What does a Computational Biologist do?

Computational biologists are skilled scientists who use complex computer algorithms for the research and analysis of biological systems. They use computers and advanced data analytics software to research biological topics, including cellular growth, protein sampling, or genetic sequencing. They create mathematical equations, compute trends in the way life works and functions, perform bioinformatics laboratory research, and perform various research applications and tasks in the field.

Computational biologists work in government and commercial industries, as post-secondary teachers, or computer and information research scientists. In academia, they might work as a biology professor. In contrast, in computer and information research science, they may work with pharmaceutical companies, software companies, and biotechnology companies for research and development projects. In government, they may be hired in various health and research institutes to analyze vast quantities of research data. Computational biologists need a Ph.D. Relevant work also includes a bachelor's or master's degree in biology and other appropriate fields.

What responsibilities are common for Computational Biologist jobs?
  • Develop and apply methods to design portfolios of protein engineering experiments, exploring and exploiting the design space around a biotherapeutic target.
  • Ability to troubleshoot scientific and technical challenges and contribute to their resolution.
  • Develop and apply algorithms to simultaneously optimize diverse properties characterizing protein sequence, structure, and function, in order to engineer potent biotherapeutics.
  • Design and generate constructs for protein expression, purification and optimized expression in bacterial, insect, and mammalian cells.
  • Perform protein crystallography, including initial screening, crystal quality optimization, data collection and structure determination.
  • Participate in multi-disciplinary teams to conduct structure-based design efforts.
  • Prepare internally reviewed technical reports, make oral presentations to scientists and management, and publish and present externally.
  • Experience in construct design and molecular biology including standard DNA and RNA manipulations, cloning, site-directed mutagenesis, in vitro transcription, tag and fusion protein design, conducting limited proteolysis experiments and molecular modeling software.
  • Collaborate with teams of multi-disciplinary scientists to define and execute analysis plans to address scientific questions using internal and external omics datasets.
What are the typical qualifications for Computational Biologist jobs?
  • Bachelor's Degree or higher in computer science.
  • Advanced understanding of genotyping, machine learning, and datasets.
  • Fluent with Python and other programming languages.
  • Experience with algorithm design.
  • Basic understanding of writing protocols.
Work/Life Balance
4.0 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.7 ★
Avg. Experience8+ years

How much does a Computational Biologist make?

$74,244 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
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Computational Biologist Career Path

Learn how to become a Computational Biologist, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Computational Biologist

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Computational Biologist Insights

Read what Computational Biologist professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
U.S. Department of AgricultureU.S. Department of Agriculture
Biological Science Technician
Sep 28, 2022

“Good work life balance”

Computational Biologist
Dec 27, 2022

“Emphasizes on work life balance.”

US Fish and Wildlife ServiceUS Fish and Wildlife Service
Biological Science Technician
Nov 2, 2021

“The career ladder is missing some rungs.”

Agriculture an Agri-Food CanadaAgriculture an Agri-Food Canada
Computational Biologist
Apr 24, 2021

“Middle management still hope to go back to the way it was before COVID.”

Computational Biologist
May 24, 2022

“There are some of the best people working here.”

National Park ServiceNational Park Service
Biological Science Technician
Apr 2, 2023

“You’re expected to know what to do without any real training.”

The Broad InstituteThe Broad Institute
Computational Biologist
May 31, 2021

“Salary can be lower than private industry.”

Obsidian TherapeuticsObsidian Therapeutics
Computational Biology Coop
Feb 12, 2023

“I am learning a lot from them here.”

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Computational Biologist Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Computational Biologist

The most similar professions to Computational Biologist are:
  • Research Assistant
  • Client Services Representative
  • Research Scientist
  • Teaching Assistant

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Research Assistant
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Computational Biologist Jobs