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Bioinformatics jobs: All of your options

Bioinformatics jobs unite biology, information technology, and computer science. Find out if bioinformatics is the field for you.
Written by Melissa Sartore, Contributor on

Bioinformatics jobs involve analyzing and interpreting biology-related data. These professionals' work benefits hospitals and medical clinics, healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, biotechnology firms, and research institutions. 

As a bioinformatics professional, you're equipped to design and develop the tools, methods, and systems to work with data. Bioinformaticians aid life-saving medicine development, study genes, improve crop productivity, and more.

What is it like to work in a bioinformatics job?

Bioinformatics professionals work full-time in labs, offices, and research settings. They use statistics, programming, data management, and machine learning skills. They also understand biology and may specialize in a subdiscipline, like genomics or molecular biology.

The federal government, private corporations, and the public sector all employ bioinformatic professionals to analyze and interpret biological data. They also hire individuals who can create software and hardware to manage and assess large datasets.

Bioinformatics jobs may allow you to work remotely, depending on the position and employer.

How much money can you make in bioinformatics?

According to Payscale, the average base salary in informatics is $87,000 per year as of March 2022. Education level, experience, industry, and location influence pay.

You can find top-paying bioinformatics jobs in companies and agencies focused on biotechnological research. Research scientists took home average salaries above $91,000 in 2021. Senior research scientists in biotechnology earned nearly $110,000 on average in early 2022.

Additional education and training prepare you for advanced and managerial bioinformatics positions and may boost your earning potential. Certificates and advanced degrees, such as a computer science master's degree, increase your knowledge. 

By gaining insight into emerging technologies through continued education, you position yourself to grow in the field.

Bioinformatics jobs: Our picks

Earning a bioinformatics degree may lead to a job in agriculture and wildlife, computer technology, research, or biotechnology. 

Bioinformatics jobs are varied and may be highly specialized. You'll find some of the more prominent jobs below.

Agriculture, zoology, microbiology, and wildlife biology roles

Bioinformatics jobs in agriculture, zoology, microbiology, and wildlife biology involve assessing data related to plants, crops, and animal health. 

You apply knowledge of statistics, computer science, and information technology at companies or in the public sector. 

Bioinformaticians in these fields protect and study living organisms, optimizing interactions among them. Depending on the setting, you may work to increase food production, assess genetic variations, or improve land productivity. 

Some roles include:

  • Research scientist in plant physiology

  • Agricultural scientist

  • Genomics specialist

Computer and data science roles

Bioinformatics jobs in computer and data science put your computational and analytical skills to work. In this discipline, you design new hardware and software to assess biological data.

Research and development, technology firms, and healthcare informatics companies may hire bioinformatics specialists to create proprietary software. You may also qualify to work as a biological data scientist in industrial settings. 

Common jobs include:

  • Bioinformatics software engineer

  • Computational biologist

  • Bioinformatics data scientist

Pharma and biotech roles

Bioinformatics professionals in pharmaceuticals serve a vital role in the creation, development, and testing of new medications. Bioinformaticians in biotechnology might assess data needed to develop gene therapies and advance immunology. 

You may improve existing processes and technologies and establish new data analysis methods. In both pharma and biotech roles, you work alongside fellow scientists and computational biologists to contribute to the field at theoretical and practical levels. 

Pharma and biotech roles include:

  • Clinical bioinformatics data analyst

  • Project manager for bioinformatics

  • Human genetics bioinformatics scientist

Public sector roles

Public-sector bioinformaticians may work for federal, state, and local governments to address public health and safety issues. The government also employs bioinformaticians in agriculture and wildlife-related roles. 

In public sector roles, you may work to improve your environment and the world. Public sector bioinformatics positions also advance military medicine, inform national and regional policies, and contribute to agricultural production.

Job options include: 

  • Bioinformatics scientist with the National Institute of Health

  • Bioinformatics analyst with a state hospital system

  • Computational biologist with a local or state department of public health

Research and academia roles

Research and academic bioinformatics jobs extend from the lab to the classroom. Colleges and universities may employ bioinformatics researchers in labs and as instructors.

Bioinformaticians at colleges and universities often work with public agencies and private companies. Through grants and collaboration, bioinformatics researchers and academics work with funders to tackle projects. For example, you might map the genes that cause a poorly understood disease.

Roles include: 

  • Bioinformatics professor

  • Research scientist in bioinformatics

  • Bioinformatics sequencing specialist 

In conclusion

Bioinformatics blends science and technology. You may find jobs in the private and public sectors with a bioinformatics degree. 

Bioinformatics jobs involve interpreting data to address vital issues. Sound rewarding? If so, bioinformatics might be the right field for you.

This article was reviewed by Nicole Galan, MSN, RN 

Nicole Galan is a registered nurse who started in a general medical/surgical care unit and then moved into infertility care, where she worked for almost 10 years. She has also worked for over 13 years as a freelance writer, specializing in consumer health sites and educational materials for nursing students. Galan currently works as a full-time freelancer and recently earned her master's degree in nursing education from Capella University.

Nicole Galan is a paid member of the Red Ventures Education freelance review network. 

Last reviewed March 22, 2022. Unless otherwise noted, salary data is drawn from Payscale as of March 24, 2022.

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