Biochemists and biophysicists study the chemical and physical principles of living things and of biological processes, such as cell development, growth, heredity, and disease.
Biochemists and biophysicists typically work in laboratories and offices to conduct experiments and analyze the results. Most work full time.
How to Become a Biochemist or Biophysicist
Biochemists and biophysicists need a Ph.D. to work in independent research and development. Most Ph.D. holders begin their careers in temporary postdoctoral research positions. Bachelor’s and master’s degree holders qualify for some entry-level positions in biochemistry and biophysics.
Employment of biochemists and biophysicists is projected to grow 8 percent from 2014 to 2024, about as fast as the average for all occupations. More biochemists and biophysicists will be needed to use the knowledge they have gained from basic research to develop biological products and processes that improve people’s lives.
This occupation supported 29,200 jobs in 2012 and 34,100 jobs in 2014, reflecting an increase of 16.8%. In 2012, this occupation was projected to increase by 18.5% in 2022 to 34,600 jobs. As of 2014, to keep pace with prediction, the expected number of jobs was 30,200, compared with an observed value of 34,100, 12.9% higher than expected. This indicates current employment trends are much better than the 2012 trend within this occupation. In 2014, this occupation was projected to increase by 9.6% in 2024 to 36,900 jobs. Linear extrapolation of the 2012 projection for 2022 results in an expected number of 35,600 jobs for 2024, 3.5% lower than the 2014 projection for 2024. This indicates expectations for future employment trends are better than the 2012 trend within this occupation.