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Biochemists and Biophysicists

Biochemists and Biophysicists
Quick Facts : Biochemists and Biophysicists*
2010 Median Pay$79,390
Entry Level EducationDoctoral or professional degree
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 201225,100
Job Outlook31% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change7,700

Biochemists and biophysicists study the chemical and physical principles of living things and of biological processes such as cell development, growth, and heredity. Most biochemists and biophysicists work on teams. They play a key role in developing new medicines to fight diseases such as cancer.

What Biochemists and Biophysicists Do

  • Plan and conduct complex projects in basic and applied research
  • Isolate, analyze, and synthesize proteins, enzymes, DNA, and other molecules
  • Research the effects of substances such as drugs, hormones, and food on tissues and biological processes
  • Prepare technical reports, research papers, and recommendations based on their research
  • Present research findings to scientists, engineers, and other colleagues

Work Environment

Biochemists and biophysicists work in laboratories. Most work full time.
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Job Outlook

Employment of biochemists and biophysicists is projected to increase by 31 percent from 2010 to 2020, but because it is a small occupation, the fast growth will result in only about 7,700 new jobs over the 10-year period.
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The average salary of biochemists and biophysicists was $79,390 in May 2010.
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Biochemists and Biophysicists*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Biochemists and Biophysicists


Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations


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Biochemists and Biophysicists*
Percent Change in Employment

Biochemists and Biophysicists


Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations


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Becoming a Biochemists and Biophysicists

Biochemists and biophysicists need a Ph.D. to work in independent research and development positions. Most Ph.D. holders begin their careers in a temporary postdoctoral research position, which typically lasts 2 to 3 years. Bachelor's and master's degree holders are qualified for some entry-level positions in biochemistry and biophysics.
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