Biochemists are employed by:
- Universities and medical schools
- Provincial and federal governments
- Biotechnology companies
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Companies in the oil, cosmetics, environmental, and food and beverage industries
Those who have a B.Sc. or master’s degree usually work as technicians or lab assistants under the supervision of senior biochemists. Some biochemistry graduates work in sales for biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms. For more information, see the Technical Sales Representative occupational profile.
With an advanced degree, biochemists can move into supervisory positions. PhD biochemists usually must have 2 years of post-doctoral training to qualify for positions in post-secondary schools, industrial research labs, or governmental agencies.
Biochemists are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2112: Chemists. In Alberta, 77% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:
The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:
- Trends and events affecting overall employment, especially in the industries listed above
- Location in Alberta
- Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
- Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
- Size of the occupation
Over 1,900 Albertans are employed in the Chemists occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.1% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 21 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As biochemists form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for biochemists.
Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.
In Alberta, the 2112: Chemists occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.3% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 20 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.