Biochemists

ANZSCO ID 234513

Overview

Snapshot

Employed
140
Future Growth
N/A
Weekly Earnings
N/A
Full-Time Share
82%
Female Share
40%
Average age
37

Summary

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 workers have a postgraduate qualification.

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.

Characteristics


Outlook

Employment Outlook

The NSC produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Life Scientists, under the outlook section.


Earnings and hours

Working arrangements

  • Around 82% of people employed as Biochemists work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 16 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).

    Full-time workers work an average of 43 hours per week in their main job. This is similar to the all jobs average (44 hours per week).

    Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.


Industries

Main industries

1
Education and Training
37.6%
2
Health Care and Social Assistance
22.0%
3
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
20.6%
4
Manufacturing
12.1%
5
Other industries
2.1%

Regions

Employment across Australia

NSW

18.6% All occupations: 31.6%

VIC

41.1% All occupations: 25.6%

QLD

17.1% All occupations: 20.0%

SA

10.9% All occupations: 7.0%

WA

8.5% All occupations: 10.8%

TAS

0.0% All occupations: 2.0%

NT

0.0% All occupations: 1.0%

ACT

3.9% All occupations: 1.9%

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

State Biochemists All Jobs Average
NSW 18.6 31.6
VIC 41.1 25.6
QLD 17.1 20.0
SA 10.9 7.0
WA 8.5 10.8
TAS 0.0 2.0
NT 0.0 1.0
ACT 3.9 1.9


  • Around 92% of Biochemists live in capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 62%.

    Victoria and South Australia have a large share of employment relative to their population size.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Worker profile

Age and gender

Age In Years
37
All Jobs Average is 40
Female Share
40%
All Jobs Average is 48%
  • The median age of Biochemists is 37 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.

    A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.

    Females make up 40% of the workforce. This is 8 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age Bracket Biochemists All Jobs Average
15-19 0.0 5.0
20-24 5.5 9.3
25-34 39.3 22.9
35-44 20.0 22.0
45-54 15.2 21.6
55-59 6.9 9.0
60-64 6.2 6.0
65 and Over 6.9 4.2
Median Age 37 40

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.


Employment Pathways

Education, training and experience

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 workers have a postgraduate qualification.

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  • Course Seeker to search and compare higher education courses.
  • ComparED to compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes.

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: 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 Qualification Biochemists All Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate 59.7 10.1
Bachelor degree 38.0 21.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma 2.3 11.6
Certificate III/IV 0.0 21.1
Year 12 0.0 18.1
Year 11 0.0 4.8
Year 10 and below 0.0 12.5

Source: 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.


Skills and Knowledge

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

Skills

Skills can be improved through training or experience.

  • 75%

    Active learning

    Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.

  • 75%

    Reading comprehension

    Reading work related information.

  • 73%

    Science

    Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

  • 73%

    Writing

    Writing things for co-workers or customers.

  • 70%

    Mathematics

    Using maths to solve problems.

  • 68%

    Critical thinking

    Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.

  • 64%

    Speaking

    Talking to others.

  • 63%

    Monitoring

    Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.

  • 63%

    Instructing

    Teaching people how to do something.

  • 61%

    Active listening

    Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.

  • 61%

    Judgment and decision making

    Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.

  • 61%

    Learning strategies

    Figuring out the best way to teach or learn something new.

  • 57%

    Complex problem solving

    Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.

  • 54%

    Systems analysis

    Figuring out how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect it.

  • 54%

    Systems evaluation

    Measuring how well a system is working and how to improve it.

  • 54%

    Time management

    Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.

  • 52%

    Operations analysis

    Understanding needs and product requirements to create a design.

  • 50%

    Coordination with others

    Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.

  • 50%

    Quality control analysis

    Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.

  • 48%

    Management of personnel resources

    Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.


Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  • 86%

    Biology

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

  • 84%

    Mathematics

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  • 83%

    Chemistry

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

  • 74%

    Physics

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

  • 73%

    English language

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

  • 69%

    Education and training

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

  • 65%

    Computers and electronics

    Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

  • 61%

    Engineering and technology

    Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  • 51%

    Administration and management

    Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.

  • 45%

    Mechanical

    Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

  • 44%

    Personnel and human resources

    Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.

  • 43%

    Medicine and dentistry

    Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.

  • 43%

    Clerical

    Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.

  • 42%

    Technical design

    Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

  • 37%

    Communications and media

    Media production, communication, and dissemination. Includes written, spoken, and visual media.

  • 23%

    Psychology

    Human behaviour; differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; research methods; assessing and treating disorders.

  • 21%

    Economics and accounting

    Economics and accounting, the financial markets, banking and checking and reporting of financial data.

  • 20%

    Public safety and security

    Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.

  • 18%

    Law and government

    How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.

  • 16%

    Telecommunications

    Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.


