Biomedical Chemist Career Plan

Interested in a career in biomedical chemistry? There isn’t necessarily one right degree or one right path, but you will need advanced education, so it’s best to get off to an early start.

Become a Biomedical Chemist

Biomedical Chemist Resources…

  1. Take a high school curriculum rich in laboratory sciences. Consider advanced placement chemistry and biology. Don’t focus exclusively on math and science courses, though – a PhD level scientist will need good communication skills. Publishing your findings is part of what will build your career. If you fine tune your composition skills now, it’ll help with the college application process.

  2. Participate in career fairs and other career exploration activities. As you near the end of high school, you may want to use your summers for career enrichment. There are a number of paid internships for exceptional students who have an interest in biomedical science. There are also tuition-based summer enrichment programs like the Summer Science Scholars Academy, offered by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

    You may also participate in science fairs and competitions. The Army Educational Outreach Program sponsors an International Science and Engineering Fair.

  3. Research undergraduate programs in biomedical chemistry or a related field. Since you’ll be going on to graduate school, your focus as an undergraduate will be on getting the prerequisites and the experiences to make yourself competitive.

  4. Maintain high grades throughout your undergraduate years, but don’t overemphasize academics at the expense of professional activities. Continue to seek out internships – you’ll have more opportunities now than you did as a high school senior. Keep your grades up and become active professionally. The American Institute of Chemistry honors exceptional students in biochemistry or a related field.

  5. Research programs at the graduate level. If you have a strong enough background, you can go straight from a baccalaureate degree to a PhD. There are a number of programs you can enroll in. It’s not just the name of the degree that’s important, but the college where it’s housed. (A course of study in biochemistry and molecular biology may be quite different if it’s housed in a school of public health than if it’s housed in a school of natural sciences.)

  6. Continue to achieve high academic honors while making contacts out in the professional world. You can become a student affiliate of the National Chemistry Society (NCS), the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC), or another professional organization.

  7. You may want to compete for a post-doctoral fellowship in clinical chemistry.

  8. The professional contacts you have made will be helpful to you as you look for employment. The AACC is a potential resource.

Personality Traits: Biomedical chemists have curious, analytical minds and strong academic skills.