Bioinformatics Scientist

Career Profile:

Bioinformatics Scientist

A bioinformatics scientist applies two areas of study – research and technology – to store, organize and analyze highly complex data for use within the field of medicine and science.

As a bioinformatics scientist (also known as computational scientist or systems biologist), you will analyze large amounts of data on the genome (an organism’s complete set of genetic material), gene expression, or similar types of biologic data, and input data into computer databases. You will label this data and examine it for patterns and commonalities. You will develop and use algorithms to examine the data and find significant associations. You may work in collaboration with a laboratory scientist to test your findings or have your own laboratory. Bioinformatics scientists work closely with bioinformatics specialists to consult with technology-related companies, academic programs, and medical professionals including scientists, doctors, and pharmacists.

Where You Work

As a bioinformatics scientist, you may work in a laboratory, an industrial site or at a university setting.

How You Help

While you work primarily with other scientists or health care professionals in your day to day career, your work is shared with others in the medical profession and contributes greatly to the overall body of knowledge within medicine and science.  Consequently, your research and work contributes significantly to the lives of the general public.

Helpful High School Courses

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Upper Level Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Health

Skills to Build

  • Ability to think critically, analyze details and dissect information
  • Strong background in science, mathematics and technology
  • A team player with strong communication skills
  • Ability to focus and concentrate for long periods of time


  • Able to problem solve and connect information
  • Can transport skills to wide range of biologic or medical issues
  • Making a difference in the lives and wellness of others
  • Making significant discoveries in health and medicine that are long lasting


  • Requires patience and diligence due to the amount of data and detail
  • Strong competition for entry level positions
  • Career is constantly changing due to changes in technology as well as government policies

Education You Need

A Ph.D. is required for bioinformatics scientist with their own research programs.

A Day in the Life

  • 7:00
    Arrive at the lab and begin interpreting or learning algorithms
  • 9:00
    Develop program to convert file format for input into data analysis program
  • 11:00
    Converting files from one format to another format; Read research article while program running
  • 1:00
    Input data into analysis program
  • 1:30
    Work on manuscript from a prior data analysis
  • 2:00
    Consult with other bioinformatic scientists or other medical professional

Average Annual Salary Range

  • $60,000-$93,000*

Learn More

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* Actual salary dependent on education, experience, location, and other variables