Biochemist Kairarau Matū Koiora

Biochemists study the chemical structure and function of animals, plants and micro-organisms such as bacteria and viruses. They use this research to develop medical, industrial and agricultural products.

Biochemists may do some or all of the following:

  • study the chemical make-up of living cells including genes, proteins and molecules 
  • study chemical processes such as cell development and disease
  • study the effects of diseases or vaccines on living things
  • develop and test new products such as medicines or ingredients
  • write scientific reports and papers for journals
  • manage laboratory teams. 

Physical Requirements

Biochemists need to have good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses) and good hand-eye co-ordination as they work with small amounts of substances.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for biochemists includes:

  • work with medicines or chemicals
  • work as a science technician or medical laboratory technician
  • other laboratory work
  • experience writing reports.

Personal Qualities

Biochemists need to be:

  • enquiring and observant
  • self-motivated
  • patient and detail-oriented
  • creative and innovative
  • good at problem solving 
  • good at writing and communicating
  • good at planning and organising.

Useful Experience

Useful experience for biochemists includes:

  • work with medicines or chemicals
  • work as a science technician or medical laboratory technician
  • other laboratory work
  • experience writing reports.

Biochemists can earn around $42K-$75K per year per year.

Biochemists may progress to senior positions from working as technicians, become project leaders or do postgraduate study to specialise in a particular research area. They may also move into biotechnology, food technology, medical sales or teaching roles.  

Biochemist

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