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Frequently Asked Questions


What is biotechnology?
What types of jobs are available in biotechnology?
On average, what do degreed professionals within this industry earn?
What other educational pathways can I pursue with this certificate?
How long does it take to complete the SWC Biotechnology Certification?
How will a BETSI Model internship help me?
Can I apply for a BETSI Model internship?
Will I get paid during the internship?



What is biotechnology?
Biotechnology is a rapidly expanding field of science with enormous potential for both improving life and providing a growing source of well paying technical jobs. Biotechnology is the science of using and modifying biological material in order to develop products and organisms for specific use.



What types of jobs are available in biotechnology?
There are many career options available in biotechnology. Most of these require a certificate or associate in science degree and are career options at an entry level technician position in the following areas, which include but are not limited to the biotechnology industry: food, oil, genomics, pharmaceutical industry, forensic science, agriculture, anthropology, NASA projects and basic research in an academic or non-profit institution.



On average, what do degreed professionals within this industry earn?
(Source: California Employment Development Department)

  • Biotechnician $40,706
  • Lab Technologist $64,813
  • Microbiologist (Ph.D.) $75,733
  • Biochemists (Ph.D.)$80,267
  • Biomedical Engineer (Ph.D.) $82,909
  • Chemical Engineer (Ph.D.) $91,832


What other educational pathways can I pursue with this certificate?
Some examples of other educational pathways you can pursue include, but are not limited: to law, business, environment, computer science, forensics and medicine.



How long does it take to complete the SWC Biotechnology Certification?
Typically certification can be accomplished in just three semesters. A Certificate of Achievement is awarded after the successful completion of 31 units and a passing a required qualifying examination. View the SWC Biotechnology Program Technical Certificate course sequence.



How will a BETSI Model internship help me?
An internship offers you the opportunity to explore a potential career. Participating in an internship you will not only acquire practical hands-on experience, you will also learn new skills, make valuable contacts and work with experts in the field. The skills you gain and the contacts you make will offer you resources that can significantly advance your search for a rewarding career or education. Often internships may lead to employment opportunities.



Can I apply for a BETSI Model internship?
Any SWC Biotechnology Program student that is currently enrolled in Biology 206 (DNA Science II) and Biology 230 (Intro. to Biological Research II) and has completed of all other course requirements for certification is eligible and can apply for an internship.



Will I get paid during the internship?
Yes. The internships available through the SWC Biotechnology Program are paid internships and are usually offered over a ten-week period during the summer.