Molecular biologist examine plant, animal or human genetics and the variation and relationships between them. Molecular biologist can work with DNA and RNA from humans, plants, animals and other organisms while using their knowledge of chemistry, physiology, genetics, physics and biology in their work.
What responsibilities will I have?
- Develop new methods to diagnose and treat diseases
- Detect and identify environmental pollutants
- Serve as a scientific advisor or representative for business, government or education
- Look at genetic variations and gene expression in different species to determine how things are passed from one generation to another
- Genetically engineer new crops
- Conduct continued testing of new crops or other products
- Test the effectiveness of drugs used for treating different diseases and gene growth
- Examine the sequence of DNA to look for differences that may mean a likeliness to have a disease or cause to be resistant to the disease
- Supervise and direct the work of laboratory technicians
- Report findings through writing or presentations
- Compiles data on research conducted
- Grow bacteria in order to determine product effectiveness
- Design and execute experiments
- Translate research into technologies that consumers can use or benefit from
- Extract DNA and RNA from cells and tissues
What education and training is required?
A bachelor’s degree in a life science with a concentration in molecular biology will allow you to obtain some roles however a masters or doctorate degree will be required for the majority of the opportunities.
To pursue a career as a molecular biologist
The following high school courses are recommended: agricultural education, a focus on sciences such as chemistry, biology, physics and mathematics.
Where can I work?
Molecular biologist typically work in a laboratory and may be employed by the government, hospital, university, research firms or pharmaceutical company.
Future Job Market / Outlook
The job outlook for molecular biologist will be good over the next five years.
Suggested Professional Organizations and Associations
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
- American Society for Cell Biology
- Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
- RNA Society
- Biophysical Society