into biotech and a few factors that determine salary ranges.

Salary Determining Factors

Depending on the role, some biotechnology jobs require unique specializations or backgrounds. These positions can require varying levels of education and experience. Here we discuss general expectations for entry-level biotech roles that can determine salary.


Regarding education, entry-level biotech jobs typically require at least a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology, chemistry, biology, or another life science. Depending on the sector within biotechnology, you may need a specific certificate like a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering or biomedical engineering. When deciding where your interests lie, be sure that your education can help pave the road to your preferred career. During an education, many students participate in internships to earn hands-on experience. Some schools even have this as a curriculum requirement or work closely with labs and businesses nearby for a well-rounded education. Keep in mind that while most entry-level biotech jobs require at least a bachelor’s in a related field, some require a master’s degree for career advancement and higher salary potential.

Industry Experience

Another salary-determining factor is industry experience. When starting out, most entry-level positions may not require previous experience but look toward your education. As previously mentioned, internships are a great way to gain laboratory or field experience before applying for full-time entry-level positions. One other option is to also volunteer within the industry. If you make connections through these experiences, they could lead to a full-time role! Of course, if this isn’t your first role and you have some experience under your belt but are not ready for a mid-level position, this experience can help land a higher compensation rate.


Skills expected from a person looking at a career in biotech can be broken down between interpersonal and technical skills. All members of a team must be able to communicate with one another and work together to solve problems. Biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies have multidisciplinary teams, meaning you’ll have to work with different types of industry professionals. On top of this, companies are looking for detail-oriented and critical-thinking candidates. With a genuine sense of curiosity, you can develop technical skills through experience. Look into the specific career you’re interested in and research sought-after technical skills. When gaining industry experience, learn those skills and constantly work to develop your personal toolbox of industry knowledge.

Top 10 Entry Level Biotech Jobs and Salaries

In this diversified industry, biotechnology provides many possible research paths. Some sectors of biotechnology you can find yourself in are engineering, conservation, forensics, agriculture, and many more. With the options biotechnology provides, many people find rewarding careers contributing to the advancement of scientific knowledge. Most paths begin as an assistant, technician, or associate. Here we collected the top 10 entry-level biotech jobs and their average starting salaries.

Lab Technician

Responsibilities for laboratory technicians typically involve supporting scientists and research done in a lab setting. The day-to-day duties involved are performing and assisting with laboratory testing under standard procedures. This includes organizing a variety of samples like chemical substances, fluids, and substances. By maintaining equipment, recording, and analyzing test results, lab techs help facilitate proper research. As a lab technician, you must have excellent record-keeping and communication skills when working with various team members. With attention to detail, lab techs ensure quality control and accurate testing. Across the United States, the average entry-level starting salary range for laboratory technicians is about $40,093 to $41,711 per year.

Biomedical Technician

Also known as biomedical equipment technicians, these professionals are responsible for maintaining the accuracy and performance of biomedical equipment. X-ray machines and ventilators are types of equipment a biomedical technician could work with. Daily duties include installing new equipment and training staff on the proper use of the equipment. On top of that, other duties cover maintenance and cleaning. As a biomedical technician, you’re also responsible for testing and calibrating equipment. You’ll need to maintain detailed records of maintenance and repairs to ensure the safe use and standard of all biomedical equipment. The national average entry-level starting salary range for biomedical technicians is about $57,261 to $60,446 per year.

Research Associate

A research associate’s essential duties are to help in the process of conducting research. In addition to helping with experiments and collecting data, research associates manage test subject records and smaller projects. Led by a scientist, these associates maintain research databases and contribute to the design of experiments. They can lead focus groups, interview trial candidates, and have a more active approach to constructing the fundamentals of a study. As a research associate, you must have excellent time management skills and an eagerness to maintain an ethical and accurate study. The national average entry-level starting salary range for research associates is about $54,366 to $57,165 per year.

