Is it good to have a career in biotechnology?

How do I become a biotechnologist?

also known as biotechnician, bio engineer, bioprocess technician

Laboratories hold an inexplicable fascination for you? You know what an Erlenmeyer is and have never broken one? You ate a few cookies too many in the last Christmas vacation and a fancy lab coat would be just the right thing to hide the bacon rolls? Then you are perfectly suited as a biotechnologist. Biotechnologists search for and research new chemical or biological agents, develop production options and modify organisms, process and develop raw materials. You mainly work in the laboratory, know the machines inside out, handle the material responsibly and must always strictly adhere to all safety and environmental protection specifications. They plan experiments, carry them out, write down results and present them to employees from other areas. They also carry out quality controls on a wide variety of substances and substances.

Characteristics

Required degrees


Study of biology, study of biochemistry, biotechnology

Important school subjects


Biology, chemistry, English

Starting salary as a biotechnologist


€ 1.900 – 2.780

Working as a biotechnologist

Important skills as a biotechnologist

As a biotechnologist, you naturally need excellent specialist knowledge in the fields of biology and chemistry. In addition, you sometimes work with very complex machines and devices and you need to know exactly how to operate them. In order to stay up to date with the latest research and to be able to understand the scientific literature without any problems, you should be able to speak and write English and thus, as a natural scientist, you cannot completely avoid languages. You should be able to think logically and analytically in order to be able to plan experiments well and, as in any other natural science, you need a basic understanding of mathematics. You have to be able to work very precisely and conscientiously, because experiments have to be carried out and recorded precisely and you also have to always adhere to safety and environmental protection guidelines, for example when handling corrosive or dangerous chemicals. In addition, you have to be able to work in a team and work in an interdisciplinary manner, because as a biotechnologist you will work on highly complex projects together with chemists, physicists and other experts. Ultimately, you should also be relatively insensitive, because despite protective measures, you are constantly exposed to very strong chemicals in your everyday work as a biotechnologist. If you have very sensitive skin or your eyes are easily irritated, you are in poor hands in the laboratory.

Important hard skills

Laboratory technology Expertise in chemistry Expertise in biology Sound knowledge of English

Important soft skills

How do I become a biotechnologist?

To become a biotechnologist, you need a university entrance qualification and a degree. The higher this is, the better your career and salary prospects - so you should hold out until you get your master’s degree, a doctorate only brings you further advantages. You can study multiple subjects to become a biotechnologist. At traditional universities, for example, the subjects of biology and chemistry are available. Universities of applied sciences have a wider range of more specific and applied studies. You can study biotechnology at some universities of applied sciences, but also bioanalytical process engineering or biomedicine.

Advanced training and specializations

As in all natural sciences, as a biotechnologist you need to be willing to continue your education, as you have to stay up to date with the latest research in order to do your job well. You should therefore regularly attend congresses, meetings and symposia in your field to hear what is currently being researched. If you are particularly motivated, you can also add a relevant university course to your studies - if you work in the food industry, for example in the field of food technology.

Future prospects as a biotechnologist

Biotechnology influences almost every area of ​​our life, from the food industry to pharmaceuticals. Biotechnologists make plants resistant to germs, develop detergents and work on biodegradable, environmentally friendly packaging. As a biotechnologist, you can therefore gain a foothold in a wide variety of industries, from university research to the pharmaceutical industry. You will be particularly in demand in medicine in the future, especially as our society is aging and completely new problems and diseases have to be researched and remedies developed. You are also in demand in energy technology and can help discover and develop new, alternative, clean energies and forms of energy generation. In large corporations in particular, you also have good opportunities for promotion, for example to become department head or production manager. Your salary opportunities as a scientist are pretty good too, especially if you choose a career in the private sector rather than in public research.