Sokanu rates Biochemists with a D employability rating, meaning this career should provide weak employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 11,900 Biochemists. That number is based on 2,800 additional Biochemists, and the retirement of 9,100 existing Biochemists.
Demand for Biochemists
While the job market for biochemists is projected to experience relatively fast growth, the small size of the occupation will temper overall gains and result in limited demand in the field. More biochemists are expected to be needed to conduct research and develop improved products and processes; however, budgetary and funding constraints may impact the number of new hires.
Biochemists involved in biomedical and genetic research and the development of tests that detect diseases will be most in demand, as aging baby-boomers seek lifesaving drugs and procedures. Increased environmental consciousness and demand for clean energy will lead to opportunities for biochemists focused on discovering alternative energy sources, such as biofuels. Growing populations and rising food prices will call for biochemists to advance the development of genetically engineered crops and livestock that produce higher yields with fewer resources. As the amount of biological data continues to expand and software and analytical techniques become more sophisticated, the emerging specialty of bioinformatics will require technologically savvy biochemists. In general, opportunities in the field will exist with government labs; biotechnology firms; chemical and petroleum industries; cosmetic manufacturers; pharmaceutical companies; and universities.
Biochemists that direct research and development studies typically require a Doctorate Degree. To qualify for most entry-level and research assistant positions, candidates need a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree. Those who possess a broad understanding of molecular biology and its relationship to other disciplines should have the best prospects. Job seekers with laboratory experience and those who have graduated from university programs certified by the American Chemical Society (ACS) may further enhance their employability. Competition for all positions at all seniority levels is expected to be high, as the field remains small and largely dependent on research funding.
Supply of Biochemists
The Biochemist industry is concentrated in California, New Jersey, and Maryland.