Biochemists study the biochemistry of living organisms and the molecular structure and function of related components.

Specialisations: Enzyme Chemist, Protein Chemist.

A bachelor degree in science or applied science majoring in biochemistry, molecular biology, biomedical science or a related field is needed to work as a Biochemist. Many Biochemists complete postgraduate studies.

Tasks

  • Studies the forms and structures of bodily organs and tissues by systematic observation, dissection and microscopic examination.
  • Investigates the chemical structure and function of living cells and their isolated components, organs and tissues in humans, animals, plants, and micro-organisms.
  • Examines micro-organisms, such as bacteria, fungi, yeast and their enzymes, and uses the knowledge gained to create and develop new, and improve existing, products, materials and processes.

All Life Scientists

  • $1,794 Weekly Pay
  • Moderate Future Growth
  • Average unemployment Unemployment

Biochemists

  • 140 workers Employment Size
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • 82% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 43 hours Average full-time
  • 37 years Average age
  • 40% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Biochemists (in their main job) stayed about the same over 5 years:
from 190 in 2011 to 140 in 2016.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Location: Biochemists work in many parts of Australia. Victoria has a large share of workers.
  • Industries: Most work in Education and Training; Health Care and Social Assistance; and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (82%, much higher than the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 43 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 37 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 40% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Education and Training39.8
Health Care and Social Assistance23.3
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services21.8
Manufacturing12.8
Other Industries2.3

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateBiochemistsAll Jobs Average
NSW18.631.6
VIC41.125.6
QLD17.120.0
SA10.97.0
WA8.510.8
TAS0.02.0
NT0.01.0
ACT3.91.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketBiochemistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-190.0-5.05.0
20-245.5-9.39.3
25-3439.3-22.922.9
35-4420.0-22.022.0
45-5415.2-21.621.6
55-596.9-9.09.0
60-646.2-6.06.0
65 and Over6.9-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationBiochemistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate59.7-10.110.1
Bachelor degree38.0-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma2.3-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV0.0-21.121.1
Year 120.0-18.118.1
Year 110.0-4.84.8
Year 10 and below0.0-12.512.5

A bachelor degree in science or applied science majoring in biochemistry, molecular biology, biomedical science or a related field is needed to work as a Biochemist. Many Biochemists complete postgraduate studies.

Membership with the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology may be useful.

Thinking about study or training?

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Life Scientists who can communicate clearly, work well in a team and have strong interpersonal skills.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Biology

    86% Skill level

    Plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, how they rely on and work with each other and the environment.

  2. Mathematics

    84% Skill level

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  3. Chemistry

    83% Skill level

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  4. Physics

    74% Skill level

    The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.

  5. English Language

    73% Skill level

    English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-1021.00 - Biochemists and Biophysicists.

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Electronic Mail

    98% Important

    How often do you use electronic mail?

  2. Indoors, Heat Controlled

    97% Important

    How often do you work indoors with access to heating or cooling?

  3. Face-to-Face Discussions

    93% Important

    How often do you talk with people face-to-face?

  4. Structured versus Unstructured Work

    92% Important

    How much freedom do you have to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals?

  5. Being Exact or Accurate

    92% Important

    How important is being very exact or highly accurate?

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-1021.00 - Biochemists and Biophysicists.

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