Examine anatomy, physiology and characteristics of living organisms and isolated biological molecules, develop new materials for practical use.


  • study the genetic, chemical, physical and structural composition of cells, tissues and organisms
  • identify ways in which organisms and biological processes can be used to create new medicines, vaccines, foods, fuels and pharmaceutical products
  • develop diagnostic tools to rapidly detect diseases
  • use bacteria, enzymes and other organisms for a range of industrial uses, including agricultural production, food production and waste removal
  • cross-breed animals and plants to encourage beneficial characteristics such as disease resistance, improved nutrition and accelerated environmental adaptation
  • conduct research and experiments in the field of genetic modification and biomolecular engineering, which involves altering the genetic make-up of plants and animals
  • conduct human stem cell research with the aim of treating or preventing illnesses
  • use biological engineering processes to create commercially useful biological products, such as biomaterials, chemicals or fuels

As a biotechnologist, you could be employed in federal, state, territory and local government organisations, including research organisations. You may also find employment in private industry, hospitals, educational institutions, primary production and fisheries. Entry to these jobs is often highly competitive.

While many laboratory roles are relatively junior, these roles provide opportunities to expand your scientific knowledge with the aim of running your own laboratory or moving into allied business services such as clinical trial development, patenting, business development, project management and regulation.

Senior positions in the industry frequently require an honours degree, master's degree or doctorate, in addition to a high level of competence in the laboratory.

Source: myFuture


Disclaimer: This page provides study pathway and career options as a guide only. You should contact the Admissions Centre, International Centre or relevant Faculties for full details.

Study pathways

The following study pathway shows the most common and direct route for a UWA student to pursue this career.

  1. Undergraduate

  2. Relevant majors include:


  3. Postgraduate

    Postgraduate study is generally required for a career as a Biotechnologist.

    Relevant postgraduate courses include:

  4. Research

    Research study is not necessarily required for this occupation, but may be helpful for career advancement.