Biomedical and Laboratory Practice - How to Become a Biomedical Scientist

Biomedical and Laboratory Practice

Jump to:

Biomedical & Laboratory Practice Job Description


Biomedical and Laboratory Practice is an umbrella term referring to public health professionals in many areas of study.  They are required to use lab techniques in order to diagnose and treat diseases. Lab techniques are also used to examine specific conditions and variables that affect the status of an individual's, community's, or nation's health.

Public health professions in this category include: 

  • Biochemists

  • Molecular biologists

  • Biophysicists

  • Cell biologists

  • Cytopathologists

  • Computational biologists

  • Bioinformaticists

  • Developmental biologists

  • Epidemiologists

  • Geneticists

  • Haematologists

  • Blood Transfusionists

  • Histopathologists

  • Immunologists

  • Microbiologists

  • Neuroscientists

  • Oncologists

  • Pathologists

  • Pharmacologists

  • Virologists  

Like any other public health professional, the objective is to prevent disease and promote healthier lifestyles. Depending on individual preference for specific fields, one can become a biomedical scientist in practically any aspect of health care or laboratory research.




In this field, public health professionals are tasked with protecting the public from harmful diseases or addictive substances. Many spend their time researching, developing, and implementing campaigns to spread awareness and promote healthier lifestyles.

Biomedical scientists are also responsible for studying bacterium and how they affect the human body, using lab techniques for diagnosing and treating illnesses, preventing and controlling viruses and diseases, and monitor microorganisms.




Public health is a highly diverse field and practically any skill can be said to be beneficial. However, most notably, after mastery of a chosen specialization, is the ability to coordinate and work as part of a team or community of professionals.

Additionally, highly developed communication skills will benefit anyone pursuing biomedical and laboratory science looking to develop public campaigns, along with intuitive problem-solving and time management skills. Developing these skills earlier can lead to overall better performance well before entering the field as well.


Working Conditions


These public health professionals work primarily in laboratories, in both the public and private sectors, in a collaborative effort to find solutions to some of the largest problems facing human health. Biomedical scientists may also work with patients from time to time, but much less so than other medical professionals as they are often restricted from congregating with the public whatsoever.

Hours can be long with this position, depending on the project or task at hand. Some overnight shifts are possible, but rarely the norm.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, biomedical scientists were employed by the following industries: 

Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences


Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state 21%
General medical and surgical hospitals; private 10%
Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing 8%
Offices of physicians 4%


How to Become an Allergist / Immunologist:


1. Earn a Bachelor's Degree (4 Years)


Due to the varied nature of public health, most science-intensive undergraduate programs will be sufficient for entering the field. Aspiring students should choose an area of the sciences that they are most interested in and tailor their education from a public health perspective.


The preparation timeline below outlines the suggested courses:


Grade Level Example Courses

Freshman Year


  • General Chemistry I & Lab
  • General Chemistry II & Lab
  • Molecular Biology I & Lab
  • College Algebra & Statistics
  • Calculus I
  • English I
  • English II
  • Humanities Requirement
  • Elective

Sophomore Year

  • Clinical Lab Principles
  • Organic Chemistry I
  • Organic Chemistry II
  • Physics I
  • Physics II
  • Statistical Methods
  • Diseases
  • Humanities Requirement
  • Elective

Junior Year


  • Clinical Immunology
  • Transfuse & Transplant Medicine
  • Intro to Heme/Coag/Urinanalysis
  • Molecular Lab Diagnostics
  • Clinical Chemistry Analysis
  • Biochemistry I
  • Microbiology I
  • Elective

Senior Year

  • Medical Microbiology
  • Clinical Chemistry
  • Eukaryotic Pathogens
  • Advanced Heme/Coag/Urinanalysis
  • Humanities Requirement
  • Remaining Electives


2. Take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) or Graduate Requisite Exam (GRE) 


To be admitted into medical school, candidates must first take the MCAT, or Medical College Admission Test, a 7.5 hour, standardized, multiple choice exam used to assess the applicant's knowledge of science, reasoning, communication, and writing skills.


The MCAT is divided into four sections:



 Section Breakdown

Biological & Biochemical Foundations of Living Systems

  • 59 multiple-choice questions
  • 95 minutes
  • Tests biology, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and biochemistry

Chemical & Physical Foundations of Biological Systems

  • 59 multiple-choice questions
  • 95 minutes
  • Tests biochemistry, biology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, and physics

Psychological, Social, & Biological Foundations of Behavior

  • 59 multiple-choice questions
  • 95 minutes
  • Tests introductory psychology, sociology, and biology

Critical Analysis & Reasoning Skills

  • 53 multiple-choice questions
  • 90 minutes
  • Tests reading comprehension, humanities, and social sciences


You can find study materials, MCAT registration, and your test scores on the AAMC website here.


3. Gain Relevant Experience


 Since biomedical and laboratory practice encompasses so many individual jobs, its important to find relevant experience in the field you're wanting to become a professional in. If you cannot get experience working directly in your field, look for opportunities in your area doing internships, working in lower positions in a hospital or clinic, or any other avenue of gaining experience. If you know someone in the field, even better. 


4. Earn a Master's Degree (2 Years)


A master’s degree in public health is required. One of the following five courses of the five core public health areas must be taken while completing a graduate degree:

  • Behavioral sciences
  • Biostatistics
  • Environmental health
  • Epidemiology
  • Health Services Administration

Courses in addition to these are required to complete a master’s degree in public health. Recognized schools in this field can be found in the website of the Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health. For a complete list of accredited schools and programs, visit the website of Council on Education for Public Health.


 5. Maintain Certification Through Continuing Education


Depending on your area of expertise, there are certifications that must be maintained through continuing education that's designed to keep you on the forefront of current medical knowledge and practices. Certifications have different CE requirements that vary wildly.


Salary Outlook