1. In the pharmaceutical, food or brewing industries, your work could include:
• developing new products
• monitoring production
• quality control
• checking the safety of existing products
You would normally work 9 am to 5 pm, Monday to Friday. For some jobs you may need to work shifts, and during busy periods you may work longer hours. Part-time work is also available.
Your work would mainly take place in a laboratory. In the manufacturing industry, you would also spend some of your time in production areas.
3. Entry requirements
You will need a degree in a subject such as biochemistry, biology, chemistry or a related scientific area. Many employers will also want you to have a postgraduate qualification, such as an MSc in Clinical Chemistry or Clinical Biochemistry, an MPhil or PhD, and relevant work experience. This could be part of a sandwich degree course.
To do a science-based degree you will usually need five GCSEs (A-C) including science subjects, English and maths, and at least two A levels including chemistry. Check with course providers for exact entry requirements as other qualifications may also be accepted. Some universities offer a one-year foundation course to those without a science background.
4. Skills, interests and qualities
To become a biochemist, you will need to have:
• a high level of skill and ability in science
• good problem-solving skills
• the ability to think creatively
• accuracy and attention to detail
• a logical approach to work
• good practical