How to Become a

Biochemical Engineer

The complete career guide to be a Biochemical Engineer: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $91,230
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 23.1%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Creativity Focused
    Career Attribute

Biochemical engineers are both engineering and chemistry experts that apply their talents in innovative ways to discover new and improved uses for chemical compounds. They invent new medicines, design artificial organs, create new foods and ingredients, and discover new methods of renewable technology.

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What is a Biochemical Engineer?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in biochemical engineer roles:

  • Find and invent practical uses for new medical or scientific discoveries
  • Experiment with different chemical compounds and reactions to invent new medicines, foods, textiles, devices, and renewable energy sources
  • Perform thorough testing and analysis on produced products to ensure safety and reliability

A Day in the Life

Biochemical engineers are thoroughly trained in the disciplines of both chemistry and engineering, a skillset which allows them to invent new chemical compounds and reactions, and find practical uses for their discoveries. Often, when a new discovery is made in the life sciences, the findings are handed off to biochemical engineers to find practical uses for the discovery. For example, the technology used for artificial organ transplants was put to practical use by a team of talented biochemical engineers.

Biochemical engineers work to create many different types of products. They may work in pharmaceuticals, helping to invent new medicines designed to control, combat, or prevent diseases. They may work in medicine where they invent new equipment and life-saving devices. They may work in food production and distribution where they invent new and healthy foods and ingredients, or develop safer systems of fertilization.

Because the products developed by biochemical engineers are frequently consumed—and possibly even installed within the body—biochemical engineers must conduct extremely thorough testing of the products they develop. Sometimes, the testing of products goes on for many years—even decades—before a product is released for general usage. From working to cure cancer and extend lifespans to creating biofuels and other renewable energy sources, biochemical engineers play a huge role in the betterment of society.

Typical Work Schedule

Most biochemical engineering roles are full-time positions conducted during normal business hours. They’re generally off on evenings, weekends, and major holidays.

Projected Job Growth

Biochemical engineering is expected to see extreme growth in demand in the coming decade as a result of new technologies that need to be researched and applied for practical uses.

Typical Employers

Biochemical engineers commonly work for the following industries: manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, and research and development. They commonly work for corporations, hospitals, and universities with research programs.

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How To Become a Biochemical Engineer

The first step in becoming a biochemical engineer is earning a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Aspiring biochemical engineers need a thorough grounding in the concepts of both chemistry and engineering, so many choose to pursue degrees in biochemical engineering, biomedical engineering, or chemical engineering. A more general degree in mechanical engineering or electrical engineering may also suffice if you make sure to take plenty of science courses during your studies.

With a bachelor’s degree, you’ll qualify for entry-level positions in the field of engineering, most likely with a major manufacturing company. However, to work in research and development and be part of the teams who are changing their world with their work, you’ll likely need to have a master’s degree. A variety of master’s degrees may qualify you for open biochemical engineering roles, including engineering, chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, and microbiology.

Beyond having both a bachelor’s and master’s degree, you’ll also need to have a significant amount of experience to qualify for positions in research and development. Most companies want biochemical engineers with a minimum of five years of experience and possibly as many as ten years of experience. However, aspiring biochemical engineers with talent should be able to find entry-level positions and work their way up without issue since the field is expected to see so much growth in the near future.

Biochemical Engineer Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

Low Range




High Range


National Hourly Wage

Low Range




High Range


How do Biochemical Engineer salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Biochemical Engineer's can make an average annual salary of $91,230, or $44 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $65,540 or $32 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #93 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming a Biochemical Engineer. a is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Biochemical Engineers

  • 8%   Doctorate
  • 20.8%   Masters
  • 53.3%   Bachelors
  • 11.7%   Associates
  • 4.1%   College
  • 2.1%   High School
  • 0%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Biochemical Engineer job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 5,100 jobs for a total of 27,200 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 23.1% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #37 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Biochemical Engineers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Medical equipment and supplies manufacturing 5,200 1,500 2%
Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences 3,500 900 1%
Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing 2,600 800 1%

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