Top 12 Highest Paying Jobs in Biotechnology
With the wide variety of biotechnology jobs, deciding which life science career path to pursue can be challenging. As one of the fastest-growing industries, career possibilities are endless. One way to consider your options is to look at the highest-paying jobs in biotechnology. Within this line of work, you could find yourself with life science companies, universities, or government organizations. Biotechnology offers exciting opportunities to join a fast-paced industry at the pinnacle of science and health discovery. Salary determining factors for biotech jobs include education, experience, and skillsets. We know how challenging it is to research job possibilities and have put together this article as a resource for your market research on highest paying jobs in biotechnology. Here we give you a snapshot of the top 12 highest paying jobs in life sciences, including the average salary, job outlook, and skills you should develop.
Biomedical engineers are responsible for the development, maintenance, and technical support of biomedical equipment. These devices are vital to health care and throughout many fields. Duties involved with the job include using engineering and biology to design equipment in coordination with scientists. Through the design process, computer software is utilized for simulations and models. Manufacturing and perfecting this equipment leads to installation and training staff on the proper use of biomedical equipment. In this role, you’d also provide technical support, regular maintenance, and prepare technical reports for presentations. This job requires analytical, communication, and problem-solving skills. With developments in human health care, this career is projected to grow 10% over the decade. The national average salary for biomedical engineers ranges from $90,793 to $94,330.
Typically requiring a post-doctorate for upper-level positions, biochemists work in basic and applied research. These scientists study the biological processes of living things. Their work includes managing the ins and outs of experiments. Biochemists seek to expand scientific knowledge, from planning and conducting experiments to preparing research reports. In applied research, they work towards developing new therapeutics. When working in teams, you need interpersonal and communication skills. On top of this, time management is a must-have skill to succeed in this analytical role. Over the next decade, biochemist jobs are projected to grow by 15%. Among the highest paying biotechnology job, the national average median salary for biochemists is $102,270 per year.
As a research scientist, you’d pursue answers to science’s biggest questions. Work can be in various settings, including private biopharma companies, government organizations, or academia. Research scientists’ primary duties involve designing and conducting experiments. Following this, they are responsible for analyzing and interpreting data. Often working in laboratories, researchers may also be involved with developing new methods for performing studies. Other work may include writing proposals, grant applications, or papers on scientific findings for the greater scientific community. A candidate for this job must have critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. On top of this, communication skills are necessary when working on research teams and communicating results to a larger audience. In this role, you can impact the development of science and medicine. With a push towards learning more about medicine, energy, and environmental sustainability, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts this overall career path to grow 7% by 2031. The average annual base salary for research scientists is about $82,146 in the United States.
Regulatory Affairs Manager
If you are not scientifically inclined, good news! Not every role in biotech requires you to be a scientist. So, what does that look like? In this role, essential duties require your oversight of all products and manufacturing, ensuring that companies adhere to industry laws and regulations from start to finish. The supervision of materials, production, and procedures can cross all industries, so work can be done in many settings. This includes biotech, pharmaceutical, and medical companies. Whether you oversee manufacturing sites, laboratories, or production safety, this role is vital in maintaining high-quality products and safe work environments. As a regulatory affairs manager, day-to-day duties involve advising companies on how to maintain or improve these standards. Staying up-to-date on all laws is vital to succeeding in this role. Your job may also include monitoring production, preparing documents, and collaborating on company policies and procedures. A deep understanding and comprehension of law, teamwork abilities, project management, and great attention to detail are skills needed for this job. Similar to other career paths in biotechnology, this role is projected to see a 4% increase in the coming years. As one of the highest paying biotechnology jobs, depending on experience, industry, and education, a regulatory affairs manager’s average annual salary is about $94,472.
Biomanufacturing is the fascinating process of using biological materials to create or aid the development of new products like pharmaceuticals. This type of manufacturing is typically used for making products for commercial distribution. Biomanufacturing specialists can work within different branches of biotech, including medicinal, environmental, agricultural, and industrial. Their work involves maintaining a safe working environment, good manufacturing practices (GMPs), and standard operating procedures (SOPs). This may include monitoring the manufacturing process and equipment, performing maintenance, and documenting all work. Biomanufacturing specialists may also be responsible for quality control and ensuring that the finished product meets all standards. As a biomanufacturing specialist, it is vital to have strong problem-solving skills and knowledge of industry regulations when working with complex systems. Growth is expected to be driven by increasing demand for biotechnology-developed products, such as pharmaceuticals and medical devices. The average salary for specialists in biomanufacturing is $72,240.
If you’re a wizard with data analysis and statistics, this could be the career for you. A biostatistician looks at statistics about living organisms and often helps with analyzing research studies’ data. Their work can be in academic, government, or private pharmaceutical and biotech settings. Your work as a biostatistician would contribute to designing and analyzing studies, collecting and organizing data, and interpreting results. Other tasks can include writing reports and proposals to key stakeholders. Biostatisticians must be able to work in multi-disciplinary teams and know their way around statistical software, methods, and theory. Strong candidates for this job have skills in problem-solving and communication. With biotech research growing, and a need for data interpretation to further project development, this career outlook is looking to grow by a whopping 31% in the next ten years. While some upper-level positions may require a Ph.D., the average salary for those in biostatistics can range from $112,071 to $125,133 per year as one of the highest paying biotechnology jobs.
