Who is a Biochemist?
It is one of the more striking generalisations of biochemistry - which surprisingly is hardly ever mentioned in the biochemical textbooks - that the twenty amino acids and four bases are, with minor reservations the same throughout Nature ~ Francis Crick
The human body is extremely complex in nature. But understanding the complexity of the human body has always been a matter of interest. Similarly, a biochemist is a professional who deals with various chemicals and enzymes and their biological effects. Biochemists study the fundamental unit of human beings that is the ‘cell’ of the human body, DNA, heredity, and a lot of other concepts. We all get sick or catch a cold, and in such situations medicines make us feel at ease. But, one can’t just consume any drug. Before a medicine is declared fit for human consumption, a lot of research goes behind making it effective. It is the hard work of a biochemist which makes it possible.
Biochemists are biologists and chemists who study the principles of both the sciences and apply them in their field of study. Biochemist education requirements involve studying the chemical and physical principles of living things and of biological processes, such as cell development, growth, heredity, and disease. Biochemists study DNA, heredity, and cell development. Biochemists work to understand how reactions happen in tissues and record the effects of medicines. The objective of a biochemist is to improve our quality of life by understanding living organisms at the molecular level.
Biochemist in a Nutshell
Biochemists study the behaviour of living things at a molecular level to understand the processes that occur. Biochemists study how pharmaceutical drugs and food affect an organism’s biology. Biochemist education requirements include the study of various applications in medicine, agriculture, and the environment to improve our quality of life.
Quick Facts for Biochemist
Average Salary in India
Male, Female, Others
This biochemist job is suitable for both genders as the tasks involved in the profession can be easily executed by both the genders.
Any special needs
The biochemist job is not suitable for candidates with special needs, as the profession involves handling of toxic materials which requires a lot of patience and attention and a slight mistake can lead to a big disaster.
Table of Contents for Biochemist
What is the role of Biochemist?
Biochemistry is a deep study of the different chemical techniques to solve biological problems of living organisms. Biochemists solve specific problems by studying cellular and molecular processes to increase our general understanding. Some biochemists may study to discover how certain genes or environmental factors cause disease and the solution to these diseases. Some biochemists conduct research projects, manage laboratory teams, prepare technical reports, and share research findings with the scientists. They analyse DNA, enzymes, and other molecules to research the effect of drugs and food on biological processes. They use high tech equipment to determine the structure of molecules.
Biochemists analyse organic and inorganic compounds to determine chemical and physical properties, composition, structure, relationships, and reactions. Biochemists analyze the sample, observe and collect data, and write about their research in the form of a report. Analysis forms the basic work attribute of a biochemist's work profile.
In order to ensure that the medicine is of good quality, biochemists conduct several tests that ensure the desired quality of the product. They conduct numerous test in order to find out the properties of the medicine and how a human body might react to it after consumption. Usually, repeated tests are performed for precision and avoidance of inaccuracy. Material standardization is a must for these tests.
Maintenance of equipment
Equipment maintenance is extremely important, as a wrong reading could potentially lead to an incorrect diagnosis. Biochemists maintain laboratory instruments to ensure proper working order and repair when the instruments are not properly functioning.
Biochemists also have to continuously evaluate and monitor laboratory safety procedures and make sure that the lab instruments are functioning properly. This is done so that the tests that are conducted are accurate and precise. In order to remove any kind of anomaly or hurdles in the tests, evaluation is done a regular basis by biochemists. Evaluation tests are also done frequently to ensure the smooth functioning of the lab.
Biochemists keep records of all the activities using notes, logs, and data collecting instruments in accordance with the standard operating procedures. Record maintenance is also an important part of a biochemist's job profile. Several tests are done on a daily basis so it is important to keep their records in a proper manner as when the need arises, the record can be found immediately and steps can be taken accordingly.
Types of a Biochemist
Forensic Scientists: Forensic Scientists are the one who helps investigate crimes by collecting and analysing physical evidence. Most of these specialise in either crime scene investigation or laboratory analysis. Crime scene investigators may work long hours under distressing conditions. They also help the police in evidence gathering and its analysis.
Analytical chemist: Analytical chemists are the people that study and test the chemical composition and behaviors of many different substances. They are key figures when it comes to the creation of new drugs that might help in fighting a disease or a virus. How to use the chemical compound in the best possible way to help combat the disease is what primarily analytical chemists do.
