What is Biotechnology?

Biotechnology is a field of applied biology that uses the tools of cells and their processes to create solutions to the many types of problems we face today. Founded upon the understanding of cells, proteins, and genes, biotechnology uses concepts of genetics, microbiology, animal cell cultures, molecular biology, embryology, and cell biology to provide answers to everything from crop production to antibiotic formulas to recycling techniques.

What type of education is required?

The field has a vast array of jobs to offer and the type of job within a company influences the degree you need.  For example, jobs are offered in industry, academia, government, and expand outside these general areas too.  Most jobs within industry will require a B.S. in chemistry, biochemistry, biology, microbiology, biotechnology, or biological engineering. Jobs in academia and in government require even higher education, if not a M.S. then most definitely a PhD.

What is the expected salary?

The  biotechnology industry has approximately $64 billion in economic activity each year, and employs more than 57,000 North Carolina residents boasting an annual average salary of $46,340.

How can I prepare myself for a job in Biotechnology while at NC State?

A student interested in Biotechnology should begin by taking an introductory course offered through the biotechnology department.  If one found further interest in the field, then it may be advisable to pursue a minor, or even a major, in biotechnology. Of note, an animal science major can actually fulfill the requirement for a biotechnology minor with only eight additional credit hours plus enrollment in a research experience, given he/she/they chooses courses which will contribute to both their major and minor such as a biomedical ethics course.

CALS provides students great opportunities to network within the field at events such as CALS Career Expo where many of the over 500 North Carolina biotechnology companies will be represented and recruiting individuals for research and jobs.

Where can I find more information?

North Carolina Biotechnology Center

Career Opportunities

Visit this Biotech-Careers website to learn more about potential career paths Careers in Biotechnology | Biotech Careers (