Biochemists work in many fields - in research institutes, industry, hospitals, agriculture, education and associated areas. There are many areas of everyday life as diverse as medical products and diagnostics, new foods and food safety, crop improvement, cosmetics and forensic science that have close links with
Pharmaceutical, biotechnology, food, brewing, and agrochemical companies all need and employ biochemists to develop new products and to monitor the production, quality control and safety of existing ones.
Hospitals, public health laboratories and medical research institutes, as well as the pharmaceutical industry, all require biochemists. Here they provide a diagnostic service, carrying out tests on blood, urine and other body fluids, alongside researching the underlying causes of disease and the methods of treatment.
Agriculture and The Environment
Biochemists and biotechnologists, who often have a biochemistry degree, working in agriculture, have been responsible for many developments, such as pest-resistant crops, improvements in crop yields and tomatoes that keep better. They also monitor the environment. Employers include seed companies, local government, and the Civil Service and water authorities.
All levels of education offer prospects for biochemists. The combination of biology and chemistry, along with the training in numerical and analytical skills that is required for all science subjects, makes biochemistry ideal for teaching throughout the school system. There are also opportunities for more advanced teaching, usually associated with research, in universities and colleges, and medical, dental and veterinary schools.
A science background can be an excellent starting point for many other careers. Biochemistry is a numerate subject that develops analytical thinking, creativity in problem solving, and the ability to handle large amounts of complex information - skills required in jobs in all walks of life including, for example, sales and marketing, accountancy and finance, journalism, patent work and politicians. Some of the opportunities in Biochemistry will require further training following first degree. A higher degree may is required in specialized area of bioscience:
- Biomedical scientist
carries out laboratory tests on human samples to help clinicians diagnose illness and evaluate the effectiveness of the necessary treatment. Following basic training, biomedical scientists specialize in one of the following main areas: medical microbiology; clinical chemistry; transfusion science; hematology; histology; cytology; immunology; and virology.
investigates the functions of the body's immune system and uses this knowledge to work towards treating and controlling a range of diseases and disorders. Immunologists work within clinical and academic settings, as well as in industrial research.
observes, identifies and monitors microbes, and develops new techniques, products and processes. Areas of specialism include: basic research; medicine; healthcare; food; industry, such as pharmaceuticals, toiletries and biotechnology; agriculture; and the environment.
- Research scientist
plans and conducts experiments to increase the body of scientific knowledge on varied topics. They may also aim to develop new, or improve existing, drugs or other medically-related products. Decipher mechanism of drug resistance by parasite as well as cancer cells. Develop techniques for diagnosing diseases in Human, animal and plants.
Higher education lecturer - facilitates learning and carries out research activities in universities and some colleges of further education (FE).
- Production specialist
takes responsibility for all stages of the manufacture of a product including the planning, coordination and control of industrial processes. This can present a range of challenges, both technically and in terms of managing production workers.
- Quality assurance specialist
aims to ensure that the product or service an organization provides is fit for its purpose and meets customer expectations, and co-ordinates the activities required to meet this aim.
- Bioprocess Development Scientist
scales up processes developed in the laboratory so that they may be used in manufacturing large quantities. The aim is to produce products for the market in an efficient, economical and safe way.
Scientist, product development - takes ideas or discoveries generated by research, then develop or formulates them to the point where new products can be manufactured. The work may be to develop new products or to improve the performance of existing ones.
carries out and interprets laboratory and field studies to identify toxins and their effect on living systems and the environment. Toxicologist also plans and carries out laboratory and field studies to identify, monitor and evaluate the impact of toxic materials and radiation on human and animal health, and on the health and status of the environment.
- Sales executive
negotiates sales and generates new business between producers and their clients; either business to general public or business to business.