Biotechnologists use living cells and materials to make new applications and products that benefit society. They work in labs to develop new drugs and medical treatments that help cure diseases. Many of the improvements in the food industry like vitamin-fortified bread or crops resistant to insects were produced by biotechnologists.
Biotechnologists mainly work in laboratories, medical centers and research centers. They are becoming more common in the commercial industry, with careers available in quality control, research and development, manufacturing and production, sales and regulatory affairs. They typically work a regular work week.
Areas of Specialization
There are many different areas for a biotechnologist to work, including forensics, genetic engineering, waste management, drug development, veterinary medicine and energy production.
Because biotechnology encompasses a broad scope of industries, training programs vary. Entry-level biotechnology jobs usually require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, but many are available without training. Research and supervisory positions are available to those with a master’s degree.
Ten schools in the state offer degrees in biotechnology, with degrees ranging from diplomas to masters' degrees.
Career Outlook Map of Iowa
Biotechnologists have an above average job outlook. The majority of the state will see a 13% growth in biotechnology positions, but the rating is lower for the Des Moines metro area and surrounding counties.