MOLECULAR BIOLOGISTS explore the tiny realm inside cells, study the development of illness, and search for ways to improve life. They develop new ways to detect and attack disease. Molecular biologists use their techniques to trace the path of evolution and create tests for many illnesses. They study life on every level, from individual molecules, to the interrelated web of Earth's organisms. Molecular biologists discover how certain diseases, such as AIDS and cancer, escape detection by the immune system. Molecular biologists work to unravel the full genetic code of humans.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $66,500 average per year ($32.00 per hour)
- A small occupation (18,300 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.2% per year)
For MOLECULAR BIOLOGISTS, a Ph.D. is usually necessary for independent research, college teaching, and 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. In addition to required courses in chemistry and biology, undergraduate biological science majors usually study allied disciplines such as mathematics, physics, and computer science. Computer courses are essential to operate laboratory equipment.