Molecular biologists work in a variety of settings that include hospitals, universities, independent laboratories, colleges, nonprofit companies, and government agencies. Most employers prefer that molecular biologists have a PhD in molecular biology, biochemistry, genetics, organic chemistry, or bioengineering. However, employers may consider candidates with a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field and significant experience as a molecular biologist.
Molecular biologists must be able to use various laboratory equipment, such as electron and regular microscopes, spectrometers, and X-ray crystallographs. They may have to troubleshoot minor breakdowns related to laboratory instruments, perform preventive maintenance, and, if necessary, call technicians for repairs. Molecular biologists must have excellent oral and communication skills. They must have collaborative and presentation skills. They must be able to work on a diverse team. Molecular biologists must have strong attention to detail. They must be able to multitask. Molecular biologists must have exceptional analytical skills. A high degree of precision and accuracy is required when molecular biologists conduct scientific experiments at the molecular level. They must a have clean and sterile work environment. They must follow procedures, policies, and guidelines established by their employer.
Molecular biologists may be required to travel to attend conferences or to visit collaborators. Employers value molecular biologists who are interested in lifelong learning. Molecular biologists are required to read various scientific journals. They must keep themselves up to date with various technology and new findings in their field. They may have to coach, mentor, and train new or more junior molecular biologists.
Molecular Biologist Tasks
Research, identify, and test processes to improve formulations and technologies to create products.
Create written and oral reports to convey findings, recommendations, and safety information.
Maintain chain of custody and proper storage for samples, performing general lab duties to meet standards.
Use scientific equipment to characterize specimens or products.