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How to Become a Biochemist

Saptakee Sengupta
How to become a biochemist and what are the educational qualifications required for it? This story hall explain in detail. Keep reading.
If you have a strong desire for research, pursuing studies is biochemistry is something you should consider. Biochemistry is a branch of biological science that mainly deals with studying the biochemical reactions taking place in living beings. This forms the core of biochemistry, which is also supported by other divisions of science like biotechnology, molecular biology and microbiology.
To become a biochemist you must hold a degree in biochemistry. Students who have chosen biochemistry as an elective subject and have undergone training in that field are also eligible for becoming biochemists. Job requirements of biochemists at schools, colleges, research institutes and companies differ and possessing a higher degree, always has an added advantage.

Becoming a Biochemist

Biochemists are generally recruited in research institutes where they undertake project works in their area of interest, thus helping with research in chemical and biological process in living beings. Thus, they need to possess in depth knowledge in biochemistry and have substantial hands on experience in conducting scientific experiments. If your ambition is to become a biochemist, then you must have biology, chemistry and physics as the main subjects at high school.
A proper base in mathematics is also an advantage. Garner complete information about the colleges offering courses in biochemistry and prepare yourself for the entrance exams, focusing on the individual subjects mentioned above. A few colleges have a direct admission process where students are selected on the basis of marks obtained in high school. This completes your admission process.
In case you didn't manage to get biochemistry as the core subject of your degree course, then you can opt for similar disciplines like biotechnology, molecular biology, biochemical engineering or microbiology and keep biochemistry as an additional subject. In this case, taking short term training courses in biochemistry would fulfill the requirements for becoming a biochemist.
During the four-year university degree course you will have subjects like chemistry, physics and mathematics as they are related to biochemistry. Taking internships while completing your course is of great help as it gives you practical knowledge of the subject and teaches you techniques you would be applying while actually working in the field. This will also prove useful when you go for research.
On completion of bachelor's degree, you can expect direct placement at research and development companies, where you will be working as a junior biochemist, dealing with laboratory experiments or as a quality controller. Since, biochemistry is a research oriented subject, continuing further research would definitely boost your skills. Biochemists who are recruited at research organizations, definitely have better future prospects in the field of research.
Also, with the expertise they have gained, moving to the corporate sector also becomes easier. You can also apply for biochemist jobs at pharmaceutical and biotech companies after completion of the bachelor's degree. 
In today's competitive world, a higher education always gives you an edge over others and gives you brighter chances of excelling in your career. So, you can consider obtaining a master's degree from a reputed college after completing the bachelor's course. Students who have kept biochemistry as an elective subject at undergraduate level must go for masters in biochemistry for gaining more knowledge, thus bettering their opportunities of growth.
For both, corporate as well as research and development sectors, a master's degree will help you achieve a higher position, and more so if you obtain a doctorate. On completing your PhD, you can apply for a post doctorate which is the highest level you can go, in academics. And with it comes better career growth. 
As a senior biochemist, you could be hired on positions like head of the department, quality manager, research scientist, data manager or lab superintendent. The salary range of biochemists depends on their educational qualifications, experience, financial condition of the company or the research institute and the economy of the country as well. You can estimate the figure to be USD 35,000 - USD 55,000, initially. Biochemists can earn up to USD 70,000 - USD 130,000.
Now you know how to become a biochemist. But it is advisable to venture this field only if you have keen interest in scientific research. Becoming a biochemist is not difficult, once you know you are interested and are well-informed about the educational requirements to meet.