Biochemist Salary Guide and Career Outlook

In the United States, biochemists earn a mean pay of $94,930 per year. The figure stands at C$71,000 ($55,519 USD) in Canada, £27,500 ($46,339 USD) in the United Kingdom, and AU$131,346 ($101,521 USD) in Australia.

On a mean basis, biochemists earn NZD$80,000 ($54,647 USD) in New Zealand, INR342,000 ($5,254.13 USD) in India and R204,000 ($14,507 USD) in South Africa.

biochemist salary

How Much Does an Biochemist Make per Year by State?

Biochemist SalaryUSCanadaUKAustraliaNew ZealandIndiaSouth Africa
Hourly Pay$45.36C$34.13£13.22AU$63NZD$38.46INR144.42R98.08
Annual Pay$94,930C$71,000£27,500AU$131,346NZD$80,000INR342,000R204,000

Biochemist Salary Influencing Factors

For biochemists, the location of work, the type of employer and experience play major roles in shaping salaries. Pay can also turn on the level of education, with PhDs and Master’s degree holders commanding higher salaries.

1. Location

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, biochemists in New Jersey rank first in salaries, at $117,930. Other top-paying states include Ohio ($114,650), Indiana ($110,630), California ($107,760) and Connecticut ($107,090). The “Riverside-San Bernandino-Ontario, CA” area saw the highest salaries for biochemists, at $124,060.

PayScale reports that biochemists in Toronto earn 30 percent less than the national average of C$71,000.

According to PayScale, the median pay in Johannesburg runs at R244,168. Biochemists in Pretoria fetch R233,846 on a median basis, while those in Cape Town have a median of R153,000.

How Much Does a Biochemist Make in the US?

Biochemist Salary USPer YearPer Hour
Bonus$145.44 to $9,274$0.07 to $4.46
OvertimeNo additional payNo additional pay
Total Pay$45,000 to $158,410

How Much Does a Biochemist Make in Canada?

Biochemist Salary CanadaPer YearPer Hour
OvertimeNo additional payNo additional pay
Total PayC$35,579 to C$132,868

How Much Does a Biochemist Make in the UK?

Biochemist Salary UKPer YearPer Hour
OvertimeNo additional payNo additional pay
Total Pay£24,000 to £42,000

How Much Does a Biochemist Make in Australia?

Biochemist Salary AustraliaPer YearPer Hour
OvertimeNo additional payNo additional pay
Total PayAU$92,214 to AU$166,836

How Much Does a Biochemist Make in New Zealand?

Biochemist Salary New ZealandPer YearPer Hour
OvertimeNo additional payNo additional pay
Total PayNZD$35,000 to NZD$130,000

How Much Does a Biochemist Make in India?

Biochemist Salary IndiaPer YearPer Hour
BonusUp to INR51,521Up to INR24.77
OvertimeNo additional payNo additional pay
Total PayINR198,087 to INR1,246,175

How Much Does a Biochemist Make in South Africa?

Biochemist Salary South AfricaPer YearPer Hour
BonusUp to 60,402Up to R29.04
OvertimeNo additional payNo additional pay
Total PayR60,608 to R534,933

2. Experience

The National Careers Service says that starting biochemists in the United Kingdom earn £24,000 per year. Pay runs from £26,250 to £35,250 for “Experienced” biochemists and climbs up to £42,000 for those in the “Highly Experienced” category.

With one to three years of experience, biochemists in Australia earn AU$92,214. Those who achieve eight years as biochemists see salaries on average at AU$163,282.

In New Zealand, pay is often differentiated by level of education. Biochemists with bachelor’s degrees make between NZD$35,000 and NZD$50,000. A Master’s degree can yield earnings between NZD$55,000 to NZD$75,000. A senior-level biochemist with a PhD sees salaries from NZD$76,000 to NZD$94,000. Earnings can eclipse NZD$130,000 for biochemists with increased job responsibilities and experience.

Mid-career biochemists, or those with five to ten years of experience, in South Africa earn 57 percent above the mean pay of R204,000. Entry-level pay falls about eight percent below the mean.

3. Industry

Biochemists occupy a number of industries, such as pharmaceutical, other fields of medicine, agriculture and nutrition. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 47 percent of biochemists and biophysicists in the United States were employed in “Research and development in the physical, engineering and life sciences.” In this sector, the median pay in 2016 stood at $88,120.

Biochemists in “Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing” earned a median salary of $80,060 and accounted for 14 percent of biochemists and biophysicists in the United States. The highest median pay was found in “Wholesale Trade,” at $111,700.

In India, higher pay often goes to biochemists in research and development.

South African chemical and biotechnology firms, government-run forensic laboratories and drug makers also employ biochemists and other chemists.

Schedule & Working Hours

A typical work schedule for a biochemist encompasses weekdays and daytime hours. Some evenings and weekends may be necessary to meet deadlines for projects, such as product roll-outs or submissions to governmental agencies for approvals.

Generally, biochemists are full-time professionals. In Australia, the average work-week among full-time biochemists is 34.5 hours. According to Job Bank Canada, nearly 98 percent of chemists, which include biochemists, log full-time hours.

Bonuses & Benefits

Depending on the employer, biochemists in most locations can expect to receive company bonuses.

According to PayScale, biochemists in the United States have medical coverage at the rate of nearly nine out of ten. Nearly 65 percent enjoy dental coverage and vision benefits are available for nearly six out of ten biochemists.

Nearly 88 percent of biochemists in Canada enjoyed medical coverage. Dental coverage prevailed among one in two biochemists and 38 percent of these professionals were covered by vision benefits.

In India, medical benefits cover half of the biochemists, while one-half do not receive any health coverage. No biochemist in India reported having vision or dental coverage. South Africa’s medical coverage rate for biochemists rests at 50 percent. One out of five biochemists in that country have dental and roughly one out of seven enjoy vision coverage. About half of South African biochemists go without health coverage.

Career Outlook

As a general rule, the biochemistry field is small relative to other occupations. However, the overall job outlook for biochemists should prove promising, as an aging population and growth of diseases results in a demand and need for new medicines and treatments. Biochemistry also contributes also to increasing food supplies, addressing food shortages and the study of reasons and solutions for deficiencies in body minerals.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 11 percent rise in employment of biochemists and biophysicists through 2026. That translates to a increase of 3,600 jobs. In 2016, the United States had 31,500 biochemists and biophysicists.

In Canada, approximately 10,200 job openings among chemists are projected for 9,800 seekers of those positions by 2024.

According to Job Outlook, Australia had 4,300 life scientists (including biochemists) in 2015. By 2020, the occupation should have 5,000 job openings from turnover and new jobs. However, the total number of biochemists is projected at 4,200 by 2020.

The New Zealand government rates as “average” job opportunities, noting that seekers of applied research jobs may fare better than biochemists working in fundamental research.


Experience and holding post-graduate degrees in biochemistry or related fields should contribute to higher pay for biochemists. These professionals can expect greater pay working for pharmaceutical and other private companies. The city or area of work can also influence pay. Prospects for employment generally should be solid, given the demand for advancements in medical treatments, nutrition, farming and food production.

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