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Careers in Bioinformatics

Billions of dollars are flowing into computational biology. From working to find improved outcomes for health issues to better policy planning, it’s possible to find enormous value inside bio-data. But because bioinformatics involves a complex intersection between computer science, math, and the biological sciences, it takes knowledgeable bioinformatics experts to transform that raw data into something more.

Owing to that required expertise, a career in bioinformatics tends to carry a lucrative salary, a high degree of job security, and a generally strong career outlook. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), every industry related to bioinformatics -- from biochemistry to computer research -- are expecting growth in the coming decade.

A bioinformatics career outlook can depend on many factors, not the least of which is the specific kind of roles you want to perform within the field. Having the right education can also affect your bioinformatics job outlook, which is something that’s easier to understand after examining a few examples of bioinformatics careers.

How Much Do Bioinformatics Professionals Make?

Several factors can affect salary, ranging from your total years of experience to geographic location of the company hiring you. The average salary in bioinformatics is around $80,000, while a bioinformatics master's salary is closer to $100,000. These figures can also depend on your career path:

  • Bioinformatics Technician - $75,635 average
  • Bioinformatics Analyst – $69,000 average
  • Bioinformatics Engineer – $102,146 average
  • Bioinformatics Scientist - $90,000 average

What Can You Do With A Master’s in Bioinformatics?

Forensics, medicine, biotechnology, animal science – a bioinformatics career path can be found almost anywhere DNA is used. While many career opportunities in bioinformatics can be pursued with a bachelor’s degree, the research-oriented nature of this field means master's in bioinformatics jobs tend to be the highest paying and offer the most interesting opportunities.

Bioinformatics Scientist

A bioinformatics data scientist dissects enormous datasets related to things like genetic sequencing, proteomics, and other biological data. That means finding ways to treat diseases, develop new products, or otherwise solve problems within the biosciences. Owing to the interdisciplinary nature of this career, the bioinformatics scientist can enormously benefit from completing a graduate program, which is why a master's degree is often preferred among employers. Bioinformatics scientists earn an average of $90,000 annually.

Bioinformatics Analyst

Analytics careers can be taken in several directions, but a bioinformatics data analyst will usually work for state and federal governments, institutions of higher learning, or pharmaceutical companies. Likewise, the bioinformatics analyst can work on many kinds of problems, but is typically involved with discovering cures for medical pathologies by evaluating biodata. While working in research labs, day-to-day activities may involve organizing, constructing, and maintaining databases –technical and analytical skills which can be greatly refined by a master’s program. Bioinformatics data analysts earn an average of $69,000 per year.

Bioinformatics Engineer

Gene sequences, protein absorption rates, and other biological data needs to be analyzed, quantified, and processed for use. The bioinformatics engineer combines their understanding of bioscience, mathematics, and computer science to collect, analyze, and compile biodata. As a core component of their profession, a bioinformatics software engineer needs to understand more than the fundamentals of database development, which is a large part of the reason why a master’s degree can be highly desirable in this field. The average national salary for a bioinformatics engineer is $102,146.

Bioinformatics Technician

Making use of highly sophisticated tools to gather and analyze data, bioinformatics technician careers are very similar to data science careers. They are typically responsible for generating interpretations of data, creating visualizations to help communicate the meaning of the data to a non-technical audience, and trying to find ways to make experimental data more accessible to those who use it. Integrating mathematical proficiency, computational design, and a background in the biosciences is precisely what a Master’s program in bioinformatics teaches students to do. Bioinformatics technicians may earn an average salary of $69,312.

Advance Your Bioinformatics Career

From writing software to modeling protein interactions, a bioinformatics career outlook is strengthened by the complexity of their specialized skill set. The interdisciplinary nature of bioinformatics careers can also make a master’s degree highly valuable for the near-term and long-term success of someone working in this field.

If you’re interested in learning more about your own bioinformatics job outlook, you can start by finding out more about how Drexel’s MS in Bioinformatics program can help you distinguish yourself in the field.