In this career guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about marketing as a career, from roles and responsibilities, to work environment and roadmap to becoming a Biotechnologist.

Who's a Biotechnologist?

Do you enjoy learning about biology and different living things – how they work and what they do? Are you curious about how science and technology have made everything so easy? If so, consider a career in biotechnology! As a Biotechnologist, you will essentially study biotechnology. Biotechnology commonly translates to a mixture of biology and technology.

Your role will be to produce useful products from living systems. You will be required to conduct experiments in government and private laboratories to modify or manipulate living organisms to develop new products in the fields of health, agriculture, cell biology, plant physiology, seed technology, etc. Curious to know more about this career? Keep scrolling!

What will you do?

Designing and Monitoring Research Studies

As a Biotechnologist, you will implement and supervise research studies on living organisms to find industrial uses for their physical and chemical attributes.

For example: You will study the chemical and physical attributes of food, cells, tissues or bacteria to solve real-world problems.

Performing Data Analysis

You will perform data analysis to interpret the results of your experiments, produce findings reports and present them to other team members.

For example, you will write technical papers describing the methods you used to conclude your research.

Ensuring Strict Standards of Quality

You will follow strict regulatory and quality standards to ensure your experiments are safe.

For example, to ensure the progress of your research, you will lead, guide and oversee the technical staff in experiments and laboratory safety procedures.

Using the Latest Technology to Cure Illnesses

Your major role as a biotechnologist will involve developing therapies, vaccines and hormones to treat the cause of diseases. You will also produce medicines using techniques like cell culture and genetic modification.

For example, a disease is spreading rapidly, in this case, you will help scientists and other professionals find the cure by developing new technologies or products.

Inventing Biodegradable Materials

Environmental biotechnology has a demand for biodegradable materials from plant starch. It will be your responsibility to produce more environmentally friendly raw materials for the industry.

For example, there has been a rise in the demand for biodegradable plastics. As a biotechnologist, you will find more ways to produce such products.

Staying Updated with the Latest Developments

You will study topics such as human genetics, proteins, antibodies, plants, fungi and bacteria. It is important to stay updated with the latest advances in biotechnology to utilise new techniques, products and processes.

For example, if a new virus is on the rise, you will use your skills to research the virus and keep up with the latest developments of its spread, mutation and cure.

Where will you work?


You will work in laboratories, where you will collaborate with a team of scientists and researchers on various technological developments. Here, you will work according to the shift timings set by your organisation. In case of a deadline, you may have to work long hours. You may also be asked to travel occasionally for conferences.


You will spend most of your day working from the comfort of your office. You will work in healthcare companies, government-funded research labs, private or public universities, etc. Regardless of the work setting, you will work for a fixed schedule, so you won’t have to worry about long or irregular working hours.

How do you get there?

This stream won’t help you make an entry into this field.

This stream won’t help you make an entry into this field.

Step 1: Class XI – XII/Junior College

To become a biotechnologist, you will have to pass the 10+2 or equivalent examination from a recognised board with physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics with a minimum of 50% in the aggregate in the subjects.

Step 2: Entrance Exam

An engineering degree will prepare you for a career in biotechnology. To enroll for this course, you will first need to clear engineering entrance exams such as the JEE (Joint Entrance Exam) Main. Some  institutions may conduct their own entrance exams. You may also need to appear for state-level exams, depending on the college you’re applying to.

Step 3: Graduation

Once you’ve cleared the right entrance exams, you can enrol for a BE or BTech in Biotechnology. This is a four-year course that helps you master the principles of chemical engineering along with applied biology. The course fee for the same would be anywhere between 25,000 to 7,00,000, depending on the institution you’re studying in. Alternatively, you can opt for a five-year integrated M.Tech course in Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology offered by the IITs.

Step 4: Internships

Summer Internships are mandatory for all graduate and post-graduate students, as they give you much-needed industry exposure. These internships are typically six to eight weeks long. Here are some of the top ones for you to consider:

  1. IIT Roorkee Summer Internship 2021 with Stipend – SPARK Fellowships
  2. CSIR – CMERI Summer Internship 2021 for Undergraduate Students
  3. CSIR- Indian Institute of Chemical Biology (IICB) Summer Internship
  4. Focus Area Science Technology Summer Fellowship (FASTSF) 2021

Step 5: Post Graduation

Once you complete your graduation, you can apply for an MTech in Biotechnology, a two-year course to further your knowledge in the field. Entrance to this course requires you to clear competitive exams like GATE, SRMJEEE PG, IPU CET, etc. You can also opt for a five-year integrated M.Tech course in Biochemical Engineering and Biotechnology offered by the IITs. A postgraduate degree will help you land better job opportunities, and even pursue a PhD in Biotechnology.