Manufacturing Associate

In a production setting, manufacturing associates are responsible for maintaining daily operations. Primary duties include preparing equipment, materials and tracking inventory. As a manufacturing associate, you regularly inspect equipment and train others in this setting. It is vital to follow all Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and to uphold industry regulations. This hands-on work maintains high standards for quality control, automation, and production in the manufacturing process. The national average entry-level starting salary range for manufacturing associates is about $34,108 to $40,072 per year.

Quality Specialist

In this meticulous pursuit, quality specialists are primarily responsible for overseeing the standards of a process or product. Their duties include monitoring and inspecting final products. These specialists can also help to improve production workflow. Quality specialists support production, and analyze external feedback and internal operations. Compiling data and preparing reports for recommendations are part of these investigations. In this line of work, you assist in identifying problems and solutions. Through inspection and attention to detail, a quality specialist documents and reviews specifications and standards. The national average entry-level starting salary range for quality specialists is about $53,996 to $54,033 per year.

Forensic Science Technician

In a unique work environment, forensic science technicians work both in the lab and the field. This role supports criminal investigations with meticulous collection and analysis of crime scenes. Primary duties include recording observations, cataloging evidence, and reconstructing crime scenes. In the lab, as a forensic technician, you would perform various tests on samples and investigate your findings. All technicians should have excellent critical-thinking skills. Candidates who follow this career path should also be prepared to write reports or testify in front of a court on methods and findings. The average salary range for forensic technicians is about $61,930 to $63,991 per year.

Animal Technician

Whether in a research facility or laboratory, animal technicians take care of animals that play an important role in biotechnology research. Day-to-day duties include the cleaning and maintaining of animal living enclosures. As an animal technician, you may also assist in experiments or provide medical care for the animals. By following a regular cleaning and checkup schedule, animal care records must be accurate and organized. The national average entry-level starting salary range for animal technicians is about $40,561 to $41,660 per year.

Compliance Specialist

Compliance specialists are vital in ensuring that biotechnology companies are up to date on industry policies and regulations. While they can audit and perform investigations, these specialists also train or implement proper practices within organizations. It’s up to these specialists to develop and provide companies with lawful and ethical systems. Crucial to a successful business, as a compliance specialist, you help maintain regulations for a smooth-running operation. This job can be performed from company to company or within an internal compliance department. In working with internal members of an organization, you must also have emotional intelligence when listening to their concerns. This job requires critical thinking, analyzing, and lots of research on law and industry standards. In the United States, the average starting salary range for compliance specialists is about $53,631 to $54,610 per year.

Process Development Associate

Process development associates assist in the performance of laboratory and production systems. It is their job to evaluate, develop, and improve these processes to ensure efficient production. In looking at phases of production and materials, they assist in utilizing the full potential of systems and resources. As this problem solver, you would follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), regularly perform audits, and create proposals for improvements. These associates look closely at procedures and ask how to make them faster, cost-effective, and safer. The average starting salary range for process development associates is about $54,068 to $54,471 per year.

Validation Specialist

In manufacturing, validation specialists are responsible for testing, measuring, and maintaining software and equipment throughout the manufacturing process. Primary duties include a consistent schedule of preparing equipment and confirming accurate results. This can be done through data analysis, temperature mapping, and validation studies. In this role, you’d assist with creating validation procedures, equipment training, and troubleshooting. These specialists support production and manufacturing operations by confirming the high performance of lab equipment and software. For this job, candidates will need analytical skills and a working knowledge of computers and software. The average starting salary range for process development associates is about $71,681 to $76,440 per year.

Getting Started on Your Biotech Career

Overall, jobs in biotechnology are abundant in variety. There are many opportunities for starting a career in biotechnology. Working with biology and technology is exciting and dynamic in a laboratory, facility, or crime scene. No matter which job you choose to start with, you are sure to find a fulfilling career. Aim to improve your education, experience, and skills for the best chance at higher compensations. Candidates who are curious and eager to learn will have higher earning potential throughout their careers. At BioPhase Solutions, we’re looking for talent to join the best California biotech and pharmaceutical companies. Once you’re ready to step forward into your new biotechnology career, send us your resume to connect to a life science recruiter today!