Biotechnology is not a new subject and is often referred to as the manipulation of living bodies to modify or create useful byproducts. Biotechnology dates back over 10,000 years, starting from seed crop modification to selective livestock breeding.
The 20th century witnessed penicillin and DNA structure discovery, and the 21st century has even more to offer, including bioinformatics, personalized medicine, and stem cell reprogramming. The advancements in computational science have allowed scientists to map any living process, even if it cannot be directly manipulated.
Biotechnology products have helped evolve agriculture, the environment, and medicine greatly. Due to this, experts in biotechnology are in great demand. This has raised educational requirements and salaries. The best part is that experts can work in one of several fields that touches the biotechnology discipline.
If you wish to be a part of biotechnological processes that help cure disease, eliminate defects and extend human life, today, we shall look at the best possible career options for a biotechnology degree holder who graduates from a renowned university like the American International College.
Top Career Paths for Biotechnology Experts
1. Biofuels Engineer
Biofuel is formed from the fermentation of biomass and is considered an alternative energy source. Ethanol and biodiesel are considered the first generation of biofuel that are paving the path towards the creation of renewable energy sources. The final goal is to reduce CO2 and CO emissions and eliminate the dependency on petroleum globally.
Biofuel is used in homes for heating purposes as well as in the automotive industry. Many biofuels are distilled from corn, and research has been conducted to see if fast-growing tree bark, grains, and starchy vegetable skins can be used to create renewable fuel.
- You can pursue a career in biofuel technology by opting to become a chemical engineer.
- The United States BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics) reports that chemical engineering jobs are expected to grow at a rate of 14% between 2021 and 2031. The growth rate for other occupations is only 5%.
- Chemical engineers earn $105,550 per year on average, and 2,000 new jobs are reported to emerge between 2021 and 2031.
- Engineers must earn a professional certificate from the National Society of Professional Engineers to pursue their career legally.
2. Biomedical Engineer
A biomedical engineer focuses on how mechanical and living processes are interwoven. These engineers create products like laser systems for corrective eye surgery, insulin regulation devices, artificial limbs, internal organs, etc. These enable people with disabilities to hear, see and walk again.
A biomedical engineer can work in a commercial industry, in a research facility, or even at a hospital. They can work in a range of industries and can take on several responsibilities like sales, maintenance, product designing, patent law, etc.
- Biomedical engineering jobs are reported to grow by 10% between 2021 and 2031 owing to rapid technological advancements (3D printing and smartphones, for example) and a rapidly aging population.
- Engineers need a license from the NSPE (National Society of Professional Engineers) to pursue a career legally. Engineers must complete a four-year degree, obtain the PE (Professional Engineer) certificate, pass two exams, work under a licensed PE for four years, and get state licensure before they apply for the NSPE.
- The BLS reports that the average annual salary of a biomedical engineer is $97,410.
3. Bioinformatics Specialist
Bioinformatics is a merger of computer science and biological science. It focuses on complex tools to help understand complex biological processes. Due to this, biotechnology concepts and big data are becoming very codependent. Modern bioinformatics specialists take up huge chunks of biological data (gene and mutation data, for example) and analyze it to produce practical insights using a computer.
A bioinformatics specialist needs to have sufficient knowledge of statistical analysis, biological processes, computer science, and mathematics to develop data mining tools or analyze the results produced. Previously, bioinformatics specialists were expected to have 2 doctorates. However, specialized and streamlined Master’s degrees are slowly becoming the ultimate educational requirement.
- The BLS reports that computer and information research scientist careers are expected to grow by 21% between 2021 and 2031. These scientist jobs are very similar to that of a bioinformatics specialist.
- 7,100 new jobs are expected to emerge in just 10 years (2021 and 2031)
- The average annual salary for computer and information research scientists is 131,490 USD.
- Computer programming language efficiency is often the only measure required to assess qualification levels, as there are no industry-level certifications to become a bioinformatics specialist.
- Specialists can pursue courses in computer languages like Unix, Ruby, Perl, Python, Linux, and others to gain a competitive advantage.
We only touched upon the top career options for biotechnology experts above. There are many more career options you can opt for due to the increased versatility in the biotechnology sector.