Top 10 Careers in Biochemistry

Durham University Biological Sciences Student

Biochemistry, a subject that stands in between biology and chemistry, studies the chemical processes within living organisms. It's a captivating field that explores the building blocks of life, from proteins and enzymes to DNA and metabolism.

If you’re wondering what you can do with a biochemistry degree, then look no further; this blog post aims to dive into the world of biochemistry and showcase the ten most promising and rewarding career paths it offers. You might be surprised at what’s available to you as a biochemistry graduate!

What is biochemistry?

Biochemistry is a subject that delves into the intricate chemical processes within living organisms. A subject for those who want to get deep into the details about how everything organic in our world is put together. It explores the molecular interactions and reactions that drive the fundamental functions of life.

By studying the structure, composition, and behaviour of biological molecules such as proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids, you will uncover the underlying mechanisms behind vital processes like metabolism, cellular signalling, and DNA replication.

Biochemistry combines elements of biology and chemistry, using advanced techniques and technologies to unravel the secrets of life at a molecular level. From understanding the intricacies of diseases to developing new drugs and therapies, biochemistry plays a big role in improving our knowledge of biological systems and enhancing human health.

Biochemistry is a rewarding career that makes a big impact on society, as you work to improve the quality of life for people all around the world.

Employability: Top 10 career options in biochemistry

There are lots of different jobs in biochemistry that you might be interested in pursuing. What you ultimately go for depends on your own skillset, goals, and personal interests. Here is a quick run-down of the top 10 career options in biochemistry:

  1. Forensic Scientist: Apply biochemistry techniques to analyse evidence in crime scenes, such as DNA testing and toxicology analysis, aiding in criminal investigations.
  2. Chemical Engineer: Develop and optimise industrial processes, including pharmaceutical production and biofuel synthesis.
  3. Molecular Biologist: Study the structure and function of biological molecules to gain insights into genetic and cellular processes.
  4. Biochemist: Conduct in-depth research on biological molecules, studying their properties and interactions to enhance understanding of biochemical processes.
  5. Research Scientist: Engage in cutting-edge research to investigate new discoveries and develop innovative solutions in various areas of biochemistry, such as drug development or disease mechanisms.
  6. Clinical Biochemist: Work in clinical laboratories to diagnose and monitor diseases by analysing patient samples using biochemical techniques and interpreting the results.
  7. Toxicologist: Investigate the effects of chemicals on living organisms, assessing their potential risks, and developing strategies to mitigate or prevent harm.
  8. Professor: Educate and inspire future generations of biochemists through teaching and mentoring, while also conducting research in specialised areas that interest you the most.
  9. Pharmacist: Use your knowledge of biochemistry to dispense medications, advise patients on appropriate medications and their interactions, and contribute to drug research and development.
  10. Physician: Diagnose and treat diseases, prescribing appropriate medications, and understanding the biochemical basis of various medical conditions.

Study biochemistry at Durham University

If you’re looking for a place to study biochemistry, consider starting your journey at Durham University International Study Centre.  Located in the north-west of England, we have a range of pathway programmes available, designed to help international students prepare for life, study and success at a leading UK university.

For undergraduates, we offer the International Foundation Year in Science and Engineering, which prepares you for the study of a wide range of highly-ranked undergraduate degrees at Durham University, such as the Biochemistry BSc (Hons).

If you’re looking to study at postgraduate level and already have an undergraduate degree from your home country, you might also consider the Pre-Masters in Science and Engineering. This is a 2-3 term programme that prepares you for a choice of master’s degrees at Durham University. 

Durham ranks 5th in The Times and Sunday Times for graduate employment 2022 and in The Complete University Guide 2023. By choosing Durham, you’re choosing to pursue a future with many opportunities, whatever your aspirations may be. Durham graduates readily find employment in many different careers, such as university postgraduate research, medicine, teaching, and many more exciting fields.

There’s more to student life than just your studies, and Durham has plenty of ways to maximise both your academic and personal development. Once you progress to your chosen degree at the university, you’ll be able to join clubs and societies, participate in sporting activities and so much more.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the highest paying biochemistry jobs?

Pharmaceutical research and development directors, biotechnology executives, and university professors specializing in biochemistry tend to have the highest salaries in the biochemistry field. 

Is biochemistry a good career?

Yes, biochemistry is a rewarding and promising career choice for individuals passionate about scientific exploration, medical advancements, and contributing to the understanding of life's fundamental processes.

Can I work in hospital after getting a BSc in biochemistry?

While a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry may not directly qualify you for working in a hospital, there are opportunities in clinical laboratories or research settings where your knowledge and skills can contribute to patient care and medical advancements. Further specialization or additional education may be necessary for certain roles.