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Occupation Details

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Biochemical Engineer

Job Zone

Education
Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, you may need to complete three - four years of college and work for several years in the career area to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€30k > 65
Biochemical Engineer
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€30 - 65
Related Information:
Data Source(s):
CareersPortal

Last Updated: March, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

The National Skills Bulletin 2017 stated that "skills in short supply chiefly related to experienced candidates (e.g. five years or more) and niche scientific areas typically associated with the pharmaceutical, biopharma and food innovation industries. In particular, there was a demand for scientists with experience in compliance, regulatory affairs and new product development."

Shortages have been identified in the National Skills Bulletin 2017 for the following areas:

Chemists/analytical scientists: "especially product formulation, and analytical development for roles in biopharma"

Quality control analyst: "including pharma co-vigilance (i.e. drug safety) roles"

-1.2%
Occupational Category

Chemical, Biological & Physical Scientists; R&D Managers.

Also included in this category:

Analytical chemists; industrial chemists; biomedical scientists; forensic scientists; microbiologists; geologists; medical physicists; meteorologists.

Number Employed:

8,500

Part time workers: 6%
Aged over 55: 7%
Male / Female: 46 / 54%
Non-Nationals: 11%
With Third Level: 100%
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At a Glance... header image

Biochemical engineering is a branch of chemical engineering which applies technological advancements to biological materials.


Videos & Interviews header image

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Go..Search YouTube for Biochemical Engineer videos

The Work header image

Biochemical engineers are concerned with biological changes, which are important to the production of pharmaceuticals and foodstuffs and the treatment of waste.  
 
They engineer improvements to pharmaceuticals; this enhances the quality of our lives by defining ways in which new biological discoveries can be sensitively translated into practical realities.  
 
Biochemical engineers apply engineering science principles to biological materials, processes and systems to create new products. Theses could include almost anything - vaccines, foods, plastic forks and plates, cattle feed and clothing.  
 
For example, biochemical engineers are found in pharmaceutical companies, working in teams alongside chemists and biologists. They often work to achieve purity, for example, when developing life-saving vaccines. Biochemical engineers find and produce the right mixture of molecules to make a drug (some mixtures are valuable while others can be ineffective or even toxic), and then make sure that the drug can be produced on the right scale for the people who need it.  
 
Other biochemical engineers work with life scientists to develop genetic engineering techniques, enabling medical professionals to treat a wide range of medical conditions in the body, without the need for drug treatments.  
 
Biochemical engineers may also work for biotechnology companies that use genetic engineering techniques to try to improve crop yields or increase their resistance to pests and disease.  
 
Some biochemical engineers work for food processing companies, helping to transfer food from farms to consumers in a safe, convenient and natural state.  
 
Biochemical engineering has a very important role to play in protecting the environment. For example, they may use mixtures of growing biological cells to detoxify human waste and many types of industrial waste.  
 
Biochemical engineers may lead teams, including other engineers and engineering technicians.


Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation

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Devise scalable recovery, purification, or fermentation processes for producing proteins or other biological substances for human or animal therapeutic use, food production or processing, biofuels, or effluent treatment.

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Read current scientific or trade literature to stay abreast of scientific, industrial, or technological advances.

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Design or conduct studies to determine optimal conditions for cell growth, protein production, or protein or virus expression or recovery, using chromatography, separation, or filtration equipment, such as centrifuges or bioreactors.

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Develop biocatalytic processes to convert biomass to fuels or fine chemicals, using enzymes of bacteria, yeast, or other microorganisms.

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Prepare technical reports, data summary documents, or research articles for scientific publication, regulatory submissions, or patent applications.

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Confer with research and biomanufacturing personnel to ensure the compatibility of design and production.

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Design or direct bench or pilot production experiments to determine the scale of production methods that optimize product yield and minimize production costs.

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Develop methodologies for transferring procedures or biological processes from laboratories to commercial-scale manufacturing production.

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Design or conduct follow-up experimentation, based on generated data, to meet established process objectives.

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Maintain databases of experiment characteristics or results.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.

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Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

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Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

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Processing Information: Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings: Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

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Analyzing Data or Information: Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

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Thinking Creatively: Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

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Getting Information: Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

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Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

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Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

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Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information: Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.


Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.

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Engineering and Technology: Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

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Biology: Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.

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Chemistry: Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

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Mathematics: Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

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Production and Processing: Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.


Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.

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Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

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Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

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Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

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Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

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Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

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Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

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Operations Analysis: Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.

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Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

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Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

Biochemical engineers must enjoy solving problems and be committed to keeping up to date with advances in this fast changing area. They must also be analytically minded and resilient in their work.  
 
You must have strong communication and interpersonal skills to interact with engineers and scientists from other disciplines. You are also likely to need management skills, including the ability to lead and motivate others.  
 
Biochemical engineers should have an excellent grasp of modern technology, including the ability to use computers. For example, you may use computer-aided design technology in design and research work.  
 
You are also likely to need a commitment to protecting the environment and a knowledge of issues such as waste management and the greenhouse effect.  
 
You need to be able to work within structures and follow strict safety guidelines and legal parameters. This occupation is highly responsible and accuracy is very important.


Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Go..Biochemical engineer - from: GradIreland

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image

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Organisation: BioPharmaChem Ireland
Address: 84/86 Lower Baggot Street, Dublin 2
Tel: (01) 6051500
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...


...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Biological, Chemical & Pharmaceutical Science

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