Career Services

What can I do with this Major?

BIOCHEMISTRY

AREA: RESEARCH

  • Basic
  • Applied
  • Medical
  • Grant Writing
  • Administration

EMPLOYERS

  • University laboratories
  • Federal government laboratories/agencies including:
  • National Science Foundation
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Food and Drug Administration
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Department of Agriculture
  • Armed Services
  • State and local government laboratories/agencies
  • Public health departments
  • Hospital laboratories
  • Commercial medical laboratories
  • Private testing laboratories including forensics
  • Independent research foundations
  • Industry laboratories:
    • Pharmaceutical companies
    • Biotechnology firms
    • Food processors
    • Cosmetic manufacturers
    • Chemical and petroleum industries
    • Agricultural industry

STRATEGIES

Bachelor's degree in biochemistry, biology, or chemistry qualifies one for laboratory technician or research assistant positions. Choose courses with laboratory work. Get on the job experience in a laboratory and/or complete a senior research project. Complete a certificate training program, usually one year, to learn specialized laboratory techniques. Take a course in grant writing.

Earn master's degree in biochemistry for better positions, advancement opportunities, more responsibility and higher pay. Obtain Ph.D. to direct research projects and lead research teams.


AREA: TEACHING

  • Elementary
  • Secondary
  • Post-secondary

EMPLOYERS

  • Public and private elementary, middle, and high schools
  • Two-year community colleges/technical institutes
  • Four-year institutions
  • Medical schools

STRATEGIES

Complete an accredited teacher preparation program for certification/licensure in biology and/or chemistry. Ph.D. required for college or university teaching. Some teaching positions in two-year institutions may be available for those with a master's degree. Prepare to attend graduate school by maintaining a high grade point average and securing strong faculty recommendations. Serve as a tutor for high school or college students. Learn to communicate effectively.


AREA: HEALTHCARE

  • Medicine
  • Dentistry
  • Optometry
  • Podiatry
  • Pharmacy
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Allied Health
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy

EMPLOYERS

  • Hospitals
  • Medical centers
  • Nursing homes
  • Private practice

STRATEGIES

Plan on attending medical school or other related graduate program. Maintain an outstanding grade point average, particularly in the sciences. Secure strong faculty recommendations. Meet with a pre-health advisor periodically. Join related student organizations. Demonstrate leadership abilities. Volunteer to work in a hospital or healthcare setting. Find a summer job or internship in a hospital.
Develop a back up plan in case medical/graduate school admission is denied.
Consider alternative but related careers such as physician assistants. Research all of the various fields within medicine to determine a particular career goal.


AREA: OTHER PROFESSIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

  • Sales/Marketing
  • Technical Writing
  • Scientific Journalism
  • Scientific Illustration
  • Regulatory Affairs
  • Administration/Management
  • Scientific/Technical Recruiting
  • Intellectual Property/Patent Law

EMPLOYERS

  • Biotechnology industry
  • Pharmaceutical and chemical companies
  • Publishers: Textbook, magazine, newspaper, book
  • Software firms
  • Regulatory agencies
  • Search firms
  • Law firms
  • Legal departments of corporations

STRATEGIES

For sales positions, gain sales experience through internships, part-time work, or summer jobs. Take business and/or computer classes. Become familiar with desktop publishing and other software packages. Develop strong written and oral communication skills. Get experience writing for a school or local newspaper.

Obtain an MBA or Ph.D. to reach high levels of administration. Plan on attending law school if interested in law.


GENERAL INFORMATION

  • As an undergraduate, seek laboratory experiences such as research projects, volunteering with professors, summer jobs, or internships.
  • Participate in research programs sponsored by organizations like the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.
  • Consider a certificate program or specialized master's program to qualify for research technician positions.
  • Earn master's degree for greater variety and autonomy on the job.
    Earn a Ph.D. to work on high-level research projects, to direct research programs, to enter high levels of administration, and to teach at four-year post-secondary institutions. Postdoctoral fellowships may also be required.
  • Learn to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Develop the ability to communicate clearly.
  • Gain competencies in computers and mathematics.
  • Read scientific journals and join related professional organizations.
  • Combine an undergraduate degree in biochemistry with a degree in law, computer programming, business, education, information science, or other discipline to expand career opportunities.