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Biotechnology »

Careers


What Is Biotechnology?

The term “biotechnology” encompasses a broad range of separate technologies that affect an increasing number of careers and industries.

Four primary fields — medicine, agriculture and animal husbandry, general industry and environmental protection — have benefited from advances in biotechnology. See How Is Biotechnology Used? for specific examples.

Career Options in Biotechnology

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, core occupational fields in biotechnology are:

  • Research and development, the foundation for biotechnology
  • Quality control and assurance, meeting specifications for precision and safety
  • Manufacturing and production, making the products
  • Agriculture
  • Bioprocessing, producing a biological material for commercial use
  • Bioinformatics, the computer basis of the science

Employers in biotechnology-related fields include:

  • Agricultural companies
  • Colleges and universities
  • Food processing industries
  • Industrial companies
  • Medical schools
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Research and development

Specialty areas include:

  • Agricultural engineering
  • Environmental testing
  • Food safety
  • Genetic engineering
  • Health-care industry sales
  • Industrial production
  • Molecular biology
  • Molecular diagnostics
  • Regulatory agencies and inspection
  • Vaccine production
  • Wastewater treatment

Depending on the level of continued education, job titles may include:

  • Chemical analyst
  • Chemical technician
  • Clinical research associate
  • Genetic research technician
  • Laboratory assistant
  • Laboratory technician
  • Laboratory scientist

Salaries and Projected Job Growth

According to America’s Career Infonet, average salaries for biotechnology-related occupations in Texas include:

Job Median Hourly Rate Median Annual Salary Projected Job Growth Through 2018
Agricultural and food science technician $14.45 $30,100 +14%
Biological technician $16.02 $33,300 +22%
Chemical technician $23.36 $48,600 +4%
Environmental science and protection technician $19.71 $41,000 +17%
Medical and clinical lab technician $15.55 $32,300 +23%