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Best Biotechnology Associate Degree Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

Hollins Esegba - May 22, 2022


If you want to enter the biotechnology industry, gaining one of the best biotechnology associate degrees will help you start a successful medical career . According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job openings for biological technicians will increase by seven percent between 2020 and 2030, meaning that now is a great time to get a biotechnology associate degree.

An Associate Degree in Biotechnology qualifies you for entry-level jobs with biotechnology companies and puts you on a path to becoming a medical scientist, biotechnologist, or biological technician, plus other high-paying healthcare jobs . This guide lists the best biotechnology associate degrees and explores high-paying biotechnology associate degree jobs.

Where Can I Get an Associate Degree in Biotechnology?

Some of the best schools to get a biotechnology associate degree are Austin Community College, CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College, Holyoke Community College, Ivy Tech Community College, Montgomery College, and Northern State University.

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What Schools Offer the Best Biotechnology Associate Degrees?

  • Austin Community College
  • CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College
  • Holyoke Community College
  • Ivy Tech Community College
  • Montgomery College

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Associate Degree in Biotechnology?

The admission requirements for an Associate Degree in Biotechnology differ from school to school, but the basic requirements include graduation from high school or an equivalent, like passing the General Educational Development (GED) test. You may also be required to submit your immunization records for diseases like meningitis and provide proof of residence.

Taking proficiency tests is compulsory for some schools, while it is optional for others. Proficiency tests or standardized test scores may be used to determine your course placement. For some schools, you must have algebra, biology, and chemistry classes among your transcripts from high school. You may also need to complete some remedial courses.

Biotechnology Associate Degree Admission Requirements

  • Have a high school diploma, a GED, or an equivalent
  • Submit official college or university transcripts if you attended another institution, and/or official military transcripts
  • Be at least 16 years old
  • Provide SAT or ACT scores
  • Pass an English proficiency test such as TOEFL or IELTS if English is not your first language

How to Get a Biotechnology Associate Degree

The best way to get a biotechnology associate degree is by fulfilling all of the graduation requirements, including completing the minimum credit requirement, which is usually 60 credits. You also must maintain the minimum GPA set by your school, such as 2.5 out of 4.0. Some schools may require you to complete an academic project to graduate with your associate degree, as well.

How Many Credits Do You Need for an Associate  Degree in Biotechnology?

You need a minimum of 60 credits for an Associate Degree in Biotechnology. Credits are spread throughout general education courses and elective courses, plus, in some cases, an internship or final project. In most cases, one course will be three credits, meaning that you will need to complete around 15 to 20 courses to fulfill the graduation requirement.

Biotechnology Degree Requirements

  • Maintain the minimum GPA requirement, usually 2.5
  • Complete a minimum of 60 credit units
  • Complete core biotechnology courses, like Cell Culture Techniques
  • Complete some general education electives, like social or behavioral courses
  • Be approved for a biotechnology internship by the program’s coordinator

Best Biotechnology Associate Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Austin Community College Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College Associate in Science in Biotechnology Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Holyoke Community College Associate of Arts in Biotechnology New England Commission of Higher Education
Ivy Tech Community College Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology Higher Learning Commission
Montgomery College Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Northern State University Associate in Science in Biotechnology Higher Learning Commission
Northern Virginia Community College Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Portland Community College Associate of Applied Science in Bioscience Technology Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
Rasmussen University Associate of Science in Medical Laboratory Technology National Accreditation Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences
Southern Maine Community College Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology New England Commission of Higher Education

Best Schools for Biotechnology: Top Biotechnology Associate Degree Programs

The best schools for an Associate Degree in Biotechnology include Austin Community College, Montgomery College, and Portland Community College. A two-year Associate Degree in Biotechnology is a popular major for students seeking to begin their biotechnology career or acquire the necessary development and technical skills required to enter a related medical field.

Below we have compiled a list of some of the top biotech associate degree programs to help you with your school search.

1

Austin Community College

Austin, TX

Established in 1973, Austin Community College is recognized as one of the best schools for engineering degree programs. It has over 100 programs in 10 areas of study. Its programs include business management, agriculture, biological and biomedical sciences, and more. According to the college, it has a yearly enrollment of more than 75,000 students.

Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology

This program equips students with biotechnology experience through various quality courses to prepare them to work in research, medical, and laboratory areas. With courses in molecular biology, cell culture techniques, bioinformatics, and more, plus through a biological technician internship experience, you’ll hone the critical thinking skills needed to land key roles in big organizations.

Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition (and Fees): $85/credit (in-district); $286/credit (in state); $353/credit (out of state/international)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 12%

Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: High school transcript, meningitis vaccination record if you are under 22, and Texas Success Initiative (TSI) test (circumstantial)

Applying to Austin Community College

  1. Talk to a recruiter to schedule and attend a virtual information session.
  2. Fill out your online application with the help of an enrollment advisor.
  3. Submit required documents, such as your high school transcript and meningitis vaccination record.
  4. Retrieve your ACCeID and ACCmail email accounts and attend an orientation event.
  5. Register for your courses and set up a payment plan.

2

CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College

New York, NY

CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College is a renowned public university in New York that was founded in 1963. It is nationally recognized and highly ranked for academic research, increasing graduates’ earning power, and supporting minority students. 22,426 students enrolled in fall 2020 to study in over 50 associate degree programs.

Associate in Science in Biotechnology

The biotechnology program gives students a thorough understanding of the physical and life sciences and offers a rich curriculum that provides an easy transfer to a bachelor’s degree program. The biotechnological program also provides career coaching to help students access job postings and professional development activities for top organizations.

Associate in Science in Biotechnology Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition (and Fees): $2,400/semester (New York City residents); $320/credit (out of state/international)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 27%

Associate in Science in Biotechnology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $65
  • Minimum Education: High school or high school equivalency certificate
  • Other Requirements: High school transcripts, complete remedial courses (if necessary), immunization records , and proof of residency

Applying to CUNY Borough of Manhattan Community College

  1. Create an account on the school website.
  2. Complete your online application form.
  3. Submit your online application by paying the $65 application fee.
  4. Submit your high school transcripts and other requirements, like your rubella, mumps, and measles vaccination proof.
  5. Receive feedback from the admission team and complete any other requirements your admissions advisor asks of you, like remedial courses or proof of English competency, for instance.

3

Holyoke Community College

Holyoke, MA

Holyoke Community College is a public college that was founded in 1946. The school offers both associate degrees and certificate programs, and it has a total student population of 5,521. Class sizes are small, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 12-to-one, giving students individualized attention from professors.

Associate of Arts in Biotechnology

This program teaches the basic principles involved in biotechnology, like cell functions and protein purification. It is built around recent advances in biotechnology, and it teaches students the required theoretical background and laboratory skills needed for career and research opportunities in areas like environmental science , biomedical technology, and animal sciences.

Associate of Arts in Biotechnology Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition (and Fees): $357/credit (in state); $563/credit (out of state/international)
  • Required Credits: 62 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Hybrid
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 23%

Associate of Arts in Biotechnology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required; ACT or SAT recommended to waive placement test
  • Application Fee: $0 (US resident); $100 (international)
  • Minimum Education: High school or high school equivalency certificate
  • Other Requirements: High school transcript; placement test

Applying to Holyoke Community College

  1. Create an account on the Holyoke Community College website.
  2. Fill out your application form and submit it for free.
  3. Receive an email on your next steps, and follow the directions included.
  4. Figure out your course level placement, then take either take a placement test or send documents for waiving the test, such as SAT or ACT scores.
  5. Meet with an advisor and register for your classes.

4

Ivy Tech Community College

Indianapolis, IN

Ivy Tech Community College is a public institution that was established in 1963. It is known for its accessible and affordable adaptive learning and world-class education. It is the only full-fledged community college in Indiana and offers more than 150 programs. The college has a total enrollment of 72,006 students.

Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology

This biotechnology program is handled by instructors from professional organizations with real-world experience. The classes focus on teaching students the principles, techniques, and basic procedures to execute laboratory projects through practical laboratory activities. The courses discuss biomedical interventions, cell culture and cellular processes, and other topics.

Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $149.55/credit (in state); $292.57/credit (out of state/international)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In-person
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 28%

Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement; 2.6 recommended to waive placement test
  • Standardized Tests: None required; SAT, ACT, or PSAT to waive placement test
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school or high school equivalency certificate
  • Other Requirements: Placement assessment (conditional)

Applying to Ivy Tech Community College

  1. Create an account on the school website.
  2. Complete and submit your free application online.
  3. Upload all required documents to waive the placement assessment or take the placement assessment.
  4. Receive an email from your academic advisor and take the next steps that they suggest.
  5. Attend an orientation event and register for classes.

