Careers in Biotechnology

Biotechnology Career Pathways

In biotechnology, career paths can have many branches. Careers often begin with technical education at two- or four-year colleges. Community colleges prepare students for working in industry by providing hands-on education through associates and bachelors degree programs. These colleges also offer certificates that focus on technical skills. As individuals gain experience, they can advance their careers through promotions, new jobs, or additional education and advanced degrees.   

Education

Careers begin with education. For some jobs a high school diploma or GED is enough to get started. Many technical positions require either a certificate, associates degree, or bachelors degree. Practical hands-on skills are required and community colleges provide these opportunities.  

Entry Level Jobs

Biotechnology careers commonly begin with entry-level technician jobs; 33 examples are described below.

Job Areas

Entry-level jobs are found in multiple segments of the bioscience industry (Job Areas). The Jobs Areas page provides 36 examples.

Biotechnology Job Descriptions

Agricultural and Food Science Technicians work with agricultural and food scientists to monitor food production and food safety. Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees

Animal technicians take care of the laboratory animals that are used in biotechnology research, veterinary research, and product testing ... Learn more

Minimum Education
High school diploma, or GED, is a minimum requirement for biotech work Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions

Biofuel technicians carry out the laboratory work involved in producing biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel. Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees

Cell culture technicians grow living cells in culture flasks, bioreactors, plates and other kinds of containers. The types of cells they ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees

Chemistry Quality Control teams perform daily bench work. To meet required levels of quality, they test all raw materials, packing ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees

Clinical Research Associates are responsible for conducting studies to examine the safety and efficacy of new drugs in human patients. ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees

Compliance Specialists manage their organization's need to obey regulations such as grant requirements, or local, state or federal laws ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions

Workers in bioscience facilities and research environments can be exposed to a variety of chemical, biological or physical hazards as ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions

Environmental science and protection technicians monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution and contamination, ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions

Facilities Technicians are responsible for the operation and maintenance of biomanufacturing buildings and equipment. They monitor ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees

Food inspectors provide inspections of organizations that handle and prepare food, including restaurants, supermarkets and even ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees

Genomics technicians use a range of technologies related to determining and comparing DNA and RNA sequences. They isolate RNA and DNA ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees

Glass Washers are responsible for washing and drying glassware and distributing it to the appropriate locations within laboratories. ... Learn more

Minimum Education
High school diploma, or GED, is a minimum requirement for biotech work Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions

These positions are for people who like to work with plants, enjoy being more outdoors, but also like to understand science. They care ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions

These jobs are for people who like to work with electronic equipment and are interested in biotechnology. Instrumentation technicians ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees

These positions are also known by other names such as laboratory support worker, clean room technician, cleaning technician, glasswasher ... Learn more

Minimum Education
High school diploma, or GED, is a minimum requirement for biotech work Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions

Laboratory Safety Associates, sometimes described as Lab Safety Officers or Lab Safety Specialists, are responsible for maintaining a ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees

They work on experiments and procedures in research on projects and products that could cure disease, improve crops, help clean up the ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees

These are entry-level positions for people with a high school diploma. Other titles for this position are aseptic fill assistant, cell ... Learn more

Minimum Education
High school diploma, or GED, is a minimum requirement for biotech work Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees

Downstream processes are those in which the products are harvested, tested, purified and packaged.

Upstream processes are those ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees

Upstream processes are those in which biological materials are either obtained from an outside source or inoculated and grown in culture ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees

Microbial contaminants can enter a biomanufacturing production system and impact the product outcomes. Microbiology Quality Control ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees In biotech, masters degrees are needed for more advanced work and team leadership Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions

These technicians must have experiences in general molecular biology techniques including DNA/RNA extraction, modification, PCR, high ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees In biotech, masters degrees are needed for more advanced work and team leadership

Plant tissue culture technicians work in laboratory environments and use aseptic (sterile) technique to propagate plants.

The ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees

Process Development Associates evaluate biomanufacturing processes, improve them, and scale them up for larger batches of materials. ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees

Product Development Technicians, sometimes called "Product Development Associates," assist with the creation and production of medical ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees In biotech, masters degrees are needed for more advanced work and team leadership

Purification technicians purify proteins using column chromatography, HPLC, FPLC, and monitor purity using fluorescence technologies, ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees

Documentation is critically important in biomanufacturing. Well-defined production Standard Operating Procedure documents enable ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees

Quality assurance specialists are charged with managing the system and procedures that prevent mistakes and help avoid problems. ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees

Quality control technicians test materials before, during, and after production to measure the characteristics of materials and ensure ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees

Technical service representatives assist customers with instruments or reagents that they have purchased from companies that provide ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees In biotech, masters degrees are needed for more advanced work and team leadership

Validation Specialists (also known as Validation Technicians) participate in validation, temperature mapping, and calibration activities ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees

Water quality technicians test for microbes and chemical contaminants in recreational, potable, and waste water to determine if the ... Learn more

Minimum Education
Associates, or 2-yr, degrees are good for many entry level positions Many biotech entry jobs list bachelors degrees