Biochemists and Biophysicists

What do they do?

Study the chemical composition or physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, growth, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, serums, hormones, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.

Also known as:

Analytical Research Chemist, Chief Scientific Officer, Director of the Biophysics Facility, Laboratory Director, Professor of Physics/Researcher in Biophysics, Research Affiliate, Research Assistant, Research Associate, Research Scientist, Scientist

Typical Wages

Annual wages for Biochemists and Biophysicists in United States

Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Biochemists and Biophysicists is projected to grow 15 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than average compared to all occupations.

Projected Employment

No Data Available

Projected Employment Rankings For Virginia:

  • 15.7%

    Percent Change

    Ranks #13 in job growth rate
  • 50

    Annual Projected Job Openings

    Ranks #15 in net job growth

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Typical College Majors

Majors that prepare Biochemists and Biophysicists:

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★ Number of granted degrees for degree type, Bachelors degree, is listed after the major.

Education Level

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree (21.6%)
  • Master's degree (29%)
  • Bachelor's degree (49.4%)
  • Associate's degree (0%)
  • Some college, no degree (0%)
  • High school diploma equivalent (0%)
  • Less than high school diploma (0%)

Percent of workers in this field

Colleges that Prepare

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Skills

People in this career often have these skills:

  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
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Knowledge

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
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Abilities

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
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Activities: what you might do in a day

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Research microbiological or chemical processes or structures.
  • Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations.
  • Instruct college students in physical or life sciences.
  • Supervise scientific or technical personnel.
  • Analyze biological samples.
  • Develop biological research methods.
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This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 24.1 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

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