The future of science is here: Find out 5 exciting careers in biotechnology!
By Rebecca Jeong
Every day, new advances in biotechnology and genetic engineering reshape our society and economy. Biotechnology (technology that uses biological systems, or “living organisms”) can help us create sustainable food and energy, new materials, innovative medicines, and much more. The biotechnology industry impacts billions of lives every year and is a cornerstone of our civilization. Yet, only a small fraction of the population understands what is inside the “black box” of biotechnology. At Amino, we’re working to change that — the rest of this post will explain why! Some of the most exciting emerging careers involve biotechnology.
The work of biotechnology can be done in government facilities, at universities, or at private companies. These workplaces could be exploring the future of agriculture, aquaculture, environmental science, food processing, health, chemicals, or pharmaceuticals.
Find out about 5 exciting careers in biotechnology!
1. Biotechnology researcher
Researchers identify questions that could be answered with biotechnology. Then, they determine what experiments might be necessary to come up with solutions. Researchers will then perform those experiments to collect data.
After all the data has been collected and analyzed, researchers write reports on the overall research that has been completed. To inform the biotechnology community about their research, researchers publish the results in scientific journals. There may be other duties outside of conducting research, such as: applying for research grants to fund the work, supervising other junior researchers (e.g., training them and assigning them tasks), or attending symposiums and conferences around the world.
If you like working in the lab, writing and communicating about science — and potentially traveling — this might be the career for you!
2. Biotechnology lab technician
Biotechnology lab technicians assist in some experimental procedures and data analyses when the procedures become technical. They conduct experiments and analyze data that requires background knowledge of biology, microbiology, or biochemistry. In the research lab, multiple research topics may be being investigated at one time, so it may be necessary to have multiple lab technicians that specialize in different fields.
If you like working in the lab, and learning specialized technical details about science and performing experiments, consider a career as a biotechnology lab technician!
3. Technical writer
In biotechnology, people from different educational backgrounds work in the same field. Because people are coming from different fields, clear communication about instructions is critical. Technical writers create technical manuals and content for products to be standardized, so they are easy for people to understand and use. Technical writers need to understand complex information and communicate that information to people from diverse professional backgrounds.
If you like biotechnology, writing, and are passionate about helping more people understand science, this might be the perfect job for you. And as biotechnology expands, this is going to be a growing area of opportunity!
4. Biotechnology policymaker
Some fields of biotechnology involve working with animal or human cells. Because of this, governments are making policies about how this can and should happen. Scientists need to monitor and implement policy guidelines in all of their processes. Biotechnology policymakers are responsible for monitoring and assessing the scientific, ethical, and social implications of certain biotechnologies.
If you love biotechnology, and want to make sure it helps society rather than harms it, you may be interested in a career as a biotechnology policymaker. (And things are going to get ethically complicated in the future! Check out this post about de-extinction for example…)
5. Artificial Intelligence (AI) Designer/Developer
In order to automate some of the biotechnology processes that can be tedious, slow, or difficult for humans to do, artificial intelligence tools are integrated in the data collection processes. AI designers and developers build machines for automated data collection to solve problems and increase efficiency. Proficiency in working with multiple programming languages is required to do applied research in artificial intelligence. AI is an emerging field, and it is likely that AI designers will work on projects that we can’t even imagine yet.
If you love programming, and want to work in a cutting-edge field that isn’t yet fully defined, you’ll make a fantastic AI designer or developer.
What degrees or training do I need to work in biotechnology?
To work in these fields right now, you usually need a bachelor of science for entry-level positions. However, some positions require a Master's degree or a PhD.
If you’re interested in these careers but don’t know where to start, we suggest checking out our best-selling book: