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Additional information

body or mind



Medical Field

Boss or Team



Not a good communicator

Work With


Math & Science

Maths & Science

Study Length

Prepared to Study for Years




Biochemistry is a purely science-based career that studies the biochemistry of living organisms, their molecular structure and how they interact with other processes.

This career can span many disciplines and industries including agriculture, fuel, veterinary science, food as well as the pharmaceutical and medical sectors.

In the case of medical biochemists, they work as part of teams responsible for discovering how medications react to our bodies and they contribute to the development of things like antibiotics and vaccines.

Biochemists can also work in the pathology sector where they analyse samples of patient specimens (like blood or mucous). By using very complex analytical studies and sophisticated equipment they can detect changes and diseases or pathogens in a patient’s body. Biochemistry is related to many other fields and biochemists can also choose to work in the fields of genetics, zoology, botany, physiology, physics, microbiology and chemistry. 

If you’re really passionate about science and physics and have an inquisitive mind, a biochemistry career can work great for you.


How to be a Biochemist in South Africa


Get the Required Qualifications

Requirements to be a biochemist vary depending on the specific career path you wish to take; however, you will typically need the following qualifications to become a biochemist in South Africa:

  1. National Senior Certificate or NC(v) Certificate meeting degree requirements for a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Biochemistry. 
  2. Bachelor’s Degree (Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry)
  3. Postgraduate Degree (Post-graduate study is definitely recommended including Honours, Masters and Doctorate).

Demonstrate Competence in the Required Subjects

Different educational institutions may have different admission requirements; however, you will typically be required to demonstrate competency in the following subjects:

Accumulate Years of Relevant Study and Experience

Biochemists in South Africa can study anywhere between four to twelve years.

Find Relevant Employment Opportunities

Depending on the specialist field you’ve decided on, biochemists typically work in the following places:

  • Hospitals or clinics
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Pathology laboratories 
  • Organisations such as SABS, CSIR, SA Medical Research Council etc
  • Academic careers at universities and universities of technology In the faculties of medicine, science and agriculture)

Find More Information from Relevant Regulatory Bodies

To find more information about biochemists in South Africa, contact the The South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions.

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