Molecular and Cellular Biologists

Research and study cellular molecules and organelles to understand cell function and organization.

Median Annual Wage: $74,720

Education: Post-doctoral training (41%); Doctoral degree (27%); Bachelor's degree (23%)

Projected Growth: Little or no change (-2% to 2%)

Related Job Titles: Professor; Biology Professor; Assistant Professor; Associate Professor; Molecular Biology Professor

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Molecular and Cellular Biologists.

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  • Design molecular or cellular laboratory experiments, oversee their execution, and interpret results.
  • Conduct research on cell organization and function, including mechanisms of gene expression, cellular bioinformatics, cell signaling, or cell differentiation.
  • Instruct undergraduate and graduate students within the areas of cellular or molecular biology.
  • Compile and analyze molecular or cellular experimental data and adjust experimental designs as necessary.
  • Prepare reports, manuscripts, and meeting presentations.
  • Supervise technical personnel and postdoctoral research fellows.
  • Perform laboratory procedures following protocols including deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) sequencing, cloning and extraction, ribonucleic acid (RNA) purification, or gel electrophoresis.
  • Direct, coordinate, organize, or prioritize biological laboratory activities.
  • Develop assays that monitor cell characteristics.
  • Evaluate new technologies to enhance or complement current research.
  • Monitor or operate specialized equipment such as gas chromatographs and high pressure liquid chromatographs, electrophoresis units, thermocyclers, fluorescence activated cell sorters, and phosphorimagers.
  • Coordinate molecular or cellular research activities with scientists specializing in other fields.
  • Verify all financial, physical, and human resources assigned to research or development projects are used as planned.
  • Provide scientific direction for project teams regarding the evaluation or handling of devices, drugs, or cells for in vitro and in vivo disease models.
  • Conduct applied research aimed at improvements in areas such as disease testing, crop quality, pharmaceuticals, and the harnessing of microbes to recycle waste.
  • Develop guidelines for procedures such as the management of viruses.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Molecular and Cellular Biologists.

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • 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.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Molecular and Cellular Biologists.

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