Various biotechnology careers include forensic DNA analyst, scientist, clinical research associate job, laboratory assistant, microbiologist, greenhouse and field technician, bioinformatics specialist, animal caretaker and many more.
A survey conducted by a private firm, to find out what are 10 happiest professions in America had some interesting findings. Conclusions were made after 200,000 people working in 70,000 different jobs were interviewed. A lot of things were taken under consideration: how much people appreciate their daily tasks, bosses, co-workers, salary, company culture and reputation…All examined subjects ranked how investigated factors correlate with their overall satisfaction. Salary wasn't most important factor for employee’s happiness. Type of a daily jobs, control over work done and relationship with colleagues were considered most important. Career that combines all necessary factors to make people enjoy time spent in their offices (laboratories) – is career in biotechnology!
Biotechnology is combining knowledge about life and living organisms with modern technology to create new systems, devices, materials, food…that could improve human life and help preserve environment. Most biotechnology products are associated with agriculture, food industry and medicine, and logically - careers in those fields are most popular.
Following is an interesting summary of options in Biotechnology as a career:
Image courtesy: http://faculty.ivytech.edu/~slee/images/jobtitles.gif
A list of careers in biotech is long; here are few that sound really interesting:
Scientific laboratory could perform different kind of research, but as a laboratory assistant your main duties will be sampling, measuring, collecting and analyzing investigated data… Maintenance of laboratory equipment such as centrifuges, titrators, pipetting machines…is also one of the tasks. Laboratory tests and strict methodology are very important especially when hazardous material is under investigation. Besides using typical lab equipment in work – computational analysis of given data is also important. High quality laboratory work is necessary for later research and development stages.
Average Salary (per month) for a laboratory assistant may range from:
In India, salaries may range between: INR 10,000-25000
Greenhouse and Field Technician
Modern agricultural research is dealing with new, genetically modified plants. As a greenhouse and field technician, you’ll be in charge for planting seeds, pollinating plants, applying fertilizers and pesticides. Special attention to the problems that may arise (pest, disease…) is extremely important as those are genetically modified organisms. Basic knowledge of equipment used in everyday work as well as computer knowledge is also very important for this position.
Average Salary (per month) for a Green House and Field Technician may range from:
In India, salaries may range between: INR 15,000-30,000 (or more, depending upon the experience)
Forensic DNA Analyst
This position is usually associated with crime laboratories where DNA analysis is performed to solve legal issues. Urine, saliva, blood, semen, hair…those are the samples that could be used for DNA analysis. After sample collection, DNA is extracted and analyzed using couple methods (PCR, electrophoresis). Final results are further compared with the already known DNA profiles. Methodology is strict: properly collected and stored evidence, documentation on technical laboratory details and well written final reports are essential for successful prosecution. Depending on the laboratory size, employees could be more or less specialized.
Average Salary (per month) for a Forensic DNA Analyst may range from:
In India, salaries may range between: INR 30,000-40,000
(or more, depending upon the experience)
Clinical Research Associate
Clinical research associate (CRA) is monitoring clinical trials on a new drug. After preclinical studies (when tested on animals) are finished, drug is entering clinical trials where (depending on the study phase) smaller or larger group of people will be evaluated for possible adverse effects. CRA is included both in study design and in writing reports using given results. Close monitoring is especially important to make sure that protocol is not violated. Clinical data is collected, summarized and analyzed to help made final conclusion on a drug effect.
Average Salary (per month) for a Clinical Research Associate may range from:
In India, salaries may range between: INR 20,000-25,000 (or more, depending upon the experience and repute of the firm)
Bioinformatics is combining biology and computers. Data derived from various studies (DNA associated experiments, for example) is gathered in the computers. Software is in charge for data organization, manipulation and final analysis. Data mining is useful way to collect lot of publically available and jet relevant data that could be used in different experimental stages (for comparison or quick information extraction) or to help merge data from different sources. Programming skills are necessary for software and database manufacture and maintenance.
Average Salary (per month) for a Bioinformatics Specialist may range from:
In India, salaries may range between: INR 30,000-45,000 (or more, depending upon the experience and repute of the firm)
Animal caretaker is nurturing animals used in biotech research. List of species used is long: all the way from mice and rats to cows and chimps. Water and food supplies, cage cleaning, animal health monitoring, relocation, milking, artificial insemination… a lot of duties need to be performed and not all tasks are representative. If you put aside that animals have specific odor (and different bodily fluids and excretions) keep in mind that watching animal suffer during experiments isn’t easy or nice thing to do.
Average Salary (per month) for an Animal Caretaker may range from:
In India, salaries may range between: INR 10,000-15,000
A Production Engineer role can be obtained in any Biotechnology Product based company (like Cosmetics/FMCG, Pharmaceutical firms, Food industry etc). Role of a production engineer involves mapping process parameters to keep the line of production progressive (which is crucial for any large scale production company, especially pharmaceuticals).
Average Salary (per month) for a Production Engineer may range from:
In India, salaries may range between: INR 30,000-50,000 (depending upon experience, institute of study and company as well)
Qualiy Assurance (QA) Engineer
For becoming a quality assurance engineer in a biotechnology company, you need to have specialization/professional experience in Microbiology/Aseptic compliance. Role of a QA engineer is to ensure contamination free and standardized product formation. Controlling the the level of toxins, microbial contamination, proportions of various constituents is what comes under the role of a QA engineer.
Average Salary (per month) for a QA engineer may range from:
In India, salaries may range between: INR 25,000-30,000 (depending upon experience, institute of study and company as well)
Companies like McKinsey, IBM, Evalueserve, Wipro, TCS, Deloitte etc hire biotechnology consultants for market research, knowledge process outsourcing, Audits, R&D etc.
Average Salary (per month) for a Consultant may range from:
In India, salaries may range between: INR 30,000-1,00,000 (depending upon experience, institute of study and company as well)
Number of people working in biotech industry in USA is exceeding 180.000. List of possible occupations is long and will expand as biotech is growing and moving in various directions with each new day. You just need to figure out what part of it you like the most.