How Much Does a Biochemist Make? (Plus Biochemistry Jobs)

Updated 2 April 2023

Biochemists work in laboratories, studying the chemistry of living things. Some biochemists participate in research to expand scientific knowledge, whereas others work to solve practical problems or use science to create new products. If you're contemplating pursuing a career as a biochemist, you may wonder, 'How much does a biochemist make?' In this article, we explore what a biochemist is, how much they earn and what positions you can take on with a biochemistry degree.

How much does a biochemist make?

The answer to ‘How much does a biochemist make?' can vary depending on where they work. For example, whilst biochemists often work in a laboratory, they may work for breweries, drug companies, manufacturing businesses and petroleum producers. Some biochemists are self-employed and work as consultants to advise organisations or the government. The national average salary for a biochemist is $133,280.

Related: What Does a Biochemist Do? (And How to Become One)

Tips to earn more as a biochemist

Biochemists can advance in their careers in a variety of ways which may lead to an increase in salary. Some examples of these potential career advancement opportunities include:

Advance to a biochemistry laboratory supervisor position

A biochemist laboratory supervisor oversees the daily activities in a laboratory, including supervising laboratory employees as they collect and analyse samples. As a supervisor, they monitor the use of the data that technicians collect in the lab. A biochemist supervisor may suggest more efficient ways of managing working processes and provide additional help to those working in the lab.

To become a biochemistry laboratory supervisor, gain experience working as a lab tech and work to show the appropriate skills and abilities. Consider taking a leadership training course, such as Leading the Laboratory Team, to prepare for managing employees, delegating tasks and responsibilities and promoting teamwork. The national annual salary for a biochemist laboratory supervisor is $92,266 per year.

Move into a biochemistry lecturer position

A biochemistry lecturer coordinates courses and prepares and delivers lectures and tutorials. They also set, mark and grade assessments for undergraduate and postgraduate courses. The institution may require a lecturer to set up a biochemical research program and publish research papers to attract external funding.

To become a biochemistry lecturer, attain a doctorate in biochemistry and demonstrate the ability to teach the biochemistry curriculum. A postgraduate teaching course, such as the Graduate Diploma of Education or the Master of Teaching, may help you prepare for the position. The national annual salary of a biochemistry lecturer is $105,320 per year

Become a director of biochemistry research

Biochemistry research directors may work in a university, private organisation or government department. A research director oversees the research and development department of an organisation. Part of this job may include hiring and training new employees. They may conduct performance evaluations and assessments. As director, they can encourage and direct the work of the researchers in their team to use scientific methods to reach their research goals.

To become a director of biochemistry research takes a bachelor's degree, five or more years of working experience in a similar position such as a research development supervisor or research assistant. Some employers may require post-graduate qualifications, such as a master's or doctorate. The national annual salary of a director of biochemistry research is $118,896 per year.

Combine research and teaching to become a biochemistry professor

Professors provide academic leadership to a university. They demonstrate and encourage excellence in research and teaching. A professor is frequently involved in policy development within their academic field, the institution and the wider community. publishing research papers to attain acknowledgment as an authority from peers

A professor is one of the most senior and accomplished members of an academic faculty. Becoming a professor is not a job description, but a title that is earned and a long-term goal that academics aspire to. To become a professor requires meeting an institution's specific selection criteria that may include scholarly and professional achievements. The national average salary for a professor is $187,459 per year.

FAQs about biochemist salaries

Here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about biochemists' pay:

Do biochemists get benefits?

A biochemist that is employed in a full-time position is likely to receive a benefits package as part of their salary. Some of these benefits may include housing, transport, pension and annual bonuses. Biochemists who work as independent contractors can set their own rates in line with industry standards and increase consultation charges as they improve their level of education and grow in experience.

What factors affect how much a biochemist gets paid?

These are some of the factors that can affect what a biochemist earns:

  • Training and qualification: The higher a biochemist's qualification, the more they can earn. Biochemists with post-graduate qualifications and stature in the biochemistry academic community usually qualify for a better salary.

  • Experience: A biochemist with experience may qualify for positions with more responsibility and a higher salary. Greater responsibility usually comes with a higher salary.

  • Job title and industry sector: Biochemist job titles may affect their salary level. Jobs that are more competitive and technical in industry sectors such as health care or engineering may come with a higher salary.

