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BIO Career Guide Introduction

BIO. "Biotechnology: The Choice for Your Future. A Resource Guide." Washington, D.C.: Biotechnology Industry Organization.

The following resource guide is part of a program designed by the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BlO) to introduce biotechnology to young people and to demonstrate the benefits of bringing this new technology to the world. The resource guide describes positions available in a typical biotechnology company.


Biotechnology uses living cells and materials produced by cells to create pharmaceutical, diagnostic, agricultural, environmental, and other products to benefit society. The science of biotechnology is also used to alter genetic information in animals and plants to improve them in some way that benefits people. Because biotechnology essentially uses the basic ingredients of life to make new products, it is both a cutting-edge technology and an applied science. Analysts have predicted that biotechnology will be one of the most important applied sciences of the 21st century.

The U.S. Biotechnology Industry

The United States is currently the world leader in the research, development, and commercialization of biotechnology products. These advances have brought to market life-saving health care products and microbial pesticides, and will soon offer healthier foods, disease- and insect-resistant crops, additional energy resources, environmental clean-up techniques, and more.

The number of biotechnology companies was approximately 1,300 at the beginning of 1993. This figure represents an 11 percent increase over the previous year.

Nearly 80,000 people were employed in the U.S. biotechnology industry in 1992, which had more than $8.1 billion in revenues. This employment figure represents a 13 percent increase over the previous year.

Compensation in biotechnology companies is competitive and includes incentives, such as stock option plans, 401K plans, company-wide stock purchase plans, and cash bonus plans.

The following is a list of typical, entry-level biotechnology positions, followed by job descriptions. Many of the entry-level biotechnology jobs described herein are the first of several tiers within the same general areas of responsibility.

Research & Development:

  • Glasswasher
  • Laboratory Assistant
  • Research Associate
  • Research Assistant
  • Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Media Prep Technician
  • Greenhouse Assistant
  • Plant Breeder

Quality Control:

  • Quality Control Analyst
  • Quality Control Engineer
  • Environmental Health and Safety Specialist
  • Quality Assurance Auditor
  • Validation Engineer
  • Validation Technician

Clinical Research:

  • Clinical Research Administrator
  • Clinical Coordinator
  • Clinical Programmer
  • Biostatistician
  • Clinical Data Specialist
  • Drug Experience Coordinator
  • Clinical Research Associate
  • Animal Handler
  • Animal Technician
  • Technical Writer

Manufacturing & Production:

  • Product Development Engineer
  • Production Planner Scheduler
  • Manufacturing Technician
  • Packaging Operator
  • Manufacturing Research Associate
  • Instrument Calibration Technician
  • Biochemical Development Engineer
  • Process Development Associate
  • Assay Analyst
  • Manufacturing Engineer

Regulatory Affairs:

  • Regulatory Affairs Specialist
  • Documentation Coordinator
  • Documentation Specialist

Information Systems:

  • Library Assistant
  • Scientific Programmer Analyst
  • Marketing and Sales
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Systems Analyst
  • Sales Representative
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Technical Services Representative


  • Technical Recruiter
  • Human Resources Representative
  • Buyer
  • Patent Administrator
  • Patent Agent

Go to: Job Descriptions Part 1

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