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What is Biotechnology?
  Biotechnology Careers      
Biotech Programs
 Scientific Job Classifications
I'm interested in science. Is there a job in biotech for me?
California is fortunate to be home to approximately thirty percent of all U.S. biotech companies with more than four hundred in the San Diego region. The many job opportunities presented by such a wealth of biotechnology here in San Diego equals rewarding careers for those interested in the biosciences.

Scientific Job Classifications: Click here to view a table concerning approximate salary ranges for biotechnology scientists in the San Diego region, based on level of education and training.

People with an A.A. or B.S. degree in a science-related discipline usually begin their careers in biotechnology by becoming part of a biotechnology company's 'operational workforce'.  


Operational workers operate the laboratory for the researchers, run the manufacturing processes, or ensure the processes meet quality control requirements.

The skills needed by this operational workforce are more complex and diverse than most people realize. In general, operational workers need basic science education and basic lab skills. More specifically, they need fundamentals of biology, chemistry, physics and math, teamwork, good verbal and written communication skills, a good work ethic, a wide variety of hand-on skills, and the ability to optimize or troubleshoot a process.

Examples of typical job titles held by biotechnology operational workers:

  • Lab Assistant
  • Research Assistant
  • Research Associate
  • Animal Technician
  • Manufacturing Technician
  • Packaging Operator
  After spending some time on the job, some operational workers transition into what are often specialized, more senior roles in biotechnology. To make this transition, workers sometimes need to go back to school for further education. Often, on-the-job experience gives workers enough education and training to move on.

Examples of more specialized roles held by the experienced operational worker:
  • Customer service
  • Technical Service
  • Research Associate (at a more senior level)
  • Research Scientist
  • Sales Associate
  • Clinical Research Associate
  • Process Development Associate
  • Quality Assurance
  • Manufacturing Associate (at a more senior level)
  • Bioinformatics
  • Patent Agent

Check out these sites to find biotechnology job descriptions, interviews with biotech employees and other useful information for anyone interested in a career in biotechnology.


The San Diego Biotechnology Education Consortium (SDBEC) is a forum for the life sciences education community whose goal is to more closely align curriculum with industry need.  SDBEC is part of the California Community Colleges “Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy” program.

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