Molecular and Cellular Biologists

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics > Science and Mathematics

Projected Growth: Average

Projected Job Openings

Extensive Preparation Needed

Job Description

Your job is to Research and study cellular molecules and organelles to understand cell function and organization.

Common job titles of Molecular and Cellular Biologists 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.

  • 30.43% said they needed a Bachelor's Degree.

  • 30.43% said they needed a Post-Doctoral Training.


    Design molecular or cellular laboratory experiments, oversee their execution, and interpret results.

    Instruct undergraduate and graduate students within the areas of cellular or molecular biology.

    Direct, coordinate, organize, or prioritize biological laboratory activities.

    Maintain accurate laboratory records and data.

    Supervise technical personnel and postdoctoral research fellows.

    Conduct research on cell organization and function, including mechanisms of gene expression, cellular bioinformatics, cell signaling, or cell differentiation.

    Compile and analyze molecular or cellular experimental data and adjust experimental designs as necessary.

    Perform laboratory procedures following protocols including deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequencing, cloning and extraction, ribonucleic acid (RNA) purification, or gel electrophoresis.

    Monitor or operate specialized equipment such as gas chromatographs and high pressure liquid chromatographs, electrophoresis units, thermocyclers, fluorescence activated cell sorters, and phosphorimagers.

    Coordinate molecular or cellular research activities with scientists specializing in other fields.

    Develop assays that monitor cell characteristics.

    Evaluate new technologies to enhance or complement current research.

    Provide scientific direction for project teams regarding the evaluation or handling of devices, drugs, or cells for in vitro and in vivo disease models.

    Prepare reports, manuscripts, and meeting presentations.

    Confer with vendors to evaluate new equipment or reagents or to discuss the customization of product lines to meet user requirements.

    Evaluate new supplies and equipment to ensure operability in specific laboratory settings.

    Participate in all levels of bioproduct development, including proposing new products, performing market analyses, designing and performing experiments, and collaborating with operations and quality control teams during product launches.

    Verify all financial, physical, and human resources assigned to research or development projects are used as planned.

    Conduct applied research aimed at improvements in areas such as disease testing, crop quality, pharmaceuticals, and the harnessing of microbes to recycle waste.

    Design databases such as mutagenesis libraries.

    Develop guidelines for procedures such as the management of viruses.


Yeast culture incubators

Water purification systems

Vortex rotators

Variable volume pipettes

Ultraviolet-Visible UV/VIS spectrophotometers


Tabletop centrifuges

All Tools


Serological kits

Scanning laser confocal microscopes

Safety gloves

Robotic fluidics stations

Polymerase chain reaction PCR thermocyclers

Polymerase chain reaction PCR equipment


pH analyzers

Personal computers

Nucleic acid hybridization ovens

Nuclear magnetic resonance NMR spectroscopes

Multichannel micropipettes

Microplate readers



Mass spectrometers

Manual single channel repeating pipetters

Manual single channel positive displacement pipettes

Magnetic stirring hot plates

Magnetic resonance imaging MRI systems

Laptop computers

Laminar flow hoods

Laboratory water baths

Laboratory vacuum pumps

Laboratory transfer pipettes

Laboratory orbital shakers

Laboratory freezers

Laboratory floor centrifuges

Laboratory chemical autoclaves

Laboratory binocular optical microscopes

Inverted binocular microscopes

High pressure liquid chromatograph HPLC equipment

Heat blocks

Gradiant thermocyclers

Glass beakers

Gel imaging apparatus

Gel electrophoresis equipment

Gas chromatography equipment


Fluorescence microscopes

Flow cytometers

Emergency eye wash stations

Electrophoresis cameras

Dissecting microscopes


Desktop computers

Deoxyribonucleic acid DNA synthesizers

Cooled benchtop centrifuges

Computerized axial tomography CAT scanners

Cloning kits

Cloning cylinders

Chemical hoods

Charge-coupled device CCD cameras

Centrifuge tubes

Bacterial plate incubators

Automatic carbon dioxide CO2 incubators

Automated microscopes

Automated DNA sequencing equipment

Automated cell counters


Mathsoft Mathcad


The MathWorks MATLAB

AcaClone pDRAW32

Agilent CGH Analytics

Agilent Technologies GeneSpring GX

Basic Local Alignment Search Tool BLAST

All Technologies

Blast Output Browser BOB



Data mining software


Deoxyribonucleic acid DNA libraries




Gene Recognition and Assembly Internet Link GRAIL

Genotyping software

Geospiza GeneSifter

GraphPad Software GraphPad Prism

Laboratory information management system LIMS



Michigan State University MSU ProFlex

Molecular Devices Corporation MetaMorph





Textco BioSoftware Gene Inspector

Wolfram Research Mathematica



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.


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

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.


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.

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.


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


Using mathematics to solve problems.


Teaching others how to do something.

Systems Analysis

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

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.

Social Perceptiveness

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


Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Time Management

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

Quality Control Analysis

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

Management of Personnel Resources

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


Read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Cognitive Abilities › Verbal Abilities › Written Comprehension

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

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

Cognitive Abilities › Idea Generation and Reasoning Abilities › Deductive Reasoning

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

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

Cognitive Abilities › Quantitative Abilities › Mathematical Reasoning

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

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

Speak clearly so others can understand you.

Auditory and Speech Abilities › Sensory Abilities › Speech Clarity

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

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

Cognitive Abilities › Quantitative Abilities › Number Facility

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