7 high-paying jobs for a biochemist

Biochemists often use their biochemistry degree to work in related careers that utilise their skills and knowledge. These are some of the careers that biochemists can take on:

1. Forensic scientist

National average salary: $93,950 per year

Primary duties: A forensic scientist assists in criminal investigations by collecting and analysing evidence, such as shell casings, tissue samples, DNA, blood splatters or fingerprints. They typically work in brightly lit laboratories or on-site at crime scenes for evidence collection. Some forensic scientists work mostly in a crime lab, while others participate in every stage of evidence collection and analysis. Forensic scientists may testify in court as expert witnesses on evidence of lab techniques. It may be beneficial to add courses in forensic science, toxicology, pathology or DNA to your degree if a career in forensic science appeals to you.

2. Food technologist

National average salary: $64,532 per year

Primary duties: A food technologist, also known as a food scientist, studies the properties of food and works to improve products by attempting to extend their shelf-life or improve their nutritional value. They may also perform quality control to ensure edible products are the quality they claim to be and that the production process is safe and legal. Food technologists work with new ingredients or technologies to develop new recipes or create product modifications, such as fat-free versions of products or ready-made meals. They may work closely with product development teams on new recipes suitable for mass production in factories.

3. Biomedical engineer

National average salary: $88,578 per year

Primary duties: A biomedical engineer applies science and engineering to solve biological and medical problems. They may develop new devices and equipment to improve the effectiveness and quality of patient health care. For example, they may design and improve exercise equipment for patient rehabilitation. They may also design software that operates medical equipment or test drug therapies using computer simulations.

Related: What Does a Biochemical Engineer Do? (With Average Salary)

4. Environmental scientist

National average salary: $93,435 per year

Primary duties: An environmental scientist identifies threats to the environment or the health of the inhabitants of an area. They may develop solutions to control, prevent or correct environmental issues. Environmental scientists may specialise in climate change, environmental health and safety, environmental restoration or the impact of industries.

Related: 13 Jobs to Pursue for a Career in Sustainability

5. Chemical engineer

National average salary: $109,105 per year

Primary duties: A chemical engineer works in various areas of technology by developing processes for producing, transforming or transporting materials. Chemical engineers are behind the development and manufacture of many products, such as fertilisers, plastics, paper, medicines and polymers. Chemical engineers work in many fields, including:

  • alternative energy source development

  • environmental engineering to clean up and prevent pollution, dispose of toxic waste and manage sewage

  • biotechnology and pharmaceuticals to create medical and surgical supplies, such as new drugs, catheters, artificial organs or prosthetics

  • technology, such as computer parts and electronic components

6. Environmental analyst

National average salary: $110,027 per year

Primary duties: Environmental analysts work to understand the impact of humans on the natural world by collecting, studying and analysing data concerning geology, hydrology, soil, water and air pollution. They seek to educate governments, companies and the public on how to develop new, more environmentally-friendly ways of living. To accomplish this, they propose actions and policies that create cleaner and less damaging interactions with the environment. Environmental analysts provide impact studies for corporations to assess the environmental impact of proposed new business developments.

Related: 8 Rewarding Careers in Science to Consider (With Benefits)

7. Microbiologist

National average salary: $82,063 per year

Primary duties: A microbiologist studies microscopic organisms that cause infections and sickness. These include viruses, fungi, bacteria and algae. A microbiologist focuses on identifying the organisms and understanding their characteristics and how they grow. Their studies aim to prevent, diagnose and treat infectious diseases. A microbiologist's work applies to pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and agriculture. Part of a microbiologist's work involves developing new vaccines and medicines.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location. Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Explore more articles

  • How To Write a Summary of Qualifications (With Examples)
  • How to Write a Transcriptionist Resume (With Example)
  • 7 Powerful Ways To Start a Cover Letter (With Examples)
  • How to Show Technical Skills on Your Resume (With Examples)
  • How to Create a Facilities Manager Resume (With Example)
  • Tips for Writing a Butcher Resume (Example and Template)
  • How to Write a Public Health Officer Resume (With Example)
  • How to Write a Science Teacher Resume (With Example)
  • Resume Summary for a Career Change (With Tips and Examples)
  • How to Write a Job Description in a Resume (With Examples)
  • What Are Tradesman Resume Skills? (Definition and Examples)
  • A Guide to Writing a Procurement Resume (With Top Skills)