BIOCHEMISTS study the chemical composition of living things. They analyze chemical combinations and reactions in metabolism, reproduction, growth, and heredity. They study the effects of food, hormones, or drugs on various organisms. They explore the chemistry and biology of what happens inside cells. They dissect the cell and develop new ways to detect and attack disease. They study illness, and try to find ways to improve the Earth. They use techniques to trace the path of evolution, warn people when their children might inherit a disease, identify criminals, and create crops that are resistant to pests, disease, etc.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $83,500 average per year ($40.25 per hour)
- A small occupation (22,800 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow rapidly (3.7% per year)
A Ph.D. degree is usually necessary for BIOCHEMISTS who are involved in independent research, or are interested in advancing to administrative positions. A master's degree is sufficient for some jobs in applied research or product development and for jobs in management, inspection, sales, and service. A bachelor's degree is adequate for some non-research jobs.