Biochemical Engineers

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About the Job

Develop usable, tangible products, using knowledge of biology, chemistry, or engineering. Solve problems related to materials, systems, or processes that interact with humans, plants, animals, microorganisms, or biological materials.

It is also Called

  • Biochemical Development Engineer
  • Biochemical Engineer
  • Bioengineer
  • Bioprocess Development Engineer
  • Bioprocess Engineer
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Engineering Director
  • Fermentation Engineer
  • Nanotechnologist
  • Pharmaceutical Engineer

What They Do

  • Devise scalable recovery, purification, or fermentation processes for producing proteins or other biological substances for human or animal therapeutic use, food production or processing, biofuels, or effluent treatment.
  • Read current scientific or trade literature to stay abreast of scientific, industrial, or technological advances.
  • Design or conduct studies to determine optimal conditions for cell growth, protein production, or protein or virus expression or recovery, using chromatography, separation, or filtration equipment, such as centrifuges or bioreactors.
  • Develop biocatalytic processes to convert biomass to fuels or fine chemicals, using enzymes of bacteria, yeast, or other microorganisms.
  • Prepare technical reports, data summary documents, or research articles for scientific publication, regulatory submissions, or patent applications.
  • Confer with research and biomanufacturing personnel to ensure the compatibility of design and production.
  • Design or direct bench or pilot production experiments to determine the scale of production methods that optimize product yield and minimize production costs.
  • Develop methodologies for transferring procedures or biological processes from laboratories to commercial-scale manufacturing production.
  • Design or conduct follow-up experimentation, based on generated data, to meet established process objectives.
  • Maintain databases of experiment characteristics or results.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IR.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Realistic environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Recognition, but also value Independence and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

LMI Region

Wages

In 2013, the average annual wage in United States was $94,310 with most people making between $49,140 and $144,000

Outlook

0.64%
avg. annual growth

During 2010, this occupation employed approximately 156,000 people in United States. It is projected that there will be 166,000 employed in 2020.

This occupation will have about 1,000 openings due to growth and about 43,000 replacement openings for approximately 44,000 total annual openings.