Bioinformatics salary: entry-level and senior averages

Article written by CEMP's team

Are you asking yourself “what is the average bioinformatics salary”? Are you considering dedicating your professional career to this fascinating discipline? Without a doubt, this is one of the occupations with the best future perspectives in the biosanitary field.

Today, bioinformatics (also known as computational biology) decisively contribute to the advancement of health sciences. Thus, in recent times, it has played a key role in the fight against multiple health disorders, including cancer.

If you’re interested in working in the field of bioinformatics, this article will let you know more about this profession, discover what it’s about exactly and what your bioinformatics salary could be according to current job market trends.


Bioinformatics salary: an average

A bioinformatics salary is currently around £35,000 per year in entry-level positions and £55,000 as they build up their experience. 

While later in this article we’ll go through the different bioinformatic salary expectations around the world, it’s important to first clarify what this fascinating discipline is all about.


What is bioinformatics?

Bioinformatics is a field of computer science dedicated to the processing and management of biological data through the use of informatic tools, such as programming languages and big computing structures.

Thus, through the use of bioinformatics it’s possible to manage and interpret biological and medical data, thus facilitating research and development in applications aiming at improving quality of life for people.

The main goals of bioinformatics include:

  • Storing the information that is going to be used in scientific studies, organizing it in databases
  • Developing computational analysis through language programming and statistical methods
  • Extracting results, visualizing them and obtaining conclusions

This ultimately means bioinformatics is a confluence area between informatics, biomedical sciences, physics and chemistry.

Thus, bioinformatic professionals manage huge volumes of experimental information originating from metabolic or genomic technologies, among others, through tools such as Big Data.

If we trace the history of bioinformatics it’s possible to learn more about the origin of this discipline and catch a glimpse of its future importance for research and controlling infectious diseases.

In fact, it’s considered as one of the most promising career prospects in the future after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Going forward, we are analyzing the typical bioinformatics salary and other fundamental aspects determining daily-life conditions in this career path.


Is a bioinformatics salary high? 

As a general rule, a bioinformatics salary is high, as we’ve mentioned at the beginning of this article. 

These professionals present technical and deep knowledge in informatics and multiple areas of science, such as molecular biology.

This is why the career is often paired with university studies and, more frequently than not, a complete postgraduate education. Because of this, a bioinformatics salary can present a high retribution.

However, it can all depend on different factors, as we’re seeing in the following paragraphs.


What factors can determine a bioinformatics salary?

Normally, a bioinformatics salary can depend on a number of different conditions and contexts. For instance, working in the private or public sector is one of such conditions.

The following are other factors to take into account:

  • Field or area of work. There are three main possibilities:
      • To be an external or independent consultant. This might present the most variable bioinformatics salary of all options
      • To work at the public sector
      • To work as part of a big pharma company in the private sector
  • Experience in the field
  • Academic and specialized education 
  • Seniority
  • Abilities as a candidate


How much can a bioinformatics salary be?

Depending on the different factors we’ve just seen, and always considering this can only be an approximation to real-life figures, it’s possible to establish the following bioinformatics salary estimates for a professional in the UK:

  • Entry-level positions typically start around £35,000 per year
  • Most-experienced workers can reach figures around £50,000 per year. In fact, experience levels of more than ten years can lead to duplicating an entry-level bioinformatics salary.

However, a bioinformatics salary in different countries can greatly vary depending on the country’s infrastructure and investment in scientific advancements. As an example, a bioinformatics salary in the United States can reach up to 90,000 dollars.


What are the applications of bioinformatics?

There are multiple applications of bioinformatics, most of which are related to medicine and biology and can even go beyond these.

Thus, experts point out that the most significant application of bioinformatics today is personalized medicine, based mainly in the principles of genomic medicine. This field of study is mainly responsible for looking for the solution for a particular clinical issue by analyzing massive sequencing data out of the patient’s genes.

In its origin in the early 1960s, bioinformatics was tightly linked to molecular biology. Thanks to this discipline, the sequence of the human genome was discovered and, from there, its impact expanded to the epidemiological and clinical fields, among others.

Without a doubt, the potential applications of bioinformatics are multiple and extended, thus it being a professional field with great career prospects.


What are common job positions for bioinformatics?

Bioinformatics is still an emerging discipline. However, job opportunities in this field abound and are quite varied. For instance:

  • Independent consultant
  • As part of the biotechnological and pharmaceutical industry
  • Research departments in hospitals
  • Research, development and analysis of sanitary data

Besides, bioinformatics today has an increasing presence in disciplines such as biomedicine, preventive medicine, clinical diagnostics, agriculture or the agrofood sector.


What to study in order to become a professional bioinformatic?

There are many universities offering an academic Degree in Bioinformatics.

However, it’s also a common path for graduates and professionals of diverse fields around biology, medicine or applied informatics to get specialized training through postgraduate and master’s degrees which offer a high-quality education.

Many job opportunities demand as a requisite a degree in health sciences or informatics and a master’s degree in bioinformatics or proven experience in this field.

As we’ve mentioned above, in order to access this sort of education, it’s necessary to have notions of programming, computational languages, biology, chemistry, mathematics, statistics…

Proficiency in languages, especially English, must also be taken into account. A bioinformatics expert must be able to be proficient in that language, as companies often work in an international context where research is carried out in English most of the time.


And what are the right aptitudes and personality traits for bioinformatics?

Apart from a good base on sciences and informatics and a high level of English, there are a number of required capacities to study and work as a bioinformatic.

  • Logical thinking abilities
  • Good organizational skills
  • Capacity to work within abstract thinking models
  • Good observation qualities
  • Attention and focus capacities
  • Analytical and creative thinking
  • A motivation for the use and development of technologies
  • A vocation and perseverance

Let’s now explore the specialized training available today.


Where can you study for a master’s degree in bioinformatics?

As we’ve seen above, bioinformatics can be approached through a three or four year academic degree.

However, if you’re already part of other related scientific fields, there are many different postgraduate and master’s degrees, both online and on-site, which offer the needed specialization you need to work as a bioinformatics expert.

The Master’s Degree in Bioinformatics and Biostatistics at CEMP represents an excellent option for online, remote training. 

This course prepares you for applying the most advanced informatics in the field of biomedical research, as well as for working within specialized companies within the biotechnological field and hospitals.

Through this Master’s, you’ll be able to get an education from your own home, using a 100% online methodology and a personalized educational counseling.

Besides, you’ll have access to support from our teaching team made of active professionals in different fields: phDs in molecular bioscience and molecular biology, graduates in informatics or biotechnologists, etc.

The course has a total duration of 1.500 hours, corresponding to 60 ECTS credits. Besides, it offers between 60 to 300 hours of practical training at companies and an associated plan for employability that helps you achieve your professional goals.

You can get a better idea of this course by looking at its different modules:

  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Biostatistics and R
  • Python language
  • Introduction to databases and Omic data analysis

Without a doubt, it’s an ambitious program that can help you access the bioinformatics job market and progress as a professional that is part of this fascinating sector.

Now that you know more about the bioinformatics salary, master’s degree options, requirements, applications and job opportunities, you may choose to direct your career forward in this promising path.

In any case, if you need more information about our Master’s in Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’re here to help!


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