Biotechnology engineer , why and how to become one ?

The biotechnology engineer supervises experiments and productions often linked to essential themes for humans and society: health, the environment or food.

 Main activities

The biotechnology engineer uses microorganisms industrially to carry out organic transformations. It thus creates new materials, new energies or new bacteria, which will be used in the chemical, pharmaceutical or even food industries.

How does it work?

The biotechnology engineer carries out research to enrich knowledge in the field of biotechnology. He manipulates sophisticated measuring devices and interprets the results obtained. He can disseminate his results by publishing them in specialized magazines or professional publications. 

In a research and development department, he develops the processes that will make it possible to manufacture new products: drugs, preservatives for food, etc. He then participates in setting up the product’s production chain: organization of the chain, definition of the schedule, checks and tests of the finished product.

Where does he work?

Pharmaceutical laboratories and the food industry represent a large part of the biotechnology market and recruit engineers. In addition, a growing number of young innovative companies specializing in biotechnologies, for the health, environment, food and cosmetics sectors, are also looking for these professionals. 

Finally, note: biotechnology engineers are more and more sought after in the chemical industries sector, in particular in order to develop alternative processes to petrochemicals and more respectful of the environment (plant chemistry). In Île-de-France, there are many job opportunities for biotechnology engineers. The region is home to 42% of companies in the pharmaceutical industry . 

It also has a rich innovation ecosystem for the development of biotechnologies. These include the Genopole in Evry, or the Biotech Valley cluster project developed as part of Grand Paris. 

Skills to be a Biotechnology Engineer

Required qualities


Whatever field he depends on, the biotechnology engineer sometimes has unpleasant surprises concerning the fruit of his work. Living organisms can react unexpectedly.


It takes about fifteen years between the start of research and the marketing of the resulting product.


The biotechnology teams are multidisciplinary, and it is important that everyone takes into account the work carried out by the other collaborators to move forward.


  1. Define the feasibility and profitability of a project  
  2. Develop technical proposals  
  3. Define the methods, the means of studies and design and their implementation  
  4. Identify the constraints of a project  
  5. Determine areas of technological development  
  6. Develop technical and financial solutions  
  7. Carry out tests and trials, analyze the results and determine the product and process improvements  
  8. Update technical project definition files  
  9. Design a technical file defining the project  
  10. Provide technical assistance  
  11. Process information (collect, classify and update)  
  12. Design theoretical models (calculation, simulation, modeling)  
  13. Develop a certification file  
  14. Carry out a patentability study  
  15. Develop an approval file  
  16. Managing a service, a structure  
  17. Coordinate the activity of a team  
  18. Know
    • Quality standards
    • Computer Aided Design and Drawing (CAD / CAD)
    • Office tools
    • Integrated Management Software (ERP) / Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
    • Computer Aided Group Technology (TGAO)
    • Computer Aided Manufacturing Design Software (CAD / CAM)
    • Statistical analysis
    • Biochemistry
    • Electricity
    • Mechanical
    • Laboratory techniques
    • Internal Audit
    • Methods and tools for problem solving
    • Risk analysis
    • Document management software
    • Energy market
    • Renewable energy
    • Solar thermal energy
    • Photovoltaic solar energy
    • Wind power
    • Management
    • Budget management
    • Computer programming languages
    • Modeling and simulation software


Private sector

Identify opportunities in Île-de-France in the field of management and engineering studies, research and industrial development in which my job is integrated: number of jobs, geolocation, types of contract, planned hirings …  

Choose my training to become a Biotechnology Engineer

To access the profession of biotechnology engineer, you must obtain a master’s degree.

Initial training

The bac S (more rarely the bac STL or STAV ) is the compulsory starting point of this course of study. Several diplomas in two years after the baccalaureate allow you to consider jobs as a biotechnology technician: BTSA agricultural, biological and biotechnological analysis BTS biotechnology DUT biological engineering DEUST bio-industries and biotechnologies (Paris South), etc. 

In one year after a bac + 2 level diploma, you can prepare a professional license . This diploma makes it possible to be employed on posts of higher technician in biotechnology. We can cite the professional license specializing in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries: physical chemistry and biotechnology applied to industry (Paris Descartes); bio-industry and biotechnologies (Paris Sud and UVSQ); analytical and experimental biology (Cergy Pontoise). 

The masters , in two years after a bachelor’s degree in the life sciences, are prized for the recruitment of engineers in biotechnology. For example, the professional master in pharmaceutical biotechnology and innovative therapies (Paris Diderot, Paris Sud and Paris Descartes), as well as the masters in microbiology (Paris Diderot, University of Grenoble Alpes, etc.). 

Of degrees in engineering production management, process engineering, chemistry, biology or industrial pharmacy are also recognized by professionals. Note: in Villejuif, Sup’Biotech offers a biotechnology engineer training in 5 years. The University of Cergy-Pontoise also offers a master’s degree in biotechnology engineering (CMI) in 3 years (bac + 5).

We can also cite the National School of Technology of Biomolecules in Bordeaux (ENSTBB), which delivers an engineering degree specialized in biotechnology (bac + 5). Research organizations (CNRS, INSERM, INRA, etc.) open their laboratories to doctoral students (bac + 8), after successful completion of a bac + 5 (master research or engineering diploma). In addition, this profession is also accessible to State graduates of doctor of pharmacy (bac +6) and veterinary doctor (bac +7).

Sup’Biotech also offers a course for students wishing to reorient themselves after a first year of health studies (PAES). Continuing education After a few years of experience, a biotechnology engineer can improve his management skills by following a business school course ( MBA or specialized Masters ). As part of continuing education, it is also possible to prepare for the title of graduate engineer from the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts (Cnam) specialty biological engineering