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Biochemist Green Job

Biochemists investigate the chemical processes that take place inside all living things, such as viruses, bacteria and people.

Annual Salary

£24,000 to £50,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings; on shifts

Future employment

There will be 2.4% more Biochemist jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

Biochemists work in many sectors of the economy.

You could work in areas such as disease, pharmaceutical drugs, food products or academic research. You may also teach at a university.

In most roles you can expect to:

  • plan and conduct scientific experiments
  • develop new analytical techniques
  • use computer software and mathematical modelling
  • supervise lab teams and control the quality of work
  • design or build lab equipment
  • write scientific articles, prepare reports and present research findings
  • follow official lab procedures

Working environment

You may need to wear protective clothing.

You could work at a research facility, in a laboratory or at a university.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • working towards this role
  • specialist training with the NHS

You'll usually need a relevant science degree, like:

  • biochemistry
  • biotechnology
  • biopharmaceuticals
  • chemical and molecular biology
  • microbiology genetics
  • molecular biology

If you do not meet the entry requirements for one of these subjects, you may be able to do a foundation year.

Postgraduate courses

For some jobs you may also need a postgraduate qualification like a master's degree or PhD.

Some degree courses include an integrated master's qualification like MBiolSci, MBiochem or MSci. You'll usually have more time for independent research and they're designed to lead directly onto further postgraduate study like a PhD.

Laboratory experience

It's important to get experience of working in a laboratory during your degree course.

You can do this through a:placement; internship; year in industry scheme; Summer Vacation Studentship

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English, maths and science
  • 3 A levels, or equivalent, including biology and chemistry
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
For more information

You could start out as a laboratory technician and study on the job for a degree.

Other routes

You could train to be a clinical biochemist in the NHS through the NHS Scientist Training Programme (STP).

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You can demonstrate your professional status and keep your knowledge up to date by joining a professional body like the:Biochemical Society; Royal Society of Biology

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a biochemist from the:Biochemical Society; Royal Society of Biology; Association for Clinical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine

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With experience, you could:develop a specialism; manage a team, department or project; move into product sales, marketing or science communication; become a freelance consultant

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of biology
  • knowledge of chemistry including the safe use and disposal of chemicals
  • maths knowledge
  • analytical thinking skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • concentration skills
  • knowledge of physics
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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