Biomedical Scientist: Biomedical Scientist work to gain knowledge on the main principles of how the human body works and react to various drugs. by continuously testing and researching, biomedical scientists often find ways to prevent or fight a disease. Most of the times they are the frontrunners when it comes to creating a new type of medicine or a vaccine.
Clinical research associates: Clinical research associates organise and regulate clinical trials of new or current drugs in order to assess the benefits and risks of using them. Clinical trials is an important job as new drugs that have been developed are first tested in a controlled environment. Hence, clinical research associates is an important position.
Toxicologist: Toxicologists use analytical and scientific techniques to identify toxins such as chemicals, biological substances, and radiation to assess the potential risks and harmful effects present in them.
What is the workplace/work environment of Biochemist like?
Biochemists work indoors in fully equipped laboratories or at research and development facilities. Biochemists can also work in colleges, universities and professional schools as professors. They work in pharmaceuticals and medicines manufacturing industries. The work environment of biochemists is the same as any other profession. Those who work with hazardous or toxic substances need to follow safety procedures to avoid contamination.
Biochemists need to wear protective gear to protect themselves and to prevent the contamination of samples or equipment present in the labs. Protective clothing may include coats, gloves, masks, eye protection or even all-over sealed protective suits. The protective gears definitely help biochemists in being safe but working for long hours with the gears definitely creates discomfort for biochemists.
Does Biochemist require travelling?
Biochemists mostly work in indoor settings like offices and laboratories. Biochemists working in offices and buildings do not require travelling as their tasks are completed in offices and laboratories. However, some biochemists working in environmental restoration firms may need to travel. Mostly travelling is not required in this profession except the case mentioned earlier.
Full Time, Part Time, On Call
Employers mostly hire biochemists for a full-time job, however, there are companies that hire biochemists on a part-time basis. Biochemists have a regular work shift which is nine to five. Biochemists working in hospitals are often required to do on-call work. Usually, weekends are considered off in this profession however, some biochemists can work on weekends and work for long hours as and when required by the employer. Work from home option is not available as the profession requires biochemists to be physically available to analyse and research on samples in the laboratories or buildings. Most biochemists work a regular nine to five shift on weekdays. The shift timings may vary for biochemists depending on the type of industry they work for. Biochemists working in hospitals may have to work in rotational shifts as and when required. The work hours of biochemists working in environmental restoration firms can extend due to the travelling required in this job role.
Biochemists are hired on both permanent and contractual basis depending on the requirements of the company. Biochemists working in manufacturing, energy development, or environmental restoration firms, hospitals and laboratories are hired on a permanent basis. Some biochemists also work as faculty, research staff, or teachers at colleges, universities, and secondary schools where they can be hired on a contractual basis.
Biochemists work in a variety of settings, so working conditions depend on the type of tasks they perform on a regular basis. Most biochemists work in a regular nine to five shifts on weekdays. The shift timings may vary for biochemists depending on the type of industry they work for. Working overtime might not be necessary for every biochemist in the industries but biochemists mainly working in environmental restoration firms and hospitals have to work for long hours.
Biochemists who require to travel for their work purposes usually work for a longer duration of time as travelling adds up hours of the work. Biochemists usually work for a minimum of 40-45 hours on a weekly basis apart from the overtime hours. Biochemists may or may not be compensated for the additional hours they put in the regular shifts, depending on the rules and regulations of the industry they work for.
Presence in Geographical Area
Biochemists work in a wide variety of industries and government agencies. They can work in labs, offices, institutions, law firms, hospitals, and many more. Usually, these work settings are present in the urban and semi-urban areas. Mostly metro cities can be considered as job hubs for the profession, as laboratories with hi-tech equipment are easily available in the urban areas. Cities such as Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and many more can be considered as hubs as jobs in these cities are easily available. These cities are considered as hubs because there are top institutions providing the educational knowledge along with the job opportunities.
Biochemists usually don’t face any time pressure. They’re required to work in laboratories having air conditioning for most of the time. For quite a few instances, they might be required to visit outdoors in order to collect samples and equipment which might lead to some time pressure. Apart from this, time pressure is rare in the profession.
Typically, biochemists are required to work nine hours per day. Biochemists hardly face any overtime working problems. However, occasionally during project deadlines, they might be required to work for long hours under stressful conditions.
Weekly Hours of Work
Min 45 Hours
Most biochemists work a regular nine to five shift on weekdays. The shift timings may vary for biochemists depending on the type of industry they work for. Biochemists working in hospitals may have to work in rotational shifts as and when required. The work hours of biochemists working in environmental restoration firms can extend due to the travelling required in this job role.
