Who Are the Top Biotech Companies to Work for in 2017?

Biotech is a field that encompasses multiple sciences that are used to develop products to improve life. Biotechnology companies work on everything from helping farmers increase crop yields to feed more people in developing nations to creating a vaccine to prevent the next pandemic.

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Award Emblem: Best 6 Top Biotech Companies & Firms

If your educational background is in science or biotech, you have a lot of career options at the largest biotech companies to work in a number of different disciplines. And the salary you can earn at biotech firms is pretty attractive.

According to LearnHowtoBecome.com, you can earn roughly the following annual salary from the best biotech companies, depending upon your degree and experience:

  • Soil and Plant Scientist: $59,920
  • Food or Animal Scientist: $61,110 to $61,480
  • Microbiologist or Epidemiologist: $67,420
  • Agricultural Engineer: $71,730
  • Biochemist or Biophysicist: $84,940
  • Biomedical Engineer: $86,950

In our article, we are going to take a look at the best biotech companies to work for that are the biggest biotech companies in the world. We’ll also touch on some of the new biotech companies that may not be big yet, but have a lot of potential.

One of the great things about working with biochemistry companies is that you can make a big difference for people around the globe by pioneering new medicines, biomaterials, and energy sources.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Biotech Companies

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the firm names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that firm):

Top 6 Biotechnology Companies | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Top Biotech Companies

Main Biotech Field

Headquarters of Biotech Firms


Medicine/Serious Illnesses

Thousand Oaks, CA, USA

Johnson & Johnson

Medicine/Consumer Health

New Brunswick, NJ, USA

Merck & Co., Inc.

Medicine/Consumer & Animal Health

Kenilworth, NJ, USA


Medicine/Chronic Diseases

Basel, Switzerland


Medicine/Consumer Health

New York, NY, USA


Medicine/Catastrophic Diseases

Basel, Switzerland

Table: Top 6 Biotech Companies | Above list is sorted alphabetically

Biotech Companies FAQ | What Are the Main Biotech Branches Used in the Top Biomedical Companies?

When you’re trying to find the best biotech companies to work for, it’s helpful to know what they call the main branches of biotechnology. These encompass different fields that are all employed within biotechnology companies.

Four of the derived terms use a color to describe a particular biotechnology sector, and all work together to drive new advances and further the goals of these bioengineering companies.


If you work in this branch of the largest biotech companies, you’re combining biotech and computers. Bioinformatics, also known as computational biotechnology, uses computers to visualize molecules, genomes, and the like. It’s a key branch in biotech companies.

Biotech Companies FAQ | What Are the Main Biotech Branches Used in the Top Biomedical Companies?

Image Source: Top Bioengineering Companies

Blue Biotechnology

The color blue is used to describe aquatic and marine applications of biotechnology. This is a rare branch in biochemistry companies, but can be used to protect marine organisms from harmful underwater diseases.

Green Biotechnology

If you’re working at the biggest biotech companies with agricultural processes, then you’re in the “green” branch. Scientists in this sector help make plants more pest resistant as well as bioengineer them to flourish in harsh environments.

Red Biotechnology

This is one of the largest branches at the top biomedical companies because it deals with medical science. This branch is all about producing drugs, vaccines, and other helpful medical advancements.

White Biotechnology

This branch is also known by the name industry biotechnology. If you’re working in the “white” branch at the top biotech companies it means you’re engaged in the chemistry of materials like plastics, new fuel sources, and applying biotech to industrial processes.

Biotech Companies FAQ | Who Are Some of the New Biotech Companies?

Many novice scientists just starting out on a career path may not want to immediately work for the biggest and best biotech companies. It can be harder to find a top position right away at the largest biotech companies because it takes time to work your way up.

Getting in on the ground floor of one of the young, upcoming new biotech companies can sometimes allow more research freedom and chance for advancement much faster.

These young biotech firms may not be the biggest biotech companies yet, but they are showing a lot of potential.

