Basically Biotechnology can be said to be technology based on biology. Biotechnology is quite frequently also referred as genetic engineering. Biotechnology encompasses various disciplines like cell biology, embryology, molecular biology, genetics and biochemistry. All these disciplines are practically linked to information technology, biorobotics and chemical engineering.
It entails certain basic qualifications as a first step to be a Biotech Engineer. A person having a Ph.D. degree in Biology or one of its specializations is eligible to work in research and development. In order to carry out industrial research, college teaching or independent research, a Ph.D. degree is compulsory. A master's degree is required if a person seeks a job in applied science, management, inspection or product development. A person can become a biological scientist in testing & inspection by holding a bachelor's degree in Biotechnology.
A Biotech engineer must be creative, analytical, inquisitive, and detail oriented. He must be perfect in oral and written communications, besides being able to work independently as well as a team member.
A funding mechanism has been instituted by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (National Institute of Health) in the year 1988 in the US after being prompted by the US Congress. This NIGMS provides funds to Universities nationwide for five years to establish Biotechnology Training Programs (BTP). Graduate students are provided stipend, tuition and health insurance support through BTP for 2 to 3 years during their PhD thesis work.
During the decade from 2006 – 2016, the employment growth in biotechnology area is estimated to grow by 9 percent, as per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is almost equivalent to the average growth in all occupations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics further predicts high competition in this field. In order to ensure good career potential in the field of Biotechnology, the Federal Government also provides funds to many research projects. The employment growth of Biotech engineers is expected to grow rapidly depending on the specialty.
The annual salary of engineers as a whole during the year 2007 ranged from $75,144 (in agricultural engineering) to $107,546 (in ceramic engineering). Biotech engineers with specialty and a degree in Bioengineering and biomedical annual earned anywhere from $51,356 to $59240 during the year 2007.
Prior to 1971, biotechnology was mainly used in agriculture and agriculture industries. Today there are various terms used to identify several branches of biotech. These are Bioinformatics, Blue biotechnology, Green biotechnology, Red biotechnology, and White biotechnology. In view of the growing national and global requirement of Biotech Engineers and the Federal Government's financial support, “How to be a Biotech Engineer?” is not a question that cannot be solved by a person having required qualification, inclination towards research and development, inquisitiveness and best written and oral communication skills.