Biochemists and Biophysicists

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics > Science and Mathematics

Projected Growth: Average

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:

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.


    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.

    Prepare reports or recommendations, based upon research outcomes.

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

    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.


X ray microscopes

X ray crystallography equipment

Water purification units

Water baths


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



Transmission electron microscopes TEM

Transillumination microscopes

Top-loading electronic balances

Thermal imagers

Test tubes

Tabletop centrifuges


Stopped-flow spectrophotometers




Specific gravity balances


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


Sartorius balances

Sapphire lasers

Sample concentrators

Rotating anode X ray generators


Refrigerated centrifuges

Raman difference spectrometers

Protein sequencers

Power amplifiers

Positron emission tomography PET scanners




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


Multichannel detectors

Multi-angle elastic-light scattering systems

Mossbauer spectroscopes


Microscope slides

Microplate readers






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


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


Inverted microscopes


Hot plates


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


Freeze dryers

Fourier transform infrared FTIR spectroscopes

Fluorescence spectroscopes

Flow cytometers

Flexi-dry lyophilizers

Flame ionization detectors FID

Filtering funnels


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


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


Binocular light compound microscopes


Basic vapor pressure osmometers


Automatic x ray film developers

Automatic pipetters

Automated electrophoresis equipment


Auto gamma counters

Atomic force microscopes

Argon lasers

Analytical ultracentrifuges

Analytical balances

Amino acid analyzers


Accelrys Insight II

ChemInnovation Software Chem 4-D

IBM SPSS Statistics


Practical extraction and reporting language Perl


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


Golden Helix ChemTree

Golden Helix HelixTree

Hodgkin-Huxley Model software

Intelligent Imaging Innovations SlideBook

Internet browser software


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



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.


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


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.


Using mathematics to solve problems.


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.


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.


Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Quality Control Analysis

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


Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

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

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning

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

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Inductive Reasoning

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

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Comprehension

Communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Oral Expression

Communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Expression

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 › Information Ordering

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

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Category Flexibility

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

Sensory Abilities › Visual Abilities › Near Vision

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 › Fluency of Ideas

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

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Originality

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

Cognitive Abilities › Quantitative Abilities › Mathematical Reasoning

Speak clearly so others can understand you.

Auditory and Speech Abilities › Sensory Abilities › Speech Clarity

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 › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Problem Sensitivity

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

Cognitive Abilities › Quantitative Abilities › Number Facility

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