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Detailed Review—Top Ranking Best Biotechnology Companies

Below, please find a detailed review of each firm on our list of top biotech companies. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these biotechnology companies to score so highly in our selection ranking.

Amgen Review

With 2016 revenues of $23.0 billion, Amgen is one of the biggest and best biotech companies in the world. Their story began in 1980 as Applied Molecular Genetics Inc, later shortened to Amgen. This is one of the biochemistry companies that honors their roots, dubbing the building their initial staff of three worked in “Building 1.”

Amgen may be best known as one of the groundbreaking top biotech companies for developing one of the most successful drugs in biotech history, EPOGEN®, a medicine that helps the body create more red blood cells.

Amgen - biotechnology companies

Image Source: Amgen | Top Biotech Companies

Amgen has a presence in more than 100 countries, making them one of the best biotech companies to work for with lots of location options. Their history as a biotech pioneer for more than 35 years also offers the opportunity to be part of one of the great biotech firms known for life-changing medical advances.

“Biology First” Approach

One of the things that has helped Amgen become one of the best biotech companies in the world is their “biology first” approach to curing diseases. Scientists first explore the complex molecular pathways of disease in the body before determining the type of medicine that would provide a potential cure.

World-Class Manufacturing

This is one of the biotechnology companies that doesn’t just invent life-saving medicines, they also ensure their supply with world-class manufacturing capabilities.

They know that medicine supply can be a life or death situation if an important drug isn’t available, so they use redundant manufacturing with back-up suppliers and capacity in multiple geographic locations.

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Johnson & Johnson Review

Many of us have a Johnson & Johnson product in our medicine cabinet right now. They’re the biotech company that brought us the famous BAND-AID® brand of adhesive bandages.

You don’t get to be one of the top biotech companies that’s also a household name in consumer health products without a rich history.

Johnson & Johnson’s dates back to the Civil War, when their founder took an interest in healthcare and pharmaceuticals. The company was founded a few years later, in 1873.

Johnson & Johnson is one of the few bioengineering companies that has been making life better for the world for more than 130 years. They employ more than 125,000 people in 60 countries around the world, all with one mission: “To help people everywhere live longer, healthier, happier lives.”

Your Grandmother’s Grandmother Has Used Their Products

You will be hard pressed to find one of the other best biotech companies that has made such a daily impact in so many people’s lives with their consumer health products.

Whether it’s their Johnson’s® baby products, used to sooth millions of babies for more than 125 years, or their newer Aveeno® lotions for adults, other biochemistry companies don’t often make the same impact as Johnson & Johnson has.

3-D Printing Innovations

Another area that this biotech company works in is medical device technologies. They happen to be one of the biotechnology companies that is on the cutting-edge of using 3-D printing in medical biomaterials applications meant to mimic living tissue.

Merck & Co., Inc. Review

Another of the top biotech companies that has a long history is Merck & Co., Inc. Though just slightly shorter than that of Johnson & Johnson, their 125+ years of making a difference with their biotech innovations is impressive.

This is one of the biggest and best biotech companies that makes a global impact, but they’re not always known by the same name. They’re Merck in the United States and Canada, and MSD everywhere else.

Headquartered in New Jersey, Merck operates in more than 140 countries, so this is one of the top biomedical companies with the largest geographical footprint. They have approximately 68,000 employees around the globe and earned $39.8 billion in revenue in 2016.

Merck Helps™

Merck may be one of the largest biotech companies, that currently has more than 50 prescription products used to treat a variety of diseases, but they also have a heart.

Because they don’t believe anyone should go without a vital medication or treatment, their Merck Helps™ program provides medicines and adult vaccines for free to people who cannot afford them.

Merck & Co., Inc. - best biotech companies

Image Source: Merck | Biggest Biotech Companies

A Biotech Leader in Animal Health

Whether you need to protect your dairy cows from disease or are looking for the best parasite control for your dog or cat, this is one of the biotech companies that has a laser focus on animal health.

