Biochemists and Biophysicists

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics > Science and Mathematics

Projected Growth: Average

3100+
Projected Job Openings

Extensive Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to Study the chemical composition or physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, growth, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, serums, hormones, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.

Common job titles of Biochemists and Biophysicists include:
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Experience and Education

Extensive skill, knowledge, and experience are needed for these occupations. Many require more than five years of experience. For example, surgeons must complete four years of college and an additional five to seven years of specialized medical training to be able to do their job.

  • 40.91% said they needed a Doctoral Degree.

  • 31.82% said they needed a Post-Doctoral Training.

Tasks & Responsibilities

Wondering what Biochemists and Biophysicists REALLY do throughout a day at work? Perhaps you should know what you’ll be doing all day before pursuing a career. So here are some tasks that Biochemists and Biophysicists can be found doing during the work day. Hover over each task for information about relevance and importance. Scroll further to find a list of other careers that have similar tasks.


Essential Tasks

    Study the chemistry of living processes, such as cell development, breathing and digestion, or living energy changes, such as growth, aging, or death.

    Teach or advise undergraduate or graduate students or supervise their research.

    Manage laboratory teams or monitor the quality of a team's work.

    Study physical principles of living cells or organisms and their electrical or mechanical energy, applying methods and knowledge of mathematics, physics, chemistry, or biology.

    Isolate, analyze, or synthesize vitamins, hormones, allergens, minerals, or enzymes and determine their effects on body functions.


Regular Tasks

    Prepare reports or recommendations, based upon research outcomes.

    Design or perform experiments with equipment such as lasers, accelerators, or mass spectrometers.


Occasional Tasks

    Design or build laboratory equipment needed for special research projects.

    Examine the molecular or chemical aspects of immune system functioning.

    Research transformations of substances in cells, using atomic isotopes.

    Produce pharmaceutically or industrially useful proteins, using recombinant DNA technology.

    Investigate the nature, composition, or expression of genes or research how genetic engineering can impact these processes.

    Research the chemical effects of substances, such as drugs, serums, hormones, or food, on tissues or vital processes.

    Determine the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules.

    Study the mutations in organisms that lead to cancer or other diseases.

    Develop or execute tests to detect diseases, genetic disorders, or other abnormalities.

    Share research findings by writing scientific articles or by making presentations at scientific conferences.

    Develop new methods to study the mechanisms of biological processes.

    Develop methods to process, store, or use foods, drugs, or chemical compounds.

    Research how characteristics of plants or animals are carried through successive generations.

    Prepare pharmaceutical compounds for commercial distribution.

    Study spatial configurations of submicroscopic molecules, such as proteins, using x-rays or electron microscopes.

    Develop or test new drugs or medications intended for commercial distribution.

What Tools and Technologies do Biochemists and Biophysicists use?

The future of work is gonna be… techy🤖. No matter the career path, you’ll have to understand what the experts use to get the job done. Employers want to see practical experience with these tools and technologies. Use these lists to figure out what tools you need to learn and see trends about up and coming tech. Scroll further to find a list of other careers that use similar tools.

