Biotechnology Associate's Degree Program
If you are thoroughly interested in biotechnology and love the idea of working in a lab, you can consider a career with an associate program. This article looks at the classes in immunology and DNA that come with an associate's degree, and a preview of the job outlook for biology technicians.
What Biotechnology Associate's Degree Programs Are Available?
Biotechnology associate's degree programs may require you to complete hands-on training through laboratory courses and internships. Hands-on training may be needed to properly train you to handle research materials, samples and test subjects. You may also need to learn how to operate and maintain laboratory equipment. This is a 2-year program, and you will earn an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science after graduation. Distance education programs are not available in this field because of the laboratory requirements.
|Degree Types||Associate of Science, Associate of Applied Science|
|Common Courses||Immunology, microbiology, genetics, cellular culture|
|Career Options||Lab tech, research specialist, research associate, environmental tech|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$44,500 for biological technicians|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)*||10% growth for biological technicians|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Courses Can I Expect?
Your program can teach you how to calibrate machinery, conduct laboratory research, prepare and study cellular cultures, operate deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) analysis machines and instrument sterilization. Biotechnology programs may require you to complete courses in immunology, cell biology, microbiology, genetics, cellular culture, safety and regulations. Expect to take general education courses in general biology, general chemistry, English composition, mathematics, computer skills and communications.
What Can I Do With My Education?
Earning an associate's degree may qualify you for a career as a laboratory technician, environmental technician, research specialist, biological technician or research associate. You might be able to find work in hospitals, private practices and government organizations. If you want a better chance at entering this field, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggests that you may want to pursue a 4-year bachelor's degree program in this field.
What Is My Job Outlook?
According to the BLS, biological technician careers are expected to increase by 10% between 2016 and 2026. This growth may be caused by an aging population, pharmaceutical industry competition, the need for medical advancements and a higher demand for medical products. As of May 2018, the BLS also estimated that workers in this field earned a median salary of $44,500 (www.bls.gov).