Name: Shawn Hodges
Job Title: Molecular Biologist
Where: Newark, CA
Employer: Complete Genomics
Years of Experience: 6.5
Education: University of California, Davis, B.S. Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, minor in Economics; Santa Rosa Jr. College, A.A. & A.S. Biochemistry transfer & Engineering
Salary: Use PayScale's Research Center to find salary data for molecular biology careers.
Careers in Biology - Molecular Biologist Profile
In this interview, Molecular Biologist Shawn Hodges provides detailed information on the perks and challenges of his career in biology. He describes what to expect from entry-level positions, how to prepare for entering the field and how to thrive in a skilled science career. Early in his career path, Shawn switched from an engineering major to biochemistry and hasn’t looked back since. Find out why molecular biology has proven to be a rewarding career choice.
What does a molecular biologist do?
Shawn: As a bachelor's-level biochemist, I generally execute experiments in a laboratory and analyze data on a computer. The level of independence varies, depending on years of experience, scientific complexity, and the type of management. As a new grad, I learned many new laboratory techniques from my boss and colleagues; with between three and five years of experience, management was more hands-off, providing general direction. For example, my assignment was to develop a biochemical assay to assess enzymatic activity. Over the course of months, I would meet with my supervisor and group on a weekly basis to collaborate on ideas to improve the reproducibility of the assay. Experiments were planned, executed, data collected, analyzed graphically and statistically, and shared in PowerPoint presentations weekly.