How to become a Biochemist?
What are the skills and qualities required to become a/an Biochemist?
Analytical skills: Biochemists must be able to conduct scientific experiments and analyses with accuracy and precision. Analytical thinking could help participants understand various issues, make decisions, and develop solutions. Analytics studies of a topic or problem for pushing more effective solutions upon it. Biochemists must be able to conduct scientific experiments and analyses with accuracy and precision.
Communication skills: Communication is a basic characteristic of any career and the healthcare industry is no different. Nobody can actually perform properly despite the proper review, must always pay attention to the managers or the employees to operate excellently. They have to write and publish reports and research papers, give presentations of their findings, and communicate with team members. It is essential that they ask more questions at the perfect time. It takes not only listening but also writing skills to make notes and to interact confidently which enable people to effectively communicate ideas to others.
Critical-thinking: Biochemists draw conclusions from experimental results through sound reasoning and judgment. Biochemists must think rationally about determining the advantages and limitations and providing a solution, insights, or alternatives to the challenges. They have to think out of the box to come up with better practical solutions. Biochemists draw conclusions from experimental results through sound reasoning and judgment.
Interpersonal management: Typically, biochemists and biophysicists collaborate with research groups but they need to operate well with each other towards a shared vision. Numerous individuals function as team leaders and have to be able to encourage and direct other members of the organization. As a biochemist, a person to be collaborative. He or she must be willing to function as part of a team, and passionate.
Mathematical skills: Biochemistry could not be approached unless one knows the mathematics and statistics connected with it. As a biochemist, a detailed understanding of the science behind healthcare and related technology is required. It is possible to apply proper scientific methods and rules to solve the problem and to emerge to be more impactful. Biochemists use complex equations and formulas regularly in their work; they also need a broad understanding of mathematics, including calculus and statistics.
Problem-solving ability: The scientific study requires significant trials and falls, and the work of biochemists and biophysicists should not even be avoided. Biochemists use scientific experiments and analysis to find solutions to complex scientific problems. Biochemists discuss the sources of organizational failures and evaluate what could be learned about them. Troubleshooting is also about highlighting the major issue and proposing solutions to all of it.
Time-management: Time management skills seem to be something almost every other employee would have. Similarly, biochemists should be able to manage their time and also other colleagues'. It is no special from other sectors since this individual often has to work longer hours due to the extreme work overload. Biochemists usually need to meet deadlines when conducting research. They must be able to manage time and prioritise tasks efficiently while maintaining the quality of work. Overtime really calls for an amazing quality of managing time. And so we can certainly describe this time management as among the most essential skills in any profession.
Which certifications and internships can be helpful in becoming Biochemist?
The hands-on work experience gained by interns is invaluable and cannot be obtained in a classroom or college. Internships help students to apply the knowledge they gained in different courses to real-world experiences. Internships help students to get acquainted with the desired field that they wish to work in the future. Internships in biochemistry are easily available to students all across India and other parts of the world. The duration of the internships varies from firm to firm. So it totally depends on the students which firm they wish to choose for the internships.
Career Path Progression for Biochemist
Research Associate: Research associates plan, organize, and conduct research on businesses, markets, investments, or the economy. They are employed by asset management firms, financial institutions, consulting firms and in-house research departments of companies. The responsibilities of research associates can vary depending on the size and needs of the firm.
Senior scientists: Senior scientists are people who are able to handle problems outside of primary expertise. They design and conduct studies that investigate both human diseases and methods to prevent and treat them. They write research grant proposals and apply for funding from government agencies and private funding sources. They standardize drug potency, doses, and methods to allow for the mass manufacturing and distribution of drugs and medicinal compounds.
Senior development scientist: They are responsible for planning and completing laboratory work required for projects within the research and development team. They are also involved in preparations of work plans, analysis, and presentation of all results using excel and PowerPoint for review. Biochemists reach this level after hard work for nine years.
Biochemist Jobs and Salaries
- Average Salary 30000
- Starting Salary 25000
- Junior Level Salary 25000
- Senior Level Salary 45000
Research associates plan, organize, and conduct research on businesses, markets, investments, or the economy. They are employed by asset management firms, financial institutions, consulting firms and in-house research departments of companies. The responsibilities of research associates can vary depending on the size and needs of the firm.
The basic pay for research associates is 25,000 INR per month. An entry level research associate is expected to receive a total compensation of 25,000 INR per month. After gaining experience in the field, their salary increases upto 45,000 INR per month.