Step 6: Land a Job

If you have a master’s degree, you can expect to find jobs in waste management, food processing, drugs and pharmaceuticals, chemicals, energy, bioprocessing, Department of Biotechnology, Department of Government institutions and agricultural institutions.

Step 7: Doctorate Degree

Once you have landed a job in the field and gained research experience for at least two years, you can apply for a doctoral degree. To be eligible for this, you should have completed your post-graduation in Biotechnology or Bioinformatics or any other relevant discipline from a recognised board or university with a minimum score of 50% or 6.75 CGPA on a 10-point scale. You will also have to clear entrance exams like CSIR- UGC – NET, DBI JRF, ICMR JRF, etc., and interviews conducted by the university.

What skills would you need?

Time Management

Time Management

The best - and worst - part about marketing is that there is never a dull moment. But this also means that there is NEVER A DULL MOMENT. Be prepared to be working on several tasks at once. That means that there are times when you will have to put certain projects on the backburner. You will have to know how to prioritise so that you don’t lose out on any opportunities.

Technical Skills

Technical Skills

As a marketer, you will work on different platforms to communicate with people. If you don’t understand how they work, you won’t be able to come up with the best strategy. You will also use various kinds of software like Google Adwords, MailChimp, SurveyMonkey, etc., during your promotions. You need to know how they work, and how to use them to your advantage.

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Problem-solving Skills

Problem-solving Skills

Patients will be coming to you with different issues with fertility. You must be able to assess their problem, analyse the reason and work on coming up with a solution.

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Communication Skills

Communication Skills

Communication and interpersonal skills are very important while dealing with patients. You will have to guide certain people about a procedure or treatment. You may need to provide them with some serious information about their fertility and treatment progress. Hence these issues would need to be handled sensitively.

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Social Skills

Social Skills

You will be working on a lot of cool projects and will be meeting a lot of potential clients and customers on the job. And so, a big part of your job will involve interacting with these people. You could be great at coming up with ideas, but that is only one part of your job. You will need to talk and meet people, build a rapport with them, to establish your credibility. Especially if you’re a freelancer, you will need to have certain social skills.

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How do you make it to the top ranks?

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You can work under a reputed biotechnologist by assisting them with research and day-to-day operations. Make the most of this opportunity to learn the ins and outs of their job, as it will help you understand what to prepare for.

Junior Research Assistant

This would be your entry-level position as a working professional. Most biotech companies prefer hiring someone who is familiar with hands-on lab techniques learnt through an internship during their studies. As a junior research assistant, you would perform routine laboratory support work, assist with research, and maintain a safe working environment.

Assistant Research Associate

Apart from performing complex tests and experiments, you will also be in charge of overseeing various laboratory operations. You’ll work closely with the principal investigator and guide other members of the research team.

Associate Scientist

As an Associate Scientist, you would lead junior research associates and be in charge of the department’s research and laboratory operations. You’d work with the lead researcher, but you will also be responsible for developing protocols, conducting in-depth research, and directing team members. You need at least 2-5 years of experience to take on this role.

Research Scientist

As a research scientist, you’d be responsible for formulating, planning and conducting experiments, preparing research proposals and funding applications, and supervising the junior staff. You will act as a bridge between junior researchers and highly experienced lead scientists.

Lead Scientist

As the lead scientist, you will be responsible for routinely managing large and  multi-technique R&D projects. You will navigate the regulatory framework and provide technical leadership to meet the project’s objectives. You’d lead a team of junior and senior researchers, who will rely on you to make important decisions and resolve their challenges.

Principal Scientist

At this stage, your job responsibilities will depend on the job profile and company, but the primary responsibility remains the same: to coordinate the actions of all teams, train newer researchers, conduct performance reviews, and act as a knowledge source in the laboratory. Quick decision-making, analytical thinking, and commitment are must-haves for this position.

Chief Scientist

This is one of the highest positions in the Research and Development Sector! You’ll be a part of the policy and decision-making board of the company, you need to develop a budget, manage different departments within the company, and coordinate with various research members across departments. Other duties include supervising various research departments within the company and providing ongoing support to employees.

