Biotechnology is about using living organisms and biological processes to make products for human use.

Most applications are related to health care, agriculture, non-food uses of crops, and the environment.

Examples include genetic manipulation, plant hybridisation, biofuels, and biodegradable plastics.

Studying in this area involves learning about the biological and engineering basis of biotechnology, as well as new technologies.

NZ university majors related to this area

Though in the same subject area, they may be very different.

Did you know?

The domestication of wild animals and plants are the earliest examples of biotechnology.

Other historical examples include the brewing of beer (yeast converts sugar into enthanol) and the discovery of penicillin (from the Penicillium mould).

Examples of career opportunities

Most entail additional learning (lifelong learning!).

  • Biotechnologist
  • Businessperson
  • Research scientist
  • Research assistant
  • Biotechnology technician
  • Laboratory technician
  • Science teacher
  • Biology teacher
  • Technology teacher
  • Academic

Income and employment prospects


163% of national
median earnings


Further study
Other or unknown

Figures based on young domestic graduates 5 years after graduation. Source: Ministry of Education.

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