Earning a Master’s in Biotechnology Online

What You’ll Learn & What You Can Do After Graduation

Should I Pursue a Master's in Biotechnology Online?

As climate change becomes more prevalent and global health continues to be at the forefront of medical research, professionals with an online master’s in biotechnology will find competitive, cutting-edge jobs in the workforce. Most online master’s degrees in biotechnology cover coursework in business administration and pharmaceutical research. Individuals with this master’s degree often enter the workforce as research scientists, teachers, and administrators in clinical research. Medical science and related degrees always have been and will likely always be valuable; the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that between 2016 and 2026, biophysicists and biochemists will experience above average job and salary growth.

Earning a master’s degree in biotechnology prepares students for careers in both science and business. By choosing to pursue your degree online, you can complete your degree without the associated costs of attending classes on campus. Distance learning is often flexible and can allow students to earn their degree more quickly or continue their education while working full time.

Employment Outlook for Master's in Biotechnology Graduates

Master's in Biotechnology Salary

The below tables outline the average salary a professional holding a master’s in biotechnology can expect to earn in various fields at different experience levels. The first chart features median wages for various fields within the industry, while the second provides data on how much you can expect to make during different phases of your career. At the beginning of your career, you should expect to earn a lower salary, but as you gain additional experience and certifications, your compensation will increase accordingly.

Salaries for Biological Technicians by Industry

Industry Annual Mean Wage
Pharmaceutical and Medicine Manufacturing $48,300
Research and Development in the Physical, Engineering, and Life Sciences $46,420
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools; State, Local, and Private $44,000
Hospitals; State, Local, and Private $43,670
Federal Government, Excluding Postal Service $37,830

Master's in Biotechnology Careers

By earning your online biotechnology master’s, you can prepare for a variety of careers in medicine, biomedical research, pharmaceutical administration, and biomedical physics. People with these qualifications can work in many fields, including for the government, in education, in medical research centers, and for global outreach programs. The list below includes common examples of careers graduates with their online biotechnology master’s degree can choose to pursue.

Biological Technician

Annual Median Salary: $43,800

Biological technicians assist medical scientists with conducting lab experiments and tests. Working primarily in labs, these professionals typically must have at least a bachelor’s in biology, but earning an online master’s in biotechnology is a great step for students pursuing leadership roles in this field.

Epidemiologist

Annual Median Salary: $69,660

Epidemiologists investigate diseases and injuries in order to better prevent them. To become an epidemiologist, you should have at least a master’s in biotechnology from an accredited institution, though many professionals have graduate degrees in public health or another related field. These professionals hold skills in statistics, analysis, and survey design.

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologist and Technician

Annual Median Salary: $51,770

To become a medical and clinical laboratory technician, candidates must earn a bachelor’s in biotechnology or a related field, but those with their master’s are better prepared for leadership roles. These professionals are detail-oriented and proficient in the latest medical technologies.

Research Associate

Annual Median Salary: $55,239

Research associates work almost exclusively in laboratories. These professionals plan, prepare, and conduct laboratory experiments and later analyze and categorize the data. Research associates test the effectiveness of new pharmaceuticals and medical technologies on various audiences.

Senior Research Associate

Annual Median Salary: $70,100

Research associates at the senior level commonly find work in pharmaceutical companies, research organizations, major universities, and laboratories. These professionals work with other researchers to create new scientific procedures and data. Research associates at this level should have a master’s in biotechnology or a related field.

What Can I Expect From an Online Master's in Biotechnology Program?

All accredited schools follow a similar curriculum designed to meet the standard of education expected for professionals in biomedical research. However, some variance exists in elective coursework and internship opportunities. By offering specifications and electives, schools enhance the education that they offer students pursuing any specific degree. When selecting a school, it is important to consider if you are looking to enter the field of biotechnology with a specific emphasis or career path. The below list includes classes you can expect to take in any master’s program in biotechnology.

