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Wage Potential for Biotechnology Majors with a 4-Year Degree

Career News December 24, 2012

Biotechnology is an increasing growing field that utilizes organisms for technological advancement in agriculture, medication and other fields. Over the decades, biotechnology has evolved from domesticating farm animals and crops to using living molecules and cells to develop new vaccines, pharmaceuticals, food and diverse commercial products. Companies involved with developing livestock production, genetic engineering, food production, industrial chemicals, agriculture, energy, pharmaceuticals, pesticides and herbicides rely on biotechnology. Most biotechnology majors, who have a wide range of industries to choose from, choose to become research associates. In this article, we will look at the wage potential for Biotechnology Majors with a 4-Year Degree and discuss the best career choices these professionals can make in order to pursue their lucrative career.

Salaries for biotechnology majors vary depending on experience, employer, industry and education. In May 2010, Payscale.com compiled median income data for Biotechnology Majors with a 4-Year Degree categorized according to these four variables: experience, employer, industry and education.

Experience-wise Wage Potential

Experience-wise data revealed that Biotechnology Majors with a 4-Year Degree with one to four years in the field took home between $36,889 and $51,477. Those who have five to nine years of experience attracted a median salary ranging from $45,073 to $64,727 while ten to nineteen years of experience brought home a salary packet ranging from $52,252 to $74,462, and the ones with over twenty years of experience had the highest median income in the range of $53,951-$88,054.

Employer-wise Wage Potential

Former biotechnology majors are employed by different organizations, including government agencies, universities, hospitals, private firms, and research companies. Employer-wise wage data showed that Biotechnology Majors employed as research associates at Genentech Inc., a pharmaceutical company, stood to earn the most with the average annual salary earned as of May 2010 being $73,279. Those employed with Pfizer Inc., another pharmaceutical manufacturer, were next in the pecking order with $60,000, followed by employees of Amgen Corp. who earned $59,349. Employees at Monsanto Company, an agriculture firm, took home $49,202; those employed with other agriculture firms like Pioneer Hi Bred International Inc. completed the list of top five employers with average annual incomes of $47,997, as compiled by Payscale.com.

Industry-wise Wage Potential

The job-wise findings showed that a biotechnology major doing research and development work earned an average annual salary of $39,816 to $59,731, while a biotechnology major in the pharmaceutical industry took home $47,017 to $68,851, a biotechnology major performing medical research was paid $32,510 to $48,887, and a biotechnology major employed in academic earned $30,966 to $43,744.

Degree-wise Wage Potential

Bachelors of Science in Biotechnology earned an average annual wage in the range of $41,574 to $63,044, while Bachelor of Science in Biology degree holder took home $37,765 to $55,048, a Bachelor of Art in Biology was paid $36,231 to $53,609, and a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry earned $35,841 to $58,274.

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