College graduates with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry may find themselves working in different fields once they enter the job market. Those who continue forward in their field can use their degree to secure a job as a lab technician, as a teacher or as a biochemist working in research. An advanced degree may be necessary to qualify for some of the highest paying salaries.
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If a graduate pursues a career in biochemistry proper, a holder of a biochemistry degree may expect to earn an average annual salary of £53,846 as of May 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, which notes that a Ph.D. may be necessary for research positions. Half of all biochemists earned between £38,519 and £70,817, although the most well compensated 10 per cent of the field earn more than £90,636 per year.
Holders of a bachelor’s of science in biochemistry end up working in several fields, and the nature of their work and employment status impact their average earnings. Those working as research assistants can expect a salary between £22,978 and £36,406 annually, as of December 2010, according to PayScale. Laboratory technicians earn between £17,696 and £23,725. Those working at advanced positions earn more: biotechnology research scientists earn annual salaries between £31,935 and £49,210, while analytical chemists may expect earnings in the range of £28,210 and £46,475.
It may take a few years of experience for graduates to reach the average salary for their industry, however. Graduates with less than a year of experience and a biochemistry degree earn an average annual salary of £27,077 as of December 2010, according to PayScale. Ohio State University reports graduates entering the workforce may expect less than that, citing first-time salaries between £19,500 and £26,000 each year. That range climbs to £29,250 to £39,000 for holders of a doctorate in biochemistry.
Biochemists who work in areas where their skills are in more demand may earn much higher than the national average salaries. Those in the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, metropolitan area earn the highest median salary of biochemists in the nation, £82,290 yearly as of May 2009, according to the Occupational Outlook Handbook. Employers in San Antonio, Texas, Santa Ana-Anaheim, California and Camden, New Jersey, also pay higher than average salaries for the field.
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