Curriculum for an Online Master’s Degree in Biotechnology

Molecular Biology

Students learn fundamental topics such as transcription, translation, the structure of nucleic acid, DNA replication, chromosomal structure, and the modeling of genetic expression.

Biotechnology Enterprise

This course analyzes the business aspects of biotechnology and medical enterprises. In some versions of the course, students create groups, develop mock business plans, and pitch hypothetical ventures.

Legal Aspects of Biotechnology

Typically offered as an accompaniment to bioethics, this course helps students understand how law forms practices and research in biotechnology. Coursework includes issues surrounding privacy, compliance, ethics, and regulations in biotechnology.

Bioethics

Ethical intuition and repercussions affect all aspects of biotechnology. This course emphasizes philosophical theories and the application of these theories when examining issues like human testing, animal trials, and organ transplants.

Recombinant DNA Laboratory

This class serves as an introduction to molecular biology and the foundations of DNA manipulation. Classes cover restriction mapping, bacterial manipulations and transformations, plasmid purifications, and chain reactions of the polymerase.

Certifications and Licenses a Master’s in Biotechnology Prepares For

  • CFPIE: While not one specific license, the Center for Professional Innovation and Educational Certifications offers multiple licensing opportunities in manufacturing, controls, laboratory practices, document analysis, and clinical compliance. Most of these certifications require applicants to have earned a master’s in biotechnology or a related field, in addition to certification-specific instruction.
  • BioPharma Institute: This institution offers certifications for professionals working in management and monitoring for clinical trials. BioPharma Institute requires students to have completed their graduate degree in biotechnology or a related field, in addition to finishing a certification-specific training course.

Professional Organizations and Resources

Professional organizations are groups of like-minded individuals looking to promote their field and advance their career opportunities. These organizations can be particularly valuable for students approaching graduation or recent graduates looking to enter the workforce. Members of these organizations have access to cutting-edge research, continued education opportunities, and networking events with established professionals in the field. By joining one of these organizations, aspiring professionals can gain exposure to the field that may not be gained through more traditional classroom and internship experiences.

  • BioSpace: This organization promotes job opportunities, career networking events, and resources for recent graduates and professionals looking to change their employment trajectory. Members have access to more than 3,000 scholarly articles focused on job readiness.

  • Biomedical Engineering Society: BMES represents professionals from an array of bioengineering and biomedical engineering fields. With more than 7,000 members, this organization hosts national conferences, networking events, and professional seminars for individuals to improve their career outlook and performance.

  • American Institute for Medical Biological Engineering: AIMBE advances the aims and interests of individuals working in biological and medical engineering. This group advocates for improvements in public policy and service, and awards professionals for exemplary service. Members have access to annual conferences and lectures.

  • Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society: EMBS is a subgroup of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers. This group consists of more than 11,000 biotechnological engineers from around the world. EMBS hosts member networking events and assists professionals in sharing best practices and learning from one another.

  • Biotechnology Innovation Organization: Considered one of the world’s largest trade associations in biotechnology, this organization creates connections between biotech companies, universities and colleges, and federal/state biotechnological labs and institutions. BIO offers seminars in biotechnology, business development, and agriculture.

  • U.S. Department of Education: Students looking to pursue a graduate education benefit from researching federal financial aid opportunities. The ED offers fellowships, work-study programs, and grants to students pursuing higher education.

  • Life Science Dictionary: This free dictionary provides students with a simple way to look up words and phrases related to biotechnology, biochemistry, genetics, and cellular biology. This resource is maintained by the Indiana University Department of Biotechnology.

  • Purdue Writing Lab: Professionals in all industries need to be able to write clearly, concisely, and professionally. Professionals in biotechnology must appropriately dictate their findings to non-biomedical professionals. The Purdue OWL can help students achieve these goals by providing writing guidance and assistance for research papers and resumes.

  • Journal of Biotechnology: This online journal is a leading resource for scholars of biotechnology. The journal includes studies of biotechnologies and gene editing. Everyone can access the journal's articles and communications.