5

Montgomery College

Rockville, MD

Established in 1946, Montgomery College is a public college that teaches a variety of popular majors and is highly ranked as one of the overall best community colleges in the US. It has also been recognized multiple times for being the most technologically advanced community college in the country. The school also offers online programs and has a total enrollment of 21,720.

Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology

Besides training students in the field of biotechnology, this program also produces entry-level workers for practical biotechnology laboratory work in Montgomery County, working in antibody production and isolation, DNA isolation or sequencing, cell biology, and other areas. The course subjects include protein biotechnology, microbiology, general genetics, and many other related topics.

Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition (and Fees): $2,661/15 credit hours (Montgomery County residents); $5,1227/15 credit hours (Maryland State residents); $2,661/15 credit hours (Maryland residents)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Hybrid
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 28%

Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: Not required
  • Minimum Education: High school or high school equivalency certificate
  • Other Requirements: Be at least 16 years of age, standardized test scores, like SAT and ACT, may be used to determine your course placement

Applying to Montgomery College

  1. Create an account on the school website.
  2. Complete and submit your free online application.
  3. Submit your high school transcript or GED.
  4. Activate your account and determine your course placement, either by submitting standardized test scores or a sufficient high school transcript or taking a placement assessment.
  5. Complete your orientation and meet a counselor who will guide you through the remaining steps.

6

Northern State University

Aberdeen, SD

Northern State University was founded in 1901 and is known for academic and extracurricular excellence. Its nationally accredited academic programs cover majors in arts and sciences. The school was ranked the 79th most affordable university by College Consensus, and it has a total enrollment of 3,622, making for intimate learning experiences.

Associate in Science in Biotechnology

This program develops students’ knowledge of biotechnology and biology sciences so that they can apply their skills to practical operations and problems in the biotech industry. The courses include Cell Culture Techniques, Introduction to Bioinformatics and Proteomics, Genetics Lab, and more. The program includes an internship with a partnered regional business.

Associate in Science in Biotechnology Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $253.85/per credit (in state/resident of CO, ND, IA, MT, NE, or WY); $357.25/per credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Hybrid
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 45%

Associate in Science in Biotechnology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.6
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT (optional)
  • Application Fee: $20
  • Minimum Education: High school or high school equivalency certificate
  • Other Requirements: High school transcript

Applying to Northern State University

  1. Create an account on the school website.
  2. Complete your application and submit your transcripts.
  3. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  4. Submit your SAT or ACT test scores, if desired. You may need to take a college placement test if you do not have an ACT score of 18, redesigned SAT score of 960, a minimum high school GPA of 2.6, or if you were not in the top 60 percent of your high school class.
  5. Register for your classes and make a payment plan.

7

Northern Virginia Community College

Annandale, VA

Northern Virginia Community College is a public institution that is known for its international diversity. It was established in 1965 and covers nationally accredited programs in IT, cyber security, healthcare, business management, science, and many other areas. This school has a good acceptance rate, and it has a total enrollment of 52,873 students.

Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology

This program gives biotechnology students practical laboratory experience, with research and lab work to build their knowledge and readiness to work with biotechnology firms in the biotechnology field. The courses cover fundamental aspects of biotechnology, such as bioinformatics and computer applications in biotechnology, general microbiology, and others.

Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition (and Fees): $185.50/credit (in state); $388.25/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 64 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Hybrid
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 29%

Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required; SAT or ACT recommended
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school or high school equivalency certificate
  • Other Requirements: High school transcript with completion of BIO 101 with a C or higher, be at least 18 years of age, college placement test for English and mathematics

Applying to Northern Virginia Community College

  1. Schedule a discussion with a biotechnology academic advisor to be walked through your admission process.
  2. Complete and submit your online application.
  3. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  4. Submit your high school transcript, proving you have graduated from math, English, and BIO 101 courses with a C grade or higher.
  5. Complete direct enrollment and a college placement test if deemed necessary by your advisor.

8

Portland Community College

Portland, OR

Established in 1961, Portland Community College is a public institution located in Portland, Oregon. It is known as the largest post-secondary institution in Oregon and offers high-quality education and opportunities to students. The school prepares students for a successful transfer to a four-year undergraduate program or advanced degree. It has a total enrollment of 27,046.

