How to Become a

Biophysicist

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

Why We Love It

  • $93,390
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 8.2%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Creativity Focused
    Career Attribute

Biophysicists study the relationships between physics and living things like DNA, blood proteins and genetics.  They conduct applied research to develop products like medicine to improve our lives.  They also develop tests used to detect disease, genetic disorders and other illnesses.


What is a Biophysicist?

The following responsibilities are common for biochemists:

  • Conduct complex research in basic and applied research
  • Manage laboratory employees and the quality of their work
  • Isolate, analyze and synthesize proteins, genes, molecules and DNA
  • Research the effects of foreign substances on human tissue and DNA and the biological processes
  • Write research papers and give recommendations based on their research

A Day In The Life

Biophysicists try to figure out how the complexity of life fits in with what we currently know about the science of the world and how that all fits together.  They look at like on the molecular level and study proteins, DNA and cell development.

They use electron microscopes and lasers to conduct different scientific experiments.  they will also use computer software to better determine what a protein or molecule looks like through 3D animated structures.

They conduct basic research to find out how cells communicate or how proteins work.  They may also research the genetic mutations in an organism that leads to cancer or some other diseases.  Others will study the evolution of plants and animals or understand how genetic traits are carried through generations.

Typical Work Schedule

They typically work in laboratories and offices a full 40 hour work week.

Projected Job Growth

Their should be a rapid growth over the next few years in this industry as college and university budgets for education also increase.

Typical Employers

As far as government roles, the FDA is a major employer of these individuals as well as the EPA.  They would also be found as teachers in high schools and universities.


How To Become a Biophysicist

Biophysicists combine the study of biology and physics to better understand organisms.  Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in biophysics or a related field like biology, biochemistry, physics or engineering.  Those in the bachelor’s program should take courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science and biology.  Doing laboratory course work is also vital preparation for graduate school programs or even for obtaining an entry-level position in this industry.

PhD programs will require more advanced courses like toxicology, genetics and proteomics.  Students at this level usually spend a lot of time doing laboratory research.  Individuals are required to have a PhD to work in independent research.


Biophysicist 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

$58,620

Average

$93,390

High Range

$153,810

National Hourly Wage

Low Range

$28/hr

Average

$45/hr

High Range

$74/hr

How do Biophysicist salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Biophysicist's can make an average annual salary of $93,390, or $45 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $58,620 or $28 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #84 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally


Programs and Degrees

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


Highest Education Among Biophysicists

  • 19.6%   Doctorate
  • 32%   Masters
  • 43.8%   Bachelors
  • 2.2%   Associates
  • 2.1%   College
  • 0.2%   High School
  • 0.1%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs

34,100

2024 Est. Jobs

36,900

Job Growth Rate

8.2%

Est. New Jobs

2,800

How does Biophysicist job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 2,800 jobs for a total of 36,900 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 8.2% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #272 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally


What Companies Employ The Most Biophysicists

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences 16,100 2,100 2%
Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing 4,600 --- ---
Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state 4,000 200 0%

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