Abilities

Workers use these physical and mental abilities..

  • 84%

    Oral comprehension

    Listen to and understand what people say.

  • 80%

    Oral expression

    Communicate by speaking.

  • 77%

    Written expression

    Write in a way that people can understand.

  • 75%

    Categorising

    Come up with different ways of grouping things.

  • 75%

    Written comprehension

    Read and understand written information.

  • 73%

    Deductive reasoning

    Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.

  • 73%

    Inductive reasoning

    Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.

  • 73%

    Speech clarity

    Speak clearly so others can understand you.

  • 70%

    Problem spotting

    Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.

  • 66%

    Brainstorming

    Come up with a number of ideas about a topic, even if the ideas aren't very good.

  • 66%

    Mathematics

    Choose the right maths method or formula to solve a problem.

  • 66%

    Originality

    Come up with unusual or clever ideas, or creative ways to solve a problem.

  • 63%

    Sorting or ordering

    Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

  • 59%

    Near vision

    See details that are up-close (within a few feet).

  • 59%

    Working with numbers

    Add, subtract, multiply, or divide.

  • 55%

    Flexibility of closure

    See a pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) hidden in other distracting material.

  • 50%

    Speech recognition

    Identify and understand the speech of another person.

  • 48%

    Visualization

    Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.

  • 48%

    Selective attention

    Pay attention to something without being distracted.

  • 43%

    Perceptual speed

    Use your eyes to quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.


Activities

These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.

  • 90%

    Making sense of information and ideas

    Looking at, working with, and understanding data or information.

  • 88%

    Keeping your knowledge up-to-date

    Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.

  • 88%

    Thinking creatively

    Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.

  • 86%

    Collecting and organising information

    Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.

  • 84%

    Researching and investigating

    Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.

  • 83%

    Making decisions and solving problems

    Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.

  • 82%

    Looking for changes over time

    Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.

  • 80%

    Explaining things to people

    Helping people to understand and use information.

  • 76%

    Training and teaching others

    Understanding the needs of others, developing training programs, and teaching or instructing.

  • 75%

    Estimating amounts, costs and resources

    Working out sizes, distances, amounts, time, costs, resources, or materials needed for a task.

  • 74%

    Planning and prioritising work

    Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.

  • 71%

    Documenting or recording information

    Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

  • 69%

    Communicating within a team

    Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 68%

    Coming up with systems and processes

    Deciding on goals and figuring out what you need to do to achieve them.

  • 68%

    Guiding and directing staff

    Guiding and directing staff, including setting and monitoring performance standards.

  • 66%

    Communicating with the public

    Giving information to the public, business or government by telephone, in writing, or in person.

  • 65%

    Monitoring people, processes and things

    Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.

  • 64%

    Assessing and evaluating things

    Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.

  • 62%

    Working with computers

    Using computers to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

  • 58%

    Checking for errors or defects

    Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.


Interests and demands

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.

Interests

Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.

  • 100%

    Analytical

    Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.

  • 71%

    Creative

    Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.

  • 67%

    Practical

    Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

  • 48%

    Administrative

    Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.

  • 24%

    Enterprising

    Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.

  • 19%

    Helping

    Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.


Values

Work values are important to a person’s feeling of satisfaction. All six values are shown below.
  • 86%

    Recognition

    Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.

  • 81%

    Achievement

    Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

  • 81%

    Working conditions

    Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.

  • 71%

    Independence

    Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.

  • 52%

    Relationships

    Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.

  • 52%

    Support

    Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.


Demands

The physical and social demands that workers face most often are shown below:
  • 98%

    Electronic mail

    Use electronic mail.

  • 97%

    Indoors, heat controlled

    Work indoors with access to heating or cooling.

  • 93%

    Face-to-face discussions

    Talk with people face-to-face.

  • 92%

    Unstructured work

    Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.

  • 92%

    Being exact or accurate

    Be very exact or highly accurate.

  • 92%

    Freedom to make decisions

    Have freedom to make decision on your own.

  • 84%

    Competition

    Compete with others, or be aware of competitive pressures.

  • 81%

    Wear common protective or safety equipment

    Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.

  • 78%

    Teamwork

    Work with people in a group or team.

  • 77%

    Telephone

    Talk on the telephone.

  • 75%

    Contact with people

    Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.

  • 73%

    Health and safety of others

    Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.

  • 71%

    Dangerous conditions

    Work near dangers like high voltage electricity, flammable material, explosives or chemicals.

  • 71%

    Spend time sitting

    Spend time sitting at work.

  • 69%

    Letters and memos

    Write letters and memos.

  • 68%

    Consequence of error

    Work where mistakes have serious consequences.

  • 65%

    Impact of decisions

    Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.

  • 64%

    Time pressure

    Work to strict deadlines.

  • 63%

    Using your hands to handle, control, or feel

    Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.

  • 60%

    Responsible for outcomes

    Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.

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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