Associate of Applied Science in Bioscience Technology

The program teaches students the basics of biotechnology and helps them understand the manipulation of DNA and proteins, cell culture, biochemical assays, and other analytical procedures. The courses include Bioscience Lab Math, Cell Biology for Health Occupations, Exploring Bioscience, and Preparatory Chemistry.

Associate of Applied Science in Bioscience Technology Overview

  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
  • Tuition: $123/credit (in state); $258/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 90 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Hybrid
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 20%

Associate of Applied Science in Bioscience Technology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school or high school equivalency certificate
  • Other Requirements: High school transcript, be at least 16 years of age, take prerequisite courses

Applying to Portland Community College

  1. Create an account on the school website.
  2. Complete and submit your application online for free.
  3. Receive an acceptance email, then speak to an academic advisor.
  4. Complete the orientation and take prerequisite courses of Intermediate Algebra, College Composition, Preparatory Chemistry or General Chemistry I, Cell Biology for Health Occupations or Principles of Biology.
  5. Set up your MyPCC account and plan your first term, then apply for the AAS in Bioscience Technology program and register for classes.

9

Rasmussen University

St. Cloud, MN

Founded in 1900, Rasmussen University is a renowned private institution of higher learning that is dedicated to offering innovative programs, education skills, and a dynamic curriculum to students. It has undergraduate and graduate degree programs taught at 23 campuses across the United States. The St. Cloud campus has a total enrollment of 4,124.

Associate of Science in Medical Laboratory Technology

The school’s NAACLS-accredited associate degree program exposes students to clinical chemistry, transfusion medicine, hematology, microbiology, and a well-rounded knowledge of medical laboratories. Based on the Lake Elmo campus, the curriculum has a blend of hands-on and virtual practicums designed to help you gain job-ready skills for a fulfilling career.

Associate of Science in Medical Laboratory Technology Overview

  • Accreditation: National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS)
  • Tuition (and Fees): $269/credit (in state and out of state)
  • Required Credits: 91 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Hybrid
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 36%

Associate of Science in Medical Laboratory Technology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement
  • Standardized Tests: Not required; ACT or SAT recommended
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school or GED equivalent
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Rasmussen University

  1. Fill out your basic information and your desired program to submit a free online application.
  2. An admissions advisor will walk you through the remainder of the program.
  3. Take an entrance placement exam, if necessary.
  4. Sign enrollment documents and submit transcripts.
  5. Enroll and complete an online orientation course.

10

Southern Maine Community College

South Portland, ME

With over 40 degree programs, Southern Maine Community College is known as the biggest, oldest, and most diverse community college in Maine. The tuition is also very affordable despite the high-quality education it offers. It was established in 1946, and it has a total enrollment of 6,000 undergraduate students.

Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology

This program teaches students the use of applied biology and technology to find solutions to problems and the fundamentals of biology and chemistry. It provides research and career opportunities in areas such as pharmaceuticals, immunology, and biomedical technologies. The courses include microbiology, cell biology, biotechnology with lab, statistics, and others.

Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition: $96/credit hour (in state); $192/credit hour (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 64 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Hybrid
  • NCES School Graduation Rate: 22%

Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum requirement; 2.0 recommended
  • Standardized Tests: ACT, SAT, or Accuplacer
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school or GED equivalent
  • Other Requirements: High school transcript, college transcript if applicable, prerequisite courses may be required, proof of COVID-19, tetanus, measles, mumps, and rubella vaccinations

Applying to Southern Maine Community College

  1. Create an account on the school website.
  2. Complete and submit your application online.
  3. Submit your high school transcript, college transcript, or GED, standardized test scores, vaccination records, and any other required documents via secure file transfer.
  4. Complete any required prerequisite courses for your program.
  5. Attend an orientation event, then register for classes.

What Is a Biotechnology Associate Degree?

A biotechnology associate degree is awarded at the end of a two-year undergraduate program that teaches the basic principles of biotechnology, like how to manipulate organisms and components of biological systems to create new biotechnological products. Biotech associate degree graduates can then pursue a baccalaureate degree in life sciences or transfer to satisfying careers in science and healthcare fields.

If you intend to become a biotechnologist or switch to a related science or healthcare field, then this degree is a perfect start. The degree also qualifies you for entry-level positions as a biomedical engineer, biochemist, agricultural engineer, microbiologist, epidemiologist, food scientist and technologist, and more.

