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Apprenticeship Biosciences Jobs

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          Helping you find a career in the biosciences industry

          Biosciences is a broad category of potential career options including: continued academic/scientific research, ecology, toxicology, microbiology and positions within the pharmaceutical and agrochemical sectors.

          The common thread to all careers in biosciences is that they all require the application of scientific principles to understand and solve biological challenges or identify opportunities for development.

          Some large employers of bioscientists will offer structured apprenticeship programmes designed to train school-leavers in biosciences as well as giving them hands-on experience in a laboratory and office environment. There are also opportunities outside of structured Degree Apprenticeship (Qualification Level 6) Foundation Degree Apprenticeship programmes (Level 5), for instance entry-level laboratory technician positions, although there will be a limit to your progression in biosciences if you do not complete the academic study offered in a Degree Apprenticeship.

          Some example biosciences careers include:

          • A toxicologist will conduct research into the impact of toxic materials on humans, animals and the environment.

          • A plant geneticist will work to identify and breed different strands of plant species with specific traits.

          • A microbiologist might work to understand microorganisms impact on health and disease, agriculture and food safety.

          • A geneticist will conduct research into the human genome and principles of heredity.

          Despite there being such a variety of positions and potential employers available, most careers in biosciences will require you to work in laboratories and often in the field, conducting experiments and analysing their results, interpreting statistical data and preparing reports into your findings.

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          Skills & interests required for a career in Biosciences

          All careers in biosciences require applicants to display practical scientific skills in a laboratory context. Bioscientists will need to display their abilities in understanding complex data sets, interpreting and explaining statistical trends in written reports for expert and non-expert audiences. Strong maths skills are important.

          It is important for applicants to be passionate about their work (in whichever field of biosciences they are considering working in), and flexible in their approaches to problem-solving.

          Biosciences apprenticeships & other career progress routes for school leavers

          Degree Apprenticeships in Biosciences typically last for 3 years, during which you will split your time between laboratory/office work and academic study based in a university.

          During your apprenticeship you will get the opportunity to work on different projects and develop skills in a number of areas (for instance microbiological & environmental sampling and testing, operating specialist equipment to develop new products or report writing).

          Once you complete your studies and attain a Foundation Degree/Bachelors Degree, you will typically specialise in a particular discipline (e.g. toxicology or genetics). As you gain experience in the sector, you may find you have less hands-on responsibility in the laboratory and focus more on managing projects.

          Tips for getting into the field

          Arrange a meeting with your careers advisor to discuss your interest in working in the biosciences sector and to get advice on potential routes into the industry.

          Work experience beyond academia in a laboratory context can be very helpful to securing your apprenticeship in the biosciences sector. Ask your careers department for details of any employers that may be able to offer work experience or the opportunity to visit a laboratory to get a better sense for the sort of work available in biosciences.

          What do Biosciences professionals get paid?

          Salaries can be quite variable for apprentices in biosciences. Typically, you will begin on a salary of £10,000 to £15,000 per annum.

          Once you have completed your apprenticeship you can earn between £16,000 and £30,000 per annum. Starting salaries are typically significantly higher in the private sector (particularly within pharmaceuticals) than in public sector bodies, while academic salaries are usually lower than both.

          What qualifications do I need for a career in Biosciences?

          Most apprenticeship schemes will require a minimum of 5 GCSEs or equivalent at grades A*-C including English, science and maths you must have an A Level (or equivalent) in biology.

          Biosciences industry bodies