The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Apply principles and methods of bioinformatics to assist scientists in areas such as pharmaceuticals, medical technology, biotechnology, computational biology, proteomics, computer information science, biology and medical informatics. Apply bioinformatics tools to visualize, analyze, manipulate or interpret molecular data. May build and maintain databases for processing and analyzing genomic or other biological information.
Sample of reported job titles:
Bioinformatics Analyst, Bioinformatics Specialist, Bioinformatics Technician, Biotechnician, Museum Informatics Specialist, Research Scientist, Scientific Informatics Analyst
Analyze or manipulate bioinformatics data using software packages, statistical applications, or data mining techniques.
Extend existing software programs, web-based interactive tools, or database queries as sequence management and analysis needs evolve.
Maintain awareness of new and emerging computational methods and technologies.
Conduct quality analyses of data inputs and resulting analyses or predictions.
Enter or retrieve information from structural databases, protein sequence motif databases, mutation databases, genomic databases or gene expression databases.
Develop or maintain applications that process biologically based data into searchable databases for purposes of analysis, calculation, or presentation.
Confer with researchers, clinicians, or information technology staff to determine data needs and programming requirements and to provide assistance with database-related research activities.
Participate in the preparation of reports or scientific publications.
Write computer programs or scripts to be used in querying databases.
Document all database changes, modifications, or problems.
Create data management or error-checking procedures and user manuals.
Develop or apply data mining and machine learning algorithms.
Design or implement web-based tools for querying large-scale biological databases.
Monitor database performance and perform any necessary maintenance, upgrades, or repairs.
Confer with database users about project timelines and changes.
Perform routine system administrative functions, such as troubleshooting, back-ups, or upgrades.
Package bioinformatics data for submission to public repositories.
Train bioinformatics staff or researchers in the use of databases.
Test new or updated software or tools and provide feedback to developers.
Hot Technologies are requirements frequently included in employer job postings.
Working with Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Judging the Qualities of Objects, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Developing Objectives and Strategies — Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Detailed Work Activities
Analyze operational or research data.
Develop computer or online applications.
Develop data analysis or data management procedures.
Maintain current knowledge related to work activities.
Enter information into databases or software programs.
Search files, databases or reference materials to obtain needed information.
Confer with coworkers to coordinate work activities.
Prepare research or technical reports.
Maintain operational records.
Format digital documents, data, or images.
Electronic Mail — 87% responded “Every day.”
Spend Time Sitting — 81% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
Work With Work Group or Team — 60% responded “Extremely important.”
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 53% responded “Extremely important.”
Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 81% responded “Every day.”
Face-to-Face Discussions — 43% responded “Every day.”
Freedom to Make Decisions — 40% responded “A lot of freedom.”
Structured versus Unstructured Work — 38% responded “Some freedom.”
Contact With Others — 48% responded “Constant contact with others.”
Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 31% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
Duration of Typical Work Week — 30% responded “40 hours.”
Time Pressure — 57% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
Level of Competition — 26% responded “Highly competitive.”
Physical Proximity — 70% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 28% responded “Very important.”
- Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
- Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor’s degree, but some do not.
- Related Experience
- A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
- Job Training
- Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
- Job Zone Examples
- Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.
- SVP Range
- 2-4 years of preparation (7.0 to < 8.0)
Training & Credentials
- State training
- Local training
- Have a career path or location in mind? Visit Apprenticeship.gov
to find apprenticeship opportunities near you.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
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.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Mathematics — Using mathematics to solve problems.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Systems Analysis — Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Programming — Writing computer programs for various purposes.
Science — Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Systems Evaluation — Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
Time Management — Managing one’s own time and the time of others.
Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Biology — Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
How much education does a new hire need to perform a job in this occupation? Respondents said:
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Mathematical Reasoning — The ability to choose the right mathematical methods or formulas to solve a problem.
Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
Number Facility — The ability to add, subtract, multiply, or divide quickly and correctly.
Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wage data for Data Scientists and Mathematical Science Occupations, All Other.
Employment data for Data Scientists and Mathematical Science Occupations, All Other.
Industry data for Data Scientists and Mathematical Science Occupations, All Other.
- Median wages (2020)
- $47.23 hourly, $98,230 annual
- State wages
- Local wages
- Employment (2020)
- 63,200 employees
- Projected growth (2020-2030)
Much faster than average (15% or higher)
- Projected job openings (2020-2030)
- State trends
- Top industries (2020)
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data
and 2020-2030 employment projections
“Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
- State job openings
- Local job openings
Sources of Additional Information
Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries.
Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.