How Important Is an Associate Degree in Biotechnology?

It is very important to have an Associate Degree in Biotechnology because apart from learning the necessary skills for a career in this field, you’ll also have all it takes to make advancements in other related fields that you are interested in, like pursuing a four-year degree in biochemistry. With the emergence of COVID-19 and other epidemics, the need for biological research and processes has increased.

What Types of Associate Degrees Can You Get in Biotechnology?

The common types of Associate Degree in Biotechnology are an Associate in Science (AS) and Associate of Applied Science (AAS). You can find similar courses in each degree program, such as biomedical engineering, biochemistry, epidemiology, microbiology, medical laboratory technology, and clinical technology.

Is It Better to Get an Associate in Science or an Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology?

It is better to get an Associate in Science in Biotechnology if you want to continue your education and pursue a bachelor’s degree. The difference between an Associate in Science in Biotechnology and an Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology is that the first is a broader degree program that’s more theory-based.

On the other hand, an Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology is a slightly more specialized and practical degree, with more hands-on experience and possibly an internship opportunity, which is better for those who want to enter the job market as soon as they graduate from school.

What Is the Difference Between a Biotechnology Associate Degree and a Biotechnology Certificate?

The differences between a biotechnology associate degree and a sub-baccalaureate certificate in biotechnology include the scope and depth of theoretical and technical knowledge you’ll be exposed to, the number of skills you’ll learn, your employability, the reputation of your credentials at the end of the program, and the qualification you get after completing the program.

A biotechnology associate degree is better than a certificate because, during your two-year program, you will complete several courses that provide practical, hands-on experience and skills in the field. A certificate in biotechnology offers a more limited education, making associate degree holders more employable than certificate holders. Also, an associate degree qualifies you for a bachelor’s degree program in biotechnology, but a certificate does not.

How Much Does It Cost to Get an Associate Degree in Biotechnology?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, an Associate Degree in Biotechnology costs $3,621 . However, the total cost of earning this degree, including room and board, plus additional fees, averages $11,391. In general, public institutions cost less to attend, whereas private institutions are more expensive.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Biotechnology Associate Degree?

It takes 18 to 24 months to get an Associate Degree in Biotechnology. There are general education courses and electives you need to complete to meet the minimum of 60 credits. One unit of credit represents one hour of lecture or recitation, along with three hours of laboratory work or two hours of preparation per week.

Some of your practicum hours required may be waived if you already have some experience in the field, and you might also be able to complete the degree online with more flexibility. Some schools, however, require 40 hours of practicum time for the practical requirement to be satisfied.

How Hard Is It to Get an Associate Degree in Biotechnology?

It is not very hard to get an Associate Degree in Biotechnology. You need to meet the basic requirements to be awarded the degree, which is primarily to complete the credit hours and do the necessary coursework. The coursework is more introductory than it would be in a higher-level degree program, like a bachelor’s degree, and you’ll have your professors’ support.

Why Should You Get a Biotechnology Associate Degree?

You should get a biotechnology associate degree if you want to land an entry-level job in this field or further your education in medicine, microbiology, pharmacy, or biomedical engineering via bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. Careers in biotechnology can offer high salaries, and the field is fast-growing and fascinating.

In a biotechnology associate degree program, you will develop analytical skills and communication skills to relate findings from your research and experiments. This degree will qualify you for entry-level positions as a biomedical engineer, biochemist, epidemiologist, biophysicist, microbiologist, medical laboratory technician, and clinical technician.

What Courses Do You Need to Take in an Associate Degree Program in Biotechnology?

The Associate Degree in Biotechnology courses are centered around introducing biotechnology, biochemistry, virology, genetics, cell biology, genome technology and analysis, and molecular and cellular neurobiology. Some of the courses you’ll probably take include the five listed below.

Introduction to Biotechnology

This course exposes students to the fundamentals of biotechnology and the laboratory techniques required in the field. It will teach students techniques such as protein analysis, immunoassays, and recombinant DNA analysis. Students will learn the history of DNA research and the tools of genetic engineering, along with the methods and applications of biotechnology.

Biochemistry

Students will learn the other fundamental concepts of biotechnology, such as the functions and structure of biomolecules, signal transduction chemistry, genetic information transfer, and thermodynamics. This knowledge will let them carry out future research with a clear understanding of the concepts.

