What Do Biochemists and Biophysicists Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life

Biochemists and Biophysicists

Biochemists and Biophysicists study the chemical composition or physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, growth, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, serums, hormones, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.

Salary
$104810
Becoming One
Very Hard
Education
Doctoral degree
Job Satisfaction
Job Growth

Personality



Job Description

Job Description

Biochemists and Biophysicists study the chemical composition or physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, growth, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, serums, hormones, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms. They also study physical principles of living cells or organisms and their electrical or mechanical energy, applying methods and knowledge of mathematics, physics, chemistry, or biology.

Other tasks include:

  • Share research findings by writing scientific articles or by making presentations at scientific conferences.
  • Prepare reports or recommendations, based upon research outcomes.
  • Teach or advise undergraduate or graduate students or supervise their research.
  • Manage laboratory teams or monitor the quality of a team’s work.
  • Isolate, analyze, or synthesize vitamins, hormones, allergens, minerals, or enzymes and determine their effects on body functions.
  • Determine the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules.

We asked Biochemists and Biophysicists how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

70%

How meaningful is this job

62%


70% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 62% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Biochemists and Biophysicists manage laboratory teams or monitor the quality of a team’s work. They study physical principles of living cells or organisms and their electrical or mechanical energy, applying methods and knowledge of mathematics, physics, chemistry, or biology.

A typical day for a Biochemist and Biophysicist will also include:

  • Teach or advise undergraduate or graduate students or supervise their research.
  • Isolate, analyze, or synthesize vitamins, hormones, allergens, minerals, or enzymes and determine their effects on body functions.
  • Study the chemistry of living processes, such as cell development, breathing and digestion, or living energy changes, such as growth, aging, or death.
  • Study the mutations in organisms that lead to cancer or other diseases.
  • Determine the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecules.

We asked some Biochemists and Biophysicists a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job? 27% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job? 36% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job? 68% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job? 0% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job? 0% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job? 9% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Biochemists and Biophysicists also prepare reports or recommendations, based upon research outcomes. They may also research the chemical effects of substances, such as drugs, serums, hormones, or food, on tissues or vital processes.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Biochemists and Biophysicists Teach or advise undergraduate or graduate students or supervise their research. They might also Design or perform experiments with equipment such as lasers, accelerators, or mass spectrometers.

In addition, they Share research findings by writing scientific articles or by making presentations at scientific conferences.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Study the chemistry of living processes, such as cell development, breathing and digestion, or living energy changes, such as growth, aging, or death.

To some Biochemists and Biophysicists, it is also their responsibility to Prepare pharmaceutical compounds for commercial distribution.


Working life

Working hours

More than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Biochemist and Biophysicist, you can expect to work more than 40 hours per week.

Do Biochemists and Biophysicists work in an office-style work environment?

Every day
95%


Once a year
5%


Do Biochemists and Biophysicists work outdoors?

Never
100%


Once a year
0%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Thinkers and The Artists

People who are suitable for this job tends to like working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They like searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally..

They also like working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

You can read more about these career personality types here.



Learn more about Biochemists and Biophysicists

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Related to Biochemists and Biophysicists Job Description

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Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/OOH/life-physical-and-social-science/biochemists-and-biophysicists.htm
http://www.acs.org/content/acs/en.html
http://www.asbmb.org/
http://www.aibs.org/home/index.html


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