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A pure science pathway for those who wish to explore the chemical composition of living cells and organisms.

What Biochemists Do

Biochemists primarily study the chemical composition of living cells and organisms.

Biochemists may conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, growth, and heredity.

They may also determine the effects of foods, drugs, serums, hormones, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.

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How to become a Biochemist
Most Biochemists complete an undergraduate degree in biological sciences, health sciences, or biomedicine, with majors in biology and/or chemistry.

A majority choose to pursue postgraduate studies, most commonly a PhD, to further improve their technical skills. Many of these individuals take up Post-Doctorate placements or research assistant positions.

Those who do not pursue further study typically work in laboratory and other research settings (e.g. pharmaceutical companies) as biochemists, research assistants, associates and/or scientists.

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Relevant Tasks
  • Study physical principles of living cells or organisms, applying methods and knowledge of mathematics, chemistry, and biology.
  • Share research findings by writing scientific articles or by making presentations at scientific conferences.
  • Prepare reports or recommendations, based on research outcomes.
  • Teach or advise undergraduate or graduate students or supervise their research.
  • Manage laboratory teams or monitor the quality of a team’s work.

Biochemistry requires/develops the following valuable skills

Analyze biological and chemical samples 85%
Data Analysis & Information Processing 100%
Documentation & Report Writing 85%
Management of Laboratory teams & researchers 75%
Prepare scientific or technical reports or presentations 100%
Research microbiological or chemical processes or structures 100%
Scientific/Analytical Software (e.g. MATLAB, SAS, Python, etc.) 90%

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This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.