Virology

This course will help students build a comprehensive experience and knowledge base about viruses. It includes the molecular and cellular components of viral infections. Students will also learn about emerging viral topics and new viruses.

Genetics

Students will learn the fundamentals of modern genetics through an investigation into the nature of growth and inheritance in microorganisms, animals, and plants. The course teaches the connections between evolution and genetics and introduces students to the modern genetic engineering techniques in biotechnology.

Cell Biology

Students will be taught the current advances in the cell biology of animals, plants, and some microorganisms. This course builds upon knowledge from the introductory courses and also involves the design and execution of experiments with model organisms using techniques such as enzyme assays and microscopy.

Continuing Education Paths for Biotechnology Associate Degree Graduates

The best path to take with a biotechnology associate degree is to continue your education in the field by pursuing an undergraduate biotechnology program and then a master’s degree program. Biotechnology graduates may consider bachelor’s and graduate programs in biomedical engineering , epidemiology, biophysics, microbiology, and other related areas in the biotechnology market.

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What to Look For in the Best Biotechnology Associate Degree Programs

The things to look for in the best biotechnology associate degree programs are a rich curriculum, affordability, full accreditation, and high employment outcomes. The best associate degree programs are offered by schools with solid reputations that usually provide career services for students. We’ll consider some of these qualities in more detail below.

Curricular Content

A strong and comprehensive core curriculum is one of the things you need to consider before choosing an Associate Degree in Biotechnology. The core classes will expose you to the fundamental aspects of biotechnology and also help you develop versatile skills needed to further your career in the healthcare field.

Affordability

Before you apply for admission for an Associate Degree in Biotechnology, ensure that the program is something you can afford. Be sure to include research into financial aid and student loans, both of which are usually offered by the best schools.

Accreditation

Earning an unaccredited Associate Degree in Biotechnology is something to avoid. Ensure that the program and school are fully accredited to satisfy professional certification requirements and impress prospective employers. Search for your school and program using resources such as the Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs.

Career Services

The best colleges offer career coaches that provide job postings and salary and employment information to help students find their future academic and career paths. Students can have appointments with advisors or sign-up for professional development activities with the school’s center for career development.

Reputation

You need to look for a school with a good reputation since a prospective employer will attribute more credibility to your associate degree if it comes from a school with a reputable ranking. The US News & World Report for “Best Undergraduate Teaching” rankings , for example, relies on peer nominations of schools with a very strong commitment to educating undergraduate students.

What Is the Most Affordable Biotechnology Associate Degree?

The most affordable Associate Degree in Biotechnology is the Associate of Applied Science in Biotechnology, offered by Austin Community College in Texas. The total tuition cost is approximately $3,100 for in-district students.

Salary and Job Outlook for Biotechnology Associate Degree Graduates

Female scientist in white lab coat using a microscope and writing notes.
You can land a high-paying entry-level job with an Associate Degree in Biotechnology.

Biotechnology associate degrees create a pathway to a variety of entry-level career positions in the medical technology and health industry. Biotechnology associate degree jobs include entry-level work in sectors like biophysics, epidemiology, biochemistry, and medical sciences.

How Hard Is It to Get a Job With a Biotechnology Associate Degree?

It is not very hard to get a job with a biotechnology associate degree. With the practical courses offered, students are equipped with the relevant skills and knowledge needed in health technology fields like biotechnology. Some schools even offer career advisory services, industry partnerships, and internship opportunities for students and graduates.

What’s the Average Biotechnology Associate Degree Salary?

The average annual salary for someone with an Associate Degree in Biotechnology is $58,000 per year , according to PayScale. However, the salary range differs depending on factors such as your professional experience and job title.

What Types of Jobs Can You Get With a Biotechnology Associate Degree?

The jobs you can get with a biotechnology associate degree are in the medical field and healthcare industry, especially entry-level laboratory and research roles. Listed below are some of the positions that you can get with an Associate Degree in Biotechnology.

Biotechnology Degree Jobs

  • Research Scientist
  • Biochemist
  • Agricultural Engineer
  • Biomedical Engineer
  • Epidemiologist

Potential Careers With a Biotechnology Degree

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How Much Money Can You Make With an Associate Degree in Biotechnology?

You can make between $65,505-$85,248 per year with an Associate Degree in Biotechnology. With additional training in a lab setting, you will qualify for entry-level jobs in fields such as microbiology, epidemiology, medical technology, biotechnology, and biomedical engineering, plus other related areas.

