Molecular Biology jobs and careers

Molecular Biology is the study of the structure, composition and interactions of cellular molecules in living organisms, including the Biological Processes essential for the cell’s function and the relationship between DNA, RNA and Protein Synthesis.

Why consider a career in Molecular Biology?

Molecular Biologists research and experiment with the functions and biological laws of living cells. Molecular biologists look to isolate and purify components of the cell such as proteins and DNA which helps understand and conclude its function by identifying specific patterns in biological materials.

The work of a Molecular Biologist can be applied to a wide range of fields and applications, making it a very appealing career path. These range from drug discovery, genetic modification of crops, cell and gene therapy and production of cell-based clean meat which would reduce antibiotic presence in the food chain.

Working within this sector is very rewarding as you have the potential to significantly impact the wellbeing of humans, animals and the environment.

What a job or career in Molecular Biology may entail…

The work of a Molecular Biologist is often split between a laboratory, carrying out scientific experiments using techniques such as DNA cloning, Polymerase Chain Reaction, gel electrophoresis, molecular hybridization and mutagenesis, whereas the other time is spent analysing and interpreting biological data.

A career in molecular biology is appealing, as the future job prospects in the industry are increasing at an exponential rate.

Typical role titles include

Biomedical Engineer
Bioprocessing Engineer
Clinical Laboratory Technician
Clinical Research Specialist
Food Scientist
Forensic Scientist
Materials Scientist
Molecular Biologist/Scientist
QC Scientist

Career progression example

Research Scientist
Molecular Scientist
Senior Scientist
Principal Scientist
R&D Manager
R&D Director
Chief Scientific Officer (CSO)

Salary Benchmarks

Research Engineers/Junior Scientist with a PhD or Masters in Molecular Biology earn between £33K – £42K.
At the mid-experience-level, Molecular Scientists normally earn between £40K – £50K. Seniors to Principal Scientists normally earn between £50K – £75K.

Is it right for me? The skills it takes…

The following technologies and skills often appear on job descriptions;

PhD or Masters degree in Molecular Biology or Microbiology, PCR, qPCR, protein characterisation, Cell culture, Cell transfection, immunoassays, DNA sequencing, Molecular cloning techniques and RNA.

What qualifications does it take?

A PhD or Masters degree in Molecular Biology or Microbiology is usually essential, and quite often research work within a specialised field with molecular biology is desirable.

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