A medical biochemist investigates the chemical composition of cells and the cellular make-up of living organisms within a medical environment. She performs research on the cellular level, analysing chemical reactions within them and applies her findings in either a diagnostic or remedial context. She will be primarily laboratory-based but will liaise with physicians and other health practitioners. Her salary will vary depending upon her individual employment situation.
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As of May 2009 the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists the mean yearly salary for a biochemist working in the United States as £57,557. This translates to a monthly income of £4,796 or an hourly rate of £27.6. The BLS also reports that the median 50 per cent of earners received a mean salary of £53,553, compared with £90,233 for the top 10 per cent and £29,243 for the lowest 10 per cent of practitioners.
Salary by Industry
A medical biochemist may find employment opportunities in a number of fields within the medical industry. The BLS suggests that her chances of achieving the highest salary in the industry are best if working for the office of a physician, listing the annual average salary as £90,447. Outpatient care centres are slightly behind, offering £87,217, while general medical and surgical hospitals were listed at £68,796. Scientific research and development services, which employ the greatest numbers of biochemists across the country, offer an average salary of £60,625 per year.
Salary by Location
The location in which a medical biochemist works also plays a role in determining her pay expectations. The BLS lists Pennsylvania and District of Columbia as the states offering the highest wage levels - £68,458 and £65,175 per year respectively. New Jersey, Massachusetts and Connecticut offer similar levels of pay - £62,523, £62,023 and £61,516 respectively. The BLS lists Maryland among the states paying the lowest salaries - £54,333.
Salary by Experience
Wage comparison website PayScale.com conducted a survey of salaries for biochemists, including medical practitioners, in January 2011. In terms of the impact experience has on pay levels, it showed that the accrual of experience generally leads to greater levels of compensation. It lists the average salary for a biochemist with between one and four years in the trade as £23,541 to £38,390 per year. An individual with five to nine years in the job can expect between £31,142 and £41,206, while a biochemist with 10 to 19 years of experience should receive between £32,500 and £53,064.
As a biological scientist, a medical biochemist can expect a bright outlook with regard to the employment market in the immediate future. The BLS estimates that demand for biological scientists will increase by approximately 21 per cent through 2018. This will in part be driven by the growth of the biotechnology industry as it looks to build upon significant research conducted in recent years on, for example, genetics, and develop medical treatments related to them. As such, medical biochemists should continue to achieve competitive salary levels.
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