A pair of recently released reports offered some familiar and surprising insights on where biotech jobs are most likely to pop up nationwide.
The San Francisco Bay Area had a sizeable share of biopharma jobs posted last year on BioSpace.com, reflecting the region’s perennial status as a top-tier cluster, BioSpace.com reported in its 2013 Biotech Bay Annual Report: Hiring & Salary Trends in the Life Sciences, released March 4. The Bay Area accounted for 19.4% of the 11,790 jobs posted on the biotech job website in 2013, or 2,287 jobs.
But the region that traditionally finishes first in regional rankings, most recently last Monday by GEN, was edged out in job postings last year by the 19.5% share (2,299 jobs) of a four-state combination that BioSpace calls “Pharm Country,” consisting of Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.
To be fair, most rankings are based on jobs and other factors; GEN combined employment with NIH and venture capital funding, availability of lab space, and patents awarded since 1976. But number of jobs is a significant factor for regional clusters, and the Pharm Country states racked up the biggest year-to-year increase in postings—29.5%, compared with an unspecified decrease for the Bay Area, according to BioSpace’s nationally focused 2013 Annual Report: Hiring & Salary Trends in the Life Sciences,” released in January.
The Bay Area is still number-one, however, in responses to job postings, with an average of 40 per job, up 5% from 2012. Most-posted positions by employers were lab assistant (156), research associate (132), associate scientist (116), research assistant/ coordinator (113), chemical engineer (104), and biologist (101).
The job categories are in synch with the jobs being sought by prospective employees. Research Associates of all levels topped the list of in-demand positions, accounting for 13.9% of postings (1,639) in 2013. Next highest were Scientist I–III positions at 11.2%, followed by engineering (7%) and QA/QC Associate/Scientist (6.9%).
The same four job categories were also in greatest demand by biopharma employers nationwide, albeit in a different order: Scientist I–III roles were most in demand, followed by Research Associate, QA/QC Associate/ Scientist, and engineering.
“We’ve seen an increase in both the number of professionals utilizing the site as well as an increase in the number of job opportunities posted,” Emily Chereck, product manager, BioSpace, told GEN. “This is positive news for professionals and life sciences employers alike as it points to growing opportunities as well as more qualified life sciences employees searching for careers within the industry.”