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Jobs in Biotechnology

Research And Development, Clinical Trials, Computer-related Jobs, Patents, Quality Control, ManufacturingTeaching

At the end of 2003, there were nearly 1,500 biotechnology companies in the United States, according to the Biotechnology Industry Organization. These companies employed nearly 200,000 people in various positions.

Most biotechnology companies are small. Many have fewer than 100 employees. Larger companies may also work in areas other than biotechnology. For example, a pharmaceutical company might make some drugs using biotechnology but others through more traditional chemical processes. New biotechnology companies open regularly. Many have not sold anything yet because they are still developing their product. It can take ten to fifteen years for a biotechnology offering to move from an idea initially experimented with and developed in the lab to a fully tested and government-approved product in the customer's hands.

According to a report prepared by Business Insights in 2005, the top ten biotechnology companies are Amgen, Genentech, Serono, Biogen Idec, UCB-Celltech, Genzyme, Gilead, MedImmune, Chiron, and Millenium. Many different positions are available at these and other biotechnology companies. The rest of this chapter looks at some of the major jobs within the field of biotechnology.


Finally, colleges, universities, and high schools need people to teach classes on biotechnology. This helps ensure that some students will learn about the various fields, become interested, pursue biotechnology studies, and eventually enter the workforce and fill positions in the industry.

Obviously, lots of different positions are available in biotechnology. The next chapter will look at the education needed to get these jobs.

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