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Fall 2002 Vol. 46, Number 3

Jobs in biotechnology: Applying old sciences to new discoveries

These workers make a career of tweaking Mother Nature. Find out who does what where the chromosomes roam.


You walk into the room, aware that they already know your identity. They know your face better than you do; the patterns of your fingerprints are no secret, either. Your past is an open book. There is nothing left to hide.

Sound like science fiction? Guess again: it’s biotechnology, a field of science that fuses engineering and technology with the life sciences. Authentication systems, like the hypothetical one described above, are an example of biotechnology’s emerging uses. They are one of many developments that have shone the spotlight on this field. 

This article provides an overview of biotechnology as a career field and, consequently, does not cover every biotechnology-related occupation—such as the biometric engineers and scientists who develop authentication systems. In addition to presenting occupational descriptions, the following pages discuss nontechnical jobs within biotechnology, the pros and cons of working in this field, and resources to help you continue exploring the ever-changing world of biotechnology.

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U.S. Department of Labor
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Last Updated: March 04, 2003