Pursuing your career locally VS abroad

Biotechnology offers an array of career opportunities in India.  A postgraduate degree or MSc will further boost your employment opportunities and salary package. Some of the most popular and preferred roles you can explore are Biochemist, Quality Control Analyst, Senior Research Scientist, Biomedical Engineer, and Crime Lab Technician among others. If you have a master’s degree in BioSciences, you can work with both corporate and government sectors. You’d mostly be employed by drug (pharmaceutical) companies, chemical or bioprocessing industries, agriculture-related industries, and pollution control industries.

If you’re planning to pursue your education in India, a bachelor’s course in Biotechnology should cost you anywhere between INR 25,000 to INR 7,00,000 and a master’s course in Biotechnology should cost you anywhere between INR 40,000 to INR 2,40,000 per year.

A master’s degree in Biotechnology makes you eligible for most research jobs. Some organisations even consider students who have qualified for national level entrance exams like DBT BET, CSIR NET, GATE, ARS NET, ICMR JRF, etc. As a qualified biotechnologist, you can also opt to do a PhD, which makes you eligible for a corporate research job or as a professor in a university.

This is a field with a great demand abroad. If you are looking for opportunities after your master’s degree, you need to be well aware of the latest technologies and advancements in this fast-emerging field. International companies will check your proficiency across many disciplines of biotechnology. This makes it difficult for people who are trained in just one discipline. However, securing a job abroad is not an easy task. One way to go about it would be to study your master’s course abroad after a few years’ experience, and take up as many internships as possible during your course.

Germany and the USA are known to be the best countries to pursue your career in Biotechnology. The average salary for biotechnologists abroad is around USD 58,175 per annum. Some of the prominent organisations that hire postgraduates in Biotechnology are Baxter, Merck, Biocon, Bio-ceramics, Torrent Pharma, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cipla, Ranbaxy, Cadila Healthcare, GlaxoSmithKline, Invitrogen, IFGL, Abbott Laboratories, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer among others.

A bachelor’s course in Biotechnology should cost you anywhere between USD 4,000 USD to 45,000 per year. A master’s course in Biotechnology should cost you anywhere between USD 5,000 to 50,000  per year. If you want to know more about studying biotechnology abroad, click here.

How much would you get paid?

As a biotechnologist, your salary broadly depends on the area of your employment, the organisation you’re working with and your experience in the field. The annual pay scale ranges from INR 2.1 lakhs for an entry-level biotechnologist to INR 60 lakhs for an experienced chief scientist.

What are your career options?

Medical Biotechnologist

As a Medical Biotechnologist, you will apply biotechnology to the field of healthcare. You’d be at the heart of the healthcare industry, developing diagnostic kits, vaccines, biologics, drugs, or medical machinery. Your primary responsibility would be contributing to the advancement of the medical sector and biotechnology domains such as molecular biology, cell biology, recombinant technology, and immunotherapeutics.

Pharmaceutical Biotechnologist

Previously, a Pharmaceutical Biotechnologist’s job involved only discovering and developing small molecules (drugs), but the industry has evolved over time. As a Pharmaceutical Biotechnologist, you will develop new products, new methods and processes and improve the existing methods in the field.

Plant Biotechnologist

Plants provide many of the world’s raw materials and food. As a Plant Biotechnologist, you’ll contribute to bringing the best of agriculture to the general public. Low crop yield, crop quality deterioration, infestation, weeds, loss of soil fertility, abiotic stress, and biotic stress are some of the real-world issues you’ll encounter.

Food Biotechnologist

The increasing human population is proportional to the demand for food. As a food biotechnologist, you will work towards solving difficulties in food production, processing and preservation. Your primary responsibility would be to identify alternative food sources. You’ll also assist in the introduction of technology that aims to improve food production, processing, packaging and preservation.

Environmental Biotechnologist

As an environmental biotechnologist, you will help rebalance nature, ecology and human interests. For instance, the disposal of plastic has always been a problem. Oil spills and the accumulation of heavy metals in natural sources of water and soil are a few other crises. Your responsibility will be to address these issues by using biotechnology.


As a Bioinformatician, you will deal with the analysis of biological, genomic and molecular data. Your responsibilities would include managing and processing biological and health research with the help of other specialists in the field. Here, you can choose to specialise in a field of your choice with top job profiles in the field, such as Bio Analyst, Data Scientist, Informatics Developer, Bioinformatics Researcher and Pharmaco-genetic Engineer.

You’ve only scratched the surface.

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