Biochemists study the chemical composition of living organisms at the molecular level and the chemical reactions that regulate life. They combine the fields of cell biology, genetics, chemistry, microbiology, cell biology and physics in their everyday work through experiments. Biochemists are employed by county, state and federal agencies, pharmaceutical corporations, vaccine companies, hospitals and laboratories. Individuals who have a bachelor of science (BS) degree in biochemistry may become contract scientists, laboratory technicians, research technicians, research analysts and research fellows.
Mathematics and Physics
Mathematical ability, physics, problem-solving skills, curiosity and analytical skills are important traits for biochemists. If physical chemistry is part of your required BS in biochemistry curriculum, then also take math and physics. Coursework that people working in biochemistry need to understand includes geometry, business mathematics, calculus, equations, perspectives in analysis, matrices, algebra, statistics, optimization, trigonometry, relativity, mechanics, electromagnetism and real analysis.
Knowing biology also is important to attain a job with a BS in biochemistry. A natural science, biology involves the study of life and living organisms, including their function, growth, structure, origin, evolution, taxonomy and distribution. If you learn microbiology, human anatomy, immunology, genetics, animal physiology, toxicology, virology and macromolecular structure determination, you can isolate, analyze and identify hormones, allergens, minerals, vitamins and enzymes to determine their effects on body functions.
Knowing organic and inorganic chemistry, chemical modeling and simulations, spectroscopic methods, synthesis and intellectual property management, chemical kinetics, colloids analysis and statistics also is essential. These chemistry subjects will help you analyze food, for example, and determine the nutritional value and effects of cooking, canning and processing food. They will help you obtain work to clean, purify, refine and prepare pharmaceutical compounds for commercial distribution, and develop and test medications for commercial distribution.
If you want to get a job with a BS in biochemistry, be willing to share your knowledge. Good oral and written communication skills are critical because many scientists work as part of a team, write research proposals and have contact with customers who have non-science backgrounds.