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Biochemists and Biophysicists

Study the chemical composition or physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, growth, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, serums, hormones, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.   (O'Net 19-1021.00)

 
Reported job titles:   Analytical Research Chemist, Biological Chemist, Chief Scientific Officer, Clinical Biochemist, Clinical Laboratory Scientist, Clinical Researcher   (view all job titles)
 
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  • Tasks
  • Knowledge
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  • Abilities
  • Work Activities
  • Interests
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  • Education & Training Requirements
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    Wages
    for Biochemists and Biophysicists
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    No wage data for this occupation.
     


    Employment Trends
    for Biochemists and Biophysicists
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    No trend data for this occupation.
     


    Industries of Employment
    for Biochemists and Biophysicists
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    Industry Percent of Total
    2014
    Scientific research and development services 47.9%
    Chemical manufacturing 17.3%
    Educational services; state, local, and private 16.5%
    Management of companies and enterprises 3.4%
    Self-employed workers, all industries 3.1%
    source: Employment Projections, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Employment Matrix, released July 2016.
     


    Tasks
    for Biochemists and Biophysicists
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  • Study physical principles of living cells or organisms and their electrical or mechanical energy, applying methods and knowledge of mathematics, physics, chemistry, or biology.
     
  • Share research findings by writing scientific articles or by making presentations at scientific conferences.
     
  • Prepare reports or recommendations, based upon research outcomes.
     
  • Teach or advise undergraduate or graduate students or supervise their research.
     
  • Manage laboratory teams or monitor the quality of a team's work.
     
  • Isolate, analyze, or synthesize vitamins, hormones, allergens, minerals, or enzymes and determine their effects on body functions.
     
  • Determine the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules.
     
  • Develop new methods to study the mechanisms of biological processes.
     
  • Study the mutations in organisms that lead to cancer or other diseases.
     
  • Study the chemistry of living processes, such as cell development, breathing and digestion, or living energy changes, such as growth, aging, or death.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Biochemists and Biophysicists  updated July 2012
     


    Knowledge
    for Biochemists and Biophysicists
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  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
     
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
     
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
     
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
     
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
     
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
     
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
     
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
     
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
     
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Biochemists and Biophysicists  updated July 2012
     


    Skills
    for Biochemists and Biophysicists
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  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
     
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
     
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
     
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
     
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
     
  • 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.
     
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Biochemists and Biophysicists  updated July 2012
     


    Abilities
    for Biochemists and Biophysicists
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  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
     
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
     
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
     
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
     
  • Information Ordering - The ability to 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).
     
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
     
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
     
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
     
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
     
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Biochemists and Biophysicists  updated July 2012
     


    Work Activities
    for Biochemists and Biophysicists
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  • Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
     
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
     
  • Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
     
  • Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
     
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
     
  • Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
     
  • Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
     
  • Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
     
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
     
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Biochemists and Biophysicists  updated July 2012
     


    Interests
    for Biochemists and Biophysicists
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  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
     
  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
     
  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Biochemists and Biophysicists  updated June 2008
     


    Work Styles
    for Biochemists and Biophysicists
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  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
     
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
     
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
     
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
     
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
     
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
     
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
     
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
     
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
     
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
     
    source: Occupational Information Network: Biochemists and Biophysicists  updated July 2012
     


    State of Vermont License Information
    that may be required for Biochemists and Biophysicists
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    No state licenses listed for this occupation.
     


    Education and Training Requirements
    for Biochemists and Biophysicists
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  • Job Zone Five: Extensive Preparation Needed
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  • Education: Most of these occupations require graduate school. For example, they may require a master's degree, and some require a Ph.D., M.D., or J.D. (law degree).
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  • Training: Employees may need some on-the-job training, but most of these occupations assume that the person will already have the required skills, knowledge, work-related experience, and/or training.
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  • Experience: 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.
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    source: Occupational Information Network: Biochemists and Biophysicists  updated July 2012
     


    Schools
    offering instructional programs related to Biochemists and Biophysicists
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      Related Instructional Programs
     
    • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
     
    • Biochemistry.
     
    • Biophysics.
     
    • Cell/Cellular Biology and Anatomical Sciences, Other.
     
    • Molecular Biochemistry.
     
    • Molecular Biophysics.
     
     Search for schools offering these programs at
     
     
     
    source: National Center for Education Statistics 2000 Classification of Instructional Programs .
     


    Other Resources
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  • Labor Exchange Information
  • A source for occupational characteristics, such as age, gender, race, and years of education and an alternative source for occupational wage rates. Limited to people looking for jobs and the jobs advertised through VDOL Vermont Job Link.
  • Look for statewide information over the latest 12 months for Biochemists and Biophysicists.
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  • Occupational Outlook Handbook
  • The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a nationally recognized source of career information, designed to provide valuable assistance to individuals making decisions about their future work lives. Revised every two years, the Handbook describes what workers do on the job, working conditions, the training and education needed, earnings, and expected job prospects in a wide range of occupations.
    Go to Occupational Outlook Handbook
    Handbook occupations related to Biochemists and Biophysicists :
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    Related Occupations
    Occupations with skill requirements similar to Biochemists and Biophysicists
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  • Biochemical Engineers
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  • Biologists
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  • Computer and Information Research Scientists
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  • Electronics Engineers, Except Computer
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  • Geneticists
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  • Microbiologists
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  • Molecular and Cellular Biologists
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  • Photonics Engineers
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    source: Occupational Information Network: Biochemists and Biophysicists 
     

     
     
     
    Vermont.gov State of Vermont Department of Labor