Careers New Zealand
New Zealand
3d ago

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.
  • Biotechnologists :

  • 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.
  • Entry requirements

    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.

    Secondary education

    A tertiary entrance qualification is needed to enter further training. NCEA Level 3 calculus, biology, maths, chemistry and physics are preferred.

    Personal requirements

    Biotechnologists need to be :

  • patient and persevering
  • investigative and enquiring
  • observant
  • creative and innovative
  • good at problem-solving
  • good at planning and organising.
  • Useful experience

    Useful experience for biotechnologists includes :

  • research work
  • work in quality control
  • business-related work.
  • Apply
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