Senior development scientist
- Average Salary 80000
- Starting Salary 50000
- Junior Level Salary 50000
- Senior Level Salary 100000
They are responsible for planning and completing laboratory work required for projects within the research and development team. They are also involved in preparations of work plans, analysis, and presentation of all results using excel and PowerPoint for review. Biochemists reach this level after hard work for nine years.
The basic pay for research associates is 25,000 INR per month. An entry-level research associate is expected to receive a total compensation of 25,000 INR per month. After gaining experience in the field, their salary increases up to 45,000 INR per month.
What is the job outlook for Biochemist?
The growth in this career comes with intensive hard work and experience. Initially, students start with biochemists after completing their studies. The biochemists have to work under the supervision of research associates. In this phase, students gain knowledge and experience on how the biochemistry industry works. This is the entry-level of this career where students need to devote their time to the basic activities that they need to complete on a daily basis. Biochemists’ responsibilities include keeping records of all the activities using notes, logs, and data collecting instruments in accordance with the standard operating procedures. After successfully working as biochemists for two to three years students get promoted to research associates. At this position, they work under the supervision of senior scientists. Research associates plan, organize, and conduct research on businesses, markets, investments, or the economy. Research associates can find employment in asset management firms, financial institutions, consulting firms, and in-house research departments of companies. With the experience of two to three years research associates get promoted to senior scientists.
Senior scientists report directly to senior development scientists. Senior scientists design and conduct studies related to human diseases and methods to prevent them. They are the person responsible for writing grant proposals and applying for funds from government agencies and private funding resources. These are a few of basic biochemist responsibilities that are performed by senior scientists.
After eight to nine years of hard work, senior scientists get promoted to senior development scientists. This is the topmost designation that biochemists can reach with hard work and experience. They are also involved in preparations of work plans, analysis, and presentation of all results using excel and PowerPoint for review.
The biochemist job market is projected to grow six per cent from 2018 to 2028. The employment growth in this field is as fast as average if compared to other professions. The requirement of biochemists will increase to do the research that increases scientific knowledge. More biochemists would be required to research and develop biological products and processes that improve people’s lives. The techniques, tools, and applications of biochemistry are expanding with the advancement of technology and knowledge. With the rapid growth of population demand for new drugs and procedures to cure and prevent the disease will also increase. In future biochemists will be needed to conduct genetic research and to develop new medicines and treatments that are used to fight genetic disorders and diseases such as cancer.
Areas of research and development in biotechnology will also drive employment growth in the future. Biochemists will be needed to develop new tests to detect diseases and other illnesses. The demand for clean energy would also increase the need for biochemists in the future. Biochemists will have to research and develop alternative energy sources such as biofuels. Increasing population and food prices are expected to support the development of genetically engineered crops and livestock that provide greater yields and require fewer resources. The new and improved way to clean and preserve the environment will increase the demand for biochemists.
Frequently Asked Questions for Biochemist
Que. What kind of work does a biochemist do?Ans.
The daily work of a biochemist includes analysing enzymes, DNA, and other molecules to research the effects of drugs and food on biological processes. They use electron microscopes, lasers, and other laboratory instruments as well as computer modeling software to determine the structures of molecules.
Que. What does a biochemist do in a hospital?Ans.
Clinical biochemists are responsible for testing patient samples and interpreting the results for medical staff. They work as part of a hospital medical team that is responsible for investigating and diagnosing patient illnesses.
Que. What skills do biochemists need?Ans.
Biochemists and biophysicists should also possess the following specific qualities:
Analytical skills, Communication skills, Critical-thinking skills, Interpersonal skills, Math skills, Perseverance, Problem-solving skills.
Que. Where do biochemists work?Ans.
Biochemists work in a variety of settings like some work in manufacturing, energy development, or environmental restoration firms and in hospital laboratories. They may also work as faculty, research staff, or teachers at colleges, universities, and secondary schools. Some also work for law firms, where they deal with scientific cases.
Que. What are the highest paying biochemistry jobs?Ans.
The highest paying biochemistry jobs include: Academic researcher,
Bio-technologist, Analytical chemist, Medicinal chemist, Clinical research associate, Forensic scientist, Biomedical scientist, Clinical scientist, biochemistry.
Que. How much does a biochemist make?Ans.
A basic biochemist salary with less than one year's experience can be an average total salary of Rs 308,368 per year.
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