Career Option


Biotechnology is the fastest growing industry in California. The City College Biotechnology program prepares biological technicians to help develop drugs and other medical, manufacturing and agricultural products to improve human health and the quality of life. Biotechnology students work with live cells to produce growth hormones, human insulin, anti-cancer agents, vaccines and diagnostics for AIDS, cancer and hepatitis. They also bioengineer proteins used in foods and work with waste management, and water treatment and detoxification.

Why City College:

  • City College biotechnology instructors work at local biotech firms as lab managers and technicians.
  • Most City College biotechnology graduates get jobs in their field.
  • Biotech 206- Instrumentation graduates qualify for entry level jobs as biotechnicians and often are hired by their instructors directly into industry
  • Students learn exactly what is expected of new employees at biotech firms and what they need to know to meet industry standards in a rapidly changing field
  • Enrollment fees are lowest of any college, university or technical school in California

Industry Contact:
Biotechnology Industry Organization

Excellent Opportunities for Men and Women:

San Diego is one of the top three biotechnology centers in the country and offers excellent job opportunities for qualified technicians of both sexes.

Departmental Tips:

Students expecting to take Biotech 206- Instrumentation should contact Professor Singer to discuss course prerequisites.
Biotech 206- Instrumentation includes tours of biotech companies, research in biomedical labs and the preparation of lab reports. The class requires 15-20 extra hours outside of class to complete course assignments.
Biotech 206- Instrumentation is only offered spring semester.
Students who wants to take Biotech 109 - Preparation for Biotechnology should contact Professor Roya Lahijani to sign up for her class. This course has No Prerequisite. Biotech 109 - Preparation for Biotechnology is the first of a 2-course sequence to make students employable in the biotech sector.
Biotech 109 is offered Fall semester


An interest in science
Can analyze data & do precision work
Can document & communicate test results accurately
Can make visual comparisons
Can follow research procedures & standards
Good manual dexterity
Attention to detail

Salary Range:

Hourly Monthly
Entry Level $6.35-$16.24 $1,017-$2,599
Exp. $7.22-$22.20 $1,156-$3,553
Top $9.20-$26.80 $1,473-$4,289

Related Occupations:

Cell culture technician
Biochemical Engineer
Medical laboratory assistant

Biotechnicians help biotechnical researchers and biologists isolate, analyze and identify the chemicals found in plants, animals, and humans. They use live organisms, to produce drugs, fertilizers and new chemicals for medicine, food processing, and energy and chemical production. They may help find a cure for cancer, the common cold or HIV. Biotechnicians do routine scientific work and conduct supervised tests on biochemical products. Cell culture technicians do specialized laboratory work for biotech companies.


Employers prefer two years of specialized training or experience at a community college or four-year institution.

Skills - Knowledge of:

Scientific principles
Research techniques
How to operate laboratory, testing, & field equipment
Computers, computer software
How to interpret computer printouts

Employment Outlook:

Start-up biotech companies in San Diego and the San Francisco Bay area offer excellent job prospects for qualified biotechnicians. Some 12,060 science technicians (including biological, agricultural, chemical and food technologists) are expected to be employed in California over the next 10 years.

Where the Jobs Are:

Biotechnology firms
Research laboratories
Biochemical manufacturers
Bioengineering companies
Agricultural product manufacturers

Training Available:

San Diego City College:
Training Available
San Diego City College
Professor: Roya Lahijani
Telephone: (619) 388-3289