Pay for biotechnologists earns depends on their qualifications and experience.
Biotechnologists with Bachelor's degrees usually start on $40,000-$55,000 a year.
Those with Master’s degrees usually earn around $55,000-$75,000 a year.
Senior biotechnologists, who have PhDs, may earn $76,000-$94,000 a year.
With more responsibility and experience, pay could rise to about $130,000 a year or more.
Source : NZBIO, 2016.
This information is a guide only. )
What you will do
Biotechnologists may do some or all of the following :
study the genetic make-up of plants, animals, humans and micro-organisms
study micro-organisms such as bacteria, fungi, yeast, and their enzymes
use cellular and molecular techniques to produce novel crops that are more resistant to disease or have increased productivity
develop and test methods of making new products
meet with clients to discuss problems and propose solutions using biotechnology
monitor production trends and data
work out budget and production costs, and prepare funding or patent applications
participate in intellectual property negotiations related to their field of expertise.
Skills and knowledge
Biotechnologists need to have :
knowledge of biochemistry, microbiology, molecular biology and physics
an understanding of industrial processes
knowledge of safety procedures relating to the hazardous substances they use
an understanding of statutory and ethical responsibilities relating to genetic engineering
practical skills for performing experiments and operating scientific equipment
skill in analysing and interpreting research results
ability to communicate complex research findings to a range of audiences
writing skills, for writing reports or proposals.
usually work regular business hours, but they may also need to work weekends and evenings to complete experiments or reports
work in laboratories and offices at a range of places, including plants, factories and research organisations
may need to travel locally and internationally to meet with clients or attend conferences
may work with hazardous chemicals or in noisy environments.
To become a biotechnologist you need to have one of the following qualifications as a minimum :
Bachelor of Science majoring in biochemistry, genetics, molecular biosciences, food technology, or plant biotechnology
Bachelor of Engineering majoring in biotechnology
Bachelor of Technology majoring in biotechnology, industrial bioscience, biochemical engineering or food technology.
However, a Masters or Doctorate in biotechnology or a relevant field is important for most research jobs.
A tertiary entrance qualification is needed to enter further training. NCEA Level 3 calculus, biology, maths, chemistry and physics are preferred.
Biotechnologists need to be :
patient and persevering
investigative and enquiring
creative and innovative
good at problem-solving
good at planning and organising.
Useful experience for biotechnologists includes :
work in quality control