Working with life science companies, hospitals, or universities, medical scientists design and conduct studies related to human health discovery. Medical scientists are responsible for developing and performing medical research. Their duties include testing medical devices, taking samples, writing research proposals, and collaborating with health departments. After acquiring a Ph.D. and the necessary certificates, those who want to become medical scientists must also develop critical thinking, data analysis, and observational skills. In this role, you can make a difference in public health and medicine by expanding this knowledge. With a push towards genetic testing and treatment of chronic diseases, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts this career will grow by 17% between 2021 and 2031. The annual median compensation was $95,310 per year in 2021
In a microbiologist role, you could study microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. Working in biotechnology would provide an opportunity to learn about this fascinating micro-world. Microbiologists typically spend their days in laboratories with research teams guiding or overseeing experiments. Their work can involve plants, animals, or human biological materials. By performing lab experiments, microbiologists’ work can study impacts on human health, the environment, agriculture, and more. As a microbiologist often working in teams, you should have excellent communication and time management skills. Bonus: this career can also lead to upper-level project management opportunities! For better opportunities and compensation, most microbiologists pursue a post-doctorate. The expansion of the biotechnology industry is driving demand for microbiologists. Like other biotechnology pathways, microbiology is projected to increase by 9% over the next 10 years. The 2021 average salary for microbiologists was $79,260 per year.
Product Management Director
With a head for organization and natural talent for management, you can find a biotech career that leads to product management. In this role, you would take a biotechnology, pharmaceutical, or medical device product from beginning to end in the commercialization process. Preparing for the release of a product involves the conception of business strategies and roadmaps. Managing the life cycle of a product requires critical thinking, organization, and the ability to communicate with several departments within a company. Setting goals, balancing budgets and overseeing production require years of experience in business management. As the best life science companies work to get approval for new therapies and medicines, the demand for product management directors increases. Depending on education and experience within the field, as one of the highest paying biotechnology jobs, product management directors made, on average, $174,205 per year in the United States.
Product Development Scientist
When companies begin manufacturing a product, a product development scientist maintains and improves production systems through research and development. In this role, you work together with other scientists and engineers to make manufacturing processes efficient, effective, and profitable. This role optimizes product manufacturing by testing materials and iterating production techniques. You could work with the newest technologies and machines in engineering and biotechnology as a product development scientist. This role helps manufacturing processes reach their full potential by designing experiments and testing new procedures. Within this career, you could work with food, biofuel, cosmetics, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and other products. With an investigative outlook on every project, you must have observational, project-management, team working, IT, and technical skills. As more biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies begin to roll out products from their pipelines, product development scientists will play a vital role in facilitating commercial release. On average, in the United States, product development scientists make an annual wage of $78,771 to $94,252.
Quality Assurance Manager
Are you much of a critic with a unique eye for detail? If yes, then quality assurance management could be the career for you. These managers oversee all standards and regulations for products and employees. In keeping up with quality standards, QA managers ensure all pain points in a production system are researched, analyzed, and addresses with thorough plans and procedures. As a quality assurance manager, your day-to-day involved coordinating tests, reporting results, and developing strategies for maintaining industry standards. With your experience, you also act as an employee mentor and leader. For this role, you need superb skills in project management, communication, leadership, and problem-solving. As every industry has standards and regulations to uphold, quality assurance managers can find promising careers with biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and medical device companies. In the United States, quality assurance managers, on average, are compensated $84,853 to $108,868 per year.
In the manufacturing process, there is a mind behind the madness responsible for the equipment and materials used to create a product. A process engineer’s duties include designing, planning, and implementing production equipment used in an industrial environment. Often working with chemicals and raw materials, process engineers typically need a background in chemistry or industrial engineering. They supervise the manufacturing process to transform and optimize product processing. When working in teams, it is necessary to have communication, attention to detail, and quick-thinking skills. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, as a new generation of engineers graduate and files into work, there will be a demand for process engineers as the previous workforce begins to retire. With the necessary experience and education, many can find a rewarding career in this role as one of the highest paying biotechnology jobs. In 2021 the average median salary for industrial engineers was $95,300, and for chemical engineers, it was $105,550.
Highest Paying Jobs in Biotechnology
One of the best aspects of biotechnology is the diversity of jobs. From management to science, there is something for everyone. Biotechnology careers don’t have to be intimidating or hard to achieve. These career paths can touch clinical operations, business management, manufacturing, data analysis, and, as you’ve read, much more high paying biotech jobs! Biotechnology and pharmaceuticals are unique fields that can lead to attractive salaries. Start your biotech career today by connecting with one of our recruiters or following us on LinkedIn for weekly biotech recruiting updates. If you’re ready to look for your opportunity in biotech, send us a message!