Tools

X ray microscopes

X ray crystallography equipment

Water purification units

Water baths

Viscometers

Video positioning equipment

Video enhanced differential interference contrast microscopes

All Tools

Vibratome tissue sectioning systems

Vacuum freezers

Ultraviolet UV transilluminators

Ultraviolet UV spectroscopes

Ultrasonic cleaners

Ultramicrotomes

Ultracentrifuges

Transmission electron microscopes TEM

Transillumination microscopes

Top-loading electronic balances

Thermal imagers

Test tubes

Tabletop centrifuges

Synchrotrons

Stopped-flow spectrophotometers

Spectropolarimeters

Spectrophotometers

Spectrofluorimeters

Specific gravity balances

Sonicators

Solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance NMR equipment

Solid state diode lasers

Signal generators

Shaking waterbaths

Shaking incubators

Scintillation counters

Scanning laser microscopes

Scanning electron microscopes SEM

Scanners

Sartorius balances

Sapphire lasers

Sample concentrators

Rotating anode X ray generators

Rheometers

Refrigerated centrifuges

Raman difference spectrometers

Protein sequencers

Power amplifiers

Positron emission tomography PET scanners

Plotters

Pipettes

Phosphorimagers

Phosphorimager video cameras

pH meters

Personal computers

Peptide synthesizers

Pasteur pipettes

Orbital shakers

Optical tweezers

Nuclear magnetic resonance NMR spectroscopes

Notebook computers

Neodymium-doped yttrium aluminum garnet Nd:YAG lasers

Near-field light microscopes

Nanoscopes

Multichannel detectors

Multi-angle elastic-light scattering systems

Mossbauer spectroscopes

Microsusceptometers

Microscope slides

Microplate readers

Microphysiometers

Microinjectors

Microdosimeters

Microcentrifuges

Microcalorimeters

Mettler balances

Megafuge centrifuges

Medical magnetic resonance imaging MRI microscopes

Medical magnetic resonance imaging MRI equipment

Mass spectrometers

Mainframe computers

Magnetic tweezers

Magnetic piconewton-force transducers

Liquid nuclear magnetic resonance NMR equipment

Liquid handling robots

Linear accelerators

Light scattering devices

Lasers

Laser tweezers

Laser printers

Laser particle sizers

Laser induced temperature jump nanosecond relaxation spectrometer systems

Laser Doppler zeta potential analyzers

Large upright microscopes

Langmuir balances

Laminar flow hoods

Laboratory vacuum pumps

Laboratory convection ovens

Krypton lasers

Isothermal titration calorimeters ITC

Ionometers

Inverted microscopes

Incubators

Hot plates

Homogenizers

High-pressure liquid chromatographs

High-pressure high-temperature reactors

Hemoglobin analyzers

Heating mantles

Heat incubators

Heat blocks

Growth chambers

Graduated cylinders

Glassware condensers

Glassware adaptors

Gel boxes

Gas chromatographs GC

Gamma ray irradiators

Funnels

Freeze dryers

Fourier transform infrared FTIR spectroscopes

Fluorescence spectroscopes

Flow cytometers

Flexi-dry lyophilizers

Flame ionization detectors FID

Filtering funnels

Fermenters

Erlenmeyer flasks

Electrophoresis power supplies

Electron spin resonance spectroscopes

Electron paramagnetic resonance EPR spectrometers

Electron microscopes

Electroencephalography EEG equipment

Dual wavelength spectroscopes

Differential scanning calorimeters

Dichroic beamsplitters

Desktop computers

Deoxyribonucleic acid DNA sequencers

Darkroom equipment

Cytospin centrifuges

Cryotransmission electron microscopes

Cryostat tissue microtomes

Cryomicroscopes

Cryogenic freezers

Cryocut microtomes

Continuous flow centrifuges

Confocal microscopes

Computerized axial tomography CAT scan equipment

Circulating water cooling systems

Circular dichroism spectroscopes

Chemistry analyzers

Chemical fume hoods

Charge-coupled device CCD cameras

Cell sorters

Carbon dioxide CO2 incubators

Capillary electrophoresis equipment

Brewster angle microscopes

Biological safety hoods

Biofreezers

Binocular light compound microscopes

Beakers

Basic vapor pressure osmometers

Balances

Automatic x ray film developers

Automatic pipetters

Automated electrophoresis equipment

Autoclaves

Auto gamma counters

Atomic force microscopes

Argon lasers

Analytical ultracentrifuges

Analytical balances

Amino acid analyzers

Technologies

Accelrys Insight II

ChemInnovation Software Chem 4-D

IBM SPSS Statistics

Linux

Practical extraction and reporting language Perl

Python

3D graphics software

All Technologies

Accelrys Cerius2

Accelrys FELIX

Accelrys QAUNTA

Analysis and building software

Assisted model building with energy refinement AMBER

AutoQuant AutoDeblur

Basic Local Alignment Search Tool BLAST

Carrier-mediated transport software

Chang Bioscience ToolKit

Chemistry at Harvard Molecular Mechanics CHARMm

Crystallographic software

Crystallography & NMR System (CNS)

Dassasult Systemes Abaqus

Docking and ligand binding software

Elsevier MDL ISIS/Draw

ESRI What if?

Expression DNA and protein sequence software

Fujitsu BioMedCache

Fujitsu MOPAC

Gaussian software

GE Healthcare ImageQuant TL

Genetics computer group GSG software

GEPASI

Golden Helix ChemTree

Golden Helix HelixTree

Hodgkin-Huxley Model software

Intelligent Imaging Innovations SlideBook

Internet browser software

ItemTracker

JustBio SeqPainter

Laboratory information management system LIMS

Macroscopic diffusion software

Molecular Devices Corporation MetaFluor

Molecular Devices Corporation MetaMorph

Molecular Networks GmbH Biochemical Pathways

Molecular simulation software

Molecular Simulations WebLab ViewerPro

Multivariate statistical program MVSP software

PREMIER Biosoft Array Designer

Presentation software

Semichem AMPAC

Sequence database software

Shrodinger Jaguar

Structure prediction software

Tripos SYBYL

Video analysis software

Voltage-gated ion channels software

Wavefunction Spartan

Wavefunction Titan

Yet another scientific artificial reality application YASARA software

What Skills Do Biochemists and Biophysicists Need to Have?

Let’s be real… take a look in the mirror! Do you have the what it takes to join the other Biochemists and Biophysicists? The Skills? The Ability to succeed? If so, and you enjoy using these skills, then this job is for you. If not, GOOD NEWS, you can always pick up a new skill if you’re willing to put in the effort 💪

Skills

Science

Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Reading Comprehension

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Critical Thinking

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Writing

Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Speaking

Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Learning

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Complex Problem Solving

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Mathematics

Using mathematics to solve problems.

Monitoring

Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Judgment and Decision Making

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Learning Strategies

Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.

Systems Analysis

Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Instructing

Teaching others how to do something.

Operations Analysis

Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.

Systems Evaluation

Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.

Time Management

Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Management of Personnel Resources

Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.

Social Perceptiveness

Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Coordination

Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Quality Control Analysis

Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Abilities

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning

Apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Inductive Reasoning

Combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

Listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Expression

Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Information Ordering

Arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Category Flexibility

Generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

Sensory Abilities › Visual Abilities › Near Vision

See details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Fluency of Ideas

Come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Originality

Come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Quantitative Abilities › Mathematical Reasoning

Choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.

Auditory and Speech Abilities › Sensory Abilities › Speech Clarity

Speak clearly so others can understand you.

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Problem Sensitivity

Tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Cognitive Abilities › Quantitative Abilities › Number Facility

Add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.

Everything Biochemists and Biophysicists Should Know…

Biochemists and Biophysicists typically have vast knowledge of the subjects below. Think about this a lot… if you’re not a fan of the subjects, chances are this career isn’t for you. But, there’s plenty of time to learn and continue to learn throughout your career 🎓

Knowledge

Chemistry

Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Physics

Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.

Biology

Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

Mathematics

Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

English Language

Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Computers and Electronics

Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Education and Training

Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Engineering and Technology

Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

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