Here are some of the best-paying job positions you can get with a biotechnology associate degree, although some companies offering these positions may require you to have a bachelor’s degree before applying.

Highest-Paying Biotechnology Associate Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

Biotechnology Associate Degree Jobs Average Salary
Research Scientist $85,438
Biophysicist or Biochemist $75,000
Agricultural Engineer $69,198
Biomedical Engineer $68,976
Epidemiologist $67,702

Best Jobs for Biotechnology Associate Degree Grads

The best jobs for biotechnology associate degree grads include research scientist, biophysicist or biochemist, agricultural engineer, biomedical engineer, and epidemiologist. These roles are entry-level positions that are a great place to begin your biotechnology career.

1

Research Scientist

Average Salary: $85,438

A research scientist is a scientist who gathers knowledge and then interprets and understands their research. Most research scientists work in applied scientific fields, such as biochemical engineering, and they are responsible for the development and design of scientific experiments.

2

Biophysicist or Biochemist

Average Salary: $75,000

Biophysicists and biochemists use advanced technologies, such as fluorescent microscopes and lasers, to conduct scientific analyses and experiments. These scientists plan and conduct complex projects in applied and basic research. They are also responsible for managing laboratory teams and ensuring quality within their work.

3

Agricultural Engineer

Average Salary: $69,198

Agricultural engineers execute projects related to agricultural science and technology. They are usually in the farming industry, non-profit organizations, or environmental or government agencies. They create specifications, designs, drawings, and prototypes for agricultural engineering technology and also perform calculations to check that the products will function.

4

Bioengineer and Medical Engineer

Average Salary: $68,976

These engineers are responsible for installing, maintaining, and providing technical support for all biomedical equipment. Bioengineers and biomedical engineers design and create devices, computer systems, and equipment through the combination of engineering principles and biomedical sciences . They create new and improved ways of treating diseases and injuries.

5

Epidemiologist

Average Salary: $67,702

Epidemiologists are specific research scientists who study the relationship between the cultures and vectors in which illnesses spread, and the spread of communicable diseases. Epidemiologists collect data to cover several varieties of cultural factors and help to identify new ways to stop or impede the spread of such diseases.

Best Jobs According to Your Major

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Is an Associate Degree in Biotechnology Worth It?

Yes, an Associate Degree in Biotechnology is worth it if you are looking to get a degree that will enable you to enter the field of biological technology soon. While some biological fields require a great deal of education, a biotechnology associate degree takes just 18 to 24 months to complete and is relatively affordable.

The coursework in the degree program teaches students advanced skills necessary to succeed in their health or biological technology careers, such as biophysics, epidemiology, biochemistry, medical science, and medical laboratory technology. It also allows them to progress to a bachelor’s degree program if this is what they desire.

Additional Reading About Biotechnology

If you want to pursue a career in biotechnology, then check out our list of the best biotechnology bachelor's degrees. Here you'll find the best ...

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Biotechnology Associate Degree FAQ

Is biotechnology a better profession than microbiology?

Biotechnology and microbiology are both relatively great professions. While microbiology is a specific subject and a sub-section of biology, biotechnology is a broader subject and covers microbiology also. Biotechnology is a more interesting career path to take as it gives you lots of options to advance your career.

Does biotechnology require coding?

Coding and computer programming are not a requirement for every biotechnologist. However, it is recommended for biotechnologists and bioinformaticians who develop their own software to use popular programming languages like R or Python. Coding knowledge will be needed when calculating statistics, and R is great for most functions.

What does a biotechnologist do?

Biotechnologists execute a series of studies on the physical and genetic characteristics of organisms and cells. They also create new products and improve biological processes in the medicine and agriculture fields.

What skills do you need to become a biotechnologist?

To become a biotechnologist, you need to possess excellent problem-solving and analytical skills. You also need to develop good communication skills, which will enable you to share and explain your findings to management teams, colleagues, and clients. It may take lots of time to develop these essential skills, but it will be worth it.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

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Hollins Esegba

About the author: Hollins is an expert content writer, transcriptionist, and proofreader. With internship experience as a finance data analyst at Chevron, he has worked as a proofreader and editor in journalism. He also has a background in technology publishing on WordPress. Hollins an Upper Credit in Petroleum Marketing Technology from the Petroleum Training Institute.

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