People are engaging in different fields of sciences these days. Some are qualified doctors, while others are experts as hospital or community pharmacists. Apart from these well-known disciplines, the world is welcoming different bio-fields with all its heart! Similar is the field of biochemistry.
What is Biochemistry?
It is one extensive branch of science that deals with the chemical reactions in a living entity. As the name suggests, biochemistry is a combined study relating biology and chemistry. A person studying biochemistry is called a biochemist, who helps understand and solve several biological problems.
A biochemist is well-trained to analyze the biological chemistry of living organisms, be it at a cellular or molecular level. The work done in biochemistry can embrace education for growth, metabolism, reproduction, and death or living beings.
Role of a Biochemist
Typical duties of a person, either expert or becoming an expert in the field of biochemistry, include:
- Study of proteins (structure, function, types including globular and fibrous configuration, active and inactive states), cellular membranes, and organelles like mitochondria.
- Moreover, they also can design and orchestrate various tests and techniques to study the principles of biochemistry and their applications.
- They help in providing advanced information in the chemistry labs.
- Offers new and latest ideas to understand the working of life.
Prerequisites of Becoming a Biochemist
Before discussing the basic salary, a biochemist can earn, let’s talk about general steps to become a skilled biochemist. This field will definitely help you improve your career.
Generally, the following steps are necessary:
- Bachelor’s Degree – to equip oneself with a wide range of concepts from biology, chemistry, physics, basic mathematics, and cell biology; and sometimes having a research project in the final year.
- An Internship – to gain experience in the research field or industry to fine-tune future goals. These can be funded by international summer internships, solely research-oriented, or local internships with research groups at a university laboratory.
- Doctoral Degree – required when someone wants to be an independent researcher or advisor in biochemistry.
- Postdoctoral Fellowship – to pursue further research, teaching, and academic experience with the ultimate goal of getting better skills in the field for establishing a career.
- Research Fellowship – these are undertaken to further polish one’s skills during the early stages of the research career. Primary aims include developing vision and strategies from the initiation through the completion of the project. It most often entails the creation of teams and collaborations for its successful completion.
- Principal Investigator – refers to a designated position in an institute where one can perform objectives-based research to execute independent, reproducible, and high-quality research.
So far, we have worked at our best to inform you of the prerequisites to become an expert in biochemistry. It will help you grow your career or get occupational opportunities. Now let’s look at the salaries one can get at each of these stages. We have summarized them in the following table:
|Career Level||Month’s Salary ($)||Yearly Salary ($)|
|Bachelor’s Education*||$250 – $1000||$3000 – $12,000|
|Internships**||$3,000 + Travel Expense||N/A|
|Doctoral Degree||$1,500 – $3,000||$18,000 – $36,000|
|Postdoc Fellowship||$4,000 – $6,000||$48,000 – $72,000|
|Research Fellowship||$11,000 – $18,000||$132,000 – $216,000|
|Principal Investigator||$5000 – $20,000||$60,000 – $240,000|
*applicable only when a student wins a scholarship for his studies.
**applicable for one month in most of the cases.
In conclusion, getting a Ph.D. degree in biochemistry can take one to a job with an estimated average salary of $60,000 per annum. Moreover, having advanced experience such as a postdoc opens ventures of working in other fields, e.g., medicine, teaching, and pharmaceutics.
Jeannie has achieved her Master’s degree in science and technology and is further pursuing a Ph.D. She desires to provide you the validated knowledge about science, technology, and the environment through writing articles.