We’ll outline the steps on how to become a biotechnologist. After that, we’ll list some job positions available for experts in this field.
Do you want to know how the natural world works? Consider growing into a biotechnologist.
The field combines research in biology and technology to discover life-improving solutions in multiple areas. These include farming, medicine, food, & beverages, among others.
Steps to Becoming a Biotechnologist
Many advances in biotechnology are centered around medicine—for instance, vaccines and synthetic DNA. There are also endless industrial, production, environmental, and agricultural applications.
The field of biotechnology has been around for many centuries. However, most folks today need to learn the procedures to venture into the career path.
If you’re one of them, you’ll enjoy reading this article.
About Biotechnology as a Career
You can also refer to these experts as scientists or research professionals.
They study biology and develop products and technologies based on their research. Biotechnologists also have in-depth knowledge of cell organisms’ chemical, tissue, genetic, and physical attributes.
As an expert in this field, you can work in diverse areas. These include medicine, food production, agriculture, bioinformatics, small molecule tech, synthetic biology, and waste treatment.
You’ll create products for pharmaceutical, diagnostic, and environmental use.
Biotechnologist Education Requirements
Becoming an expert in this field involves several stages.
These include satisfying both academic certification criteria. Students can take different paths to achieve the same objective. Let’s consider these stages below.
Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree
Before you can work in this field, you must have a basic level of education.
The minimum academic essential is to acquire a bachelor’s degree in biotechnology. You can also obtain credentials in similar fields, such as biochemistry, biology, and environmental engineering.
You’ll receive both classroom instruction and hands-on experience during your studies. Some specialization courses include quality assurance, biotechnology management, compliance, food and agriculture, and more.
Before you qualify for undergrad studies, you must satisfy certain academic conditions. These include finishing high school or GED and passing standardized exams such as the ACT or SAT.
It takes around four years to complete an undergrad study in the field.
A master’s degree and a PhD aren’t critical to entering biotechnology. They are only necessary for those who desire top positions in the industry.
Additionally, you’ll have the chance to focus on specific subfields such as pharmaceutical tech or manufacturing and quality operations.
However, it will cost you so much time and money. You’ll need to meet certain conditions to be eligible for postgraduate studies.
These include submitting your past academic transcript reference letters and having a minimum GPA score. Finally, it will take you around two years to earn a master’s degree in the field.
Then, four to seven years for doctoral programs.
Biotechnologist Training Requirements
Acquire Practical Work Experience
Gaining hands-on experience is the next step after completing your education.
You can obtain such competencies through internships and externships. Most schools offering biotechnology courses include internships in their curriculum.
During your undergrad studies, you’ll enroll in practicum programs that meet the conditions at an approved site within your locality. The internship aims to familiarize you with the nature of the work.
You’ll have the chance to learn more about what to expect in your future career.
Moreover, you’ll meet with professionals in your field, bolstering your network. The people you meet during your program can add more to your experience.
Sometimes, they can assist you in seeking gainful employment, among other benefits.
Get Certification as a Biotechnologist
Having gotten your academic certificate and acquired real-world experience, you need to get certified. Obtaining attestation from a recognized agency will bolster your odds of securing a job.
Most employers prioritize candidates with biotech certification. The credential will show you’re competent enough to perform all operations according to standards.
One professional credential you can obtain is the CfPIE. The ASCP Board of Certification offers it. The organization is among the oldest and largest offering such qualifications.
At present, they’ve issued certificates to over 600,000 professionals.
Meanwhile, you’ll be required to meet certain conditions before getting an attestation for your competency.
These include writing and passing the profession test, presenting an academic qualification, and more. The qualification test has no eligibility conditions.
Anyone who feels prepared can register and sit for the examination.
Cost of Biotechnology Studies
Before venturing into a career like this, you must learn about its cost implications.
By doing so, you’ll not only make informed decisions regarding your finances but will also make adequate preparation timely. How much money you’ll spend on your career depends on several factors.
They include your choice of institution, program, and geographical location.
While true, you can spend anywhere between $12,000 and $60,000. Most undergrad studies cost around $4,000 to a little over. An associate degree is about $26,000.
This will cover tuition, books, room and board, supplies, and transport. You can get the exact cost on your desired school’s web page.
Professional Organizations for Biotechnologists
There’s more than one professional firm for experts in this field. These establishments provide mentoring and networking possibilities to active members.
Some organizations publish journals with peer-reviewed articles containing new advancements and discoveries in biotechnology.
You can explore these associations to learn more about the perks that can add to your career. For instance, AIBS offers multiple expert development and training schemes.
The aim is to help members broaden their knowledge base and enhance their skills.
Other helpful agencies include the American Institute of Biomedical Sciences, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, and the Biomedical Engineering Society.
Work Settings for Biotechnologists
As a biotechnologist, you can work in numerous work environments.
A few include research and development firms, pharmaceuticals or medicine, and academia. But your eligibility to work in these places relies on your specialization area and experience level.
Salary of a Biotechnologist
We’ll round up our discussion by highlighting the average earnings of these experts.
Of course, you’ll want to know how rewarding this profession can be. Around May 2022, BLS reported that biotechnologists earn an average of around $35,050 to $113,460 annually.
However, this amount is subject to change based on some essential factors. They include your level of education and experience, academic background, workplace, geographical setting, and more.
Growing into a biotechnologist involves a few steps. However, acquiring the necessary education and certification may take four years.
After satisfying these conditions, you can be qualified for several work positions in the industry. Most of these jobs pay an appreciable amount.