They have a large portfolio of vaccines and pharmaceutical medicines for multiple animal species, including aquaculture. If you’re studying animal science, then Merck is one of the best biotech companies to work for.

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Novartis Review

While Novartis, created in 1996 in Switzerland, may be one of the younger biotech companies on our list of top biotechnology companies, their roots trace back 250 years.

This is one of the top biomedical companies that was created from merging older companies together. Novartis is the result of a merger between Ciba-Geigy, a chemicals and dyes trading company started in the 18th century, and Sandoz, a chemical company founded in 1886.

Novartis is one of the largest biotech companies on our list, achieving 48.5 billion in net sales in 2016. They employ about 118,000 people, and their products are sold in approximately 155 countries, making them one of the bioengineering companies with a very large customer base.

Innovations That Address Chronic Diseases

This is one of the top biotech companies if you need award-winning medicines for chronic diseases. They focus on producing innovative biotech products that combat diseases of the heart, kidney, liver, and blood vessels.

Educating the public about chronic heart disease is the motivator behind their Keep It Pumping™ website, one of the best consumer educational sites of any of the biochemistry companies.

Surgical and Vision Care

This is one of the biotechnology companies that has a separate division just for creating ways to help people see better. Their Alcon division works to produce contact lenses, pharmaceuticals, surgical products and over-the-counter products for healthy vision.

If you’ve been trained in sciences related to the eyes, this could be one of the best biotech companies to work for to have a chance to innovate vision-related products.

Pfizer Review

Pfizer is another one of the biotechnology companies that has a very well-known consumer product that you may have in your medicine cabinet. They’re the makers of the Advil® brands of ibuprofen. They also make allergy medicine, Alavert®, and Anbesol®, used for oral pain relief.

When it comes biotech companies that are more than a century old, Pfizer has an interesting history, which started in 1849. The company was launched with $2,500 borrowed from founder Charles Pfizer’s father. Cream of tartar was one of their first products.

Pfizer has a total of 63 manufacturing sites around the world, which makes them one of the biotechnology companies that ensures a steady supply chain for their products.

Pfizer - biochemistry companies

Image Source: Pfizer | Best Biotech Companies

The company reported revenues of $52.8 billion in 2016, which showed they are one of the best biotech companies that continues to strive to get better, because it reflected 11% operational growth.

Ongoing Pipeline of New Products

If you love to work in research and development, then Pfizer is one of the top biotech companies that you’ll want to take a look at.

They have a continuous pipeline of new products, including 96 total as of January 31, 2017, that are in various phases of development and approvals. New biotech companies have nothing on their R&D power.

Excellent Information for Professionals

Pfizer makes it easy for your doctor to thoroughly review their medicines before prescribing them. Their Pfizer for Professionals website shows that they are one of the best biotech companies for transparency and providing information.

Medical professionals can order samples, review clinical trial listings, and access patient assistance programs that include helping those that can’t afford their medicines. They are definitely one of the biotech companies that provides detailed information on their products.

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Roche Review

Basel, Switzerland, must have something scientific in the water, because they’ve produced two of the top biotech companies on our list. Roche is also based in Basel, just like Novartis.

Roche is another of the biotechnology companies that’s been around more than a hundred years. The company was founded in 1896 just when the industrial revolution was going full swing in Europe, a perfect time for biotech firms to flourish.

This is one of the biotechnology companies that did well in 2016 and continues to climb. They had $50.6 billion in group sales, with the majority coming from their pharmaceuticals division ($39.1 billion).

If you dream of working for the top biotech companies that also treat their employees right, you’ll be impressed that Roche was recognized by Forbes in 2016 as being among America’s top biotechnology companies to work for.

Global Leader in Cancer Treatments

According to the American Cancer Society, there were an estimated 1,685,210 new cancer cases diagnosed last year. Roche is one of the best biotech companies when it comes to fighting cancer and finding new drugs to combat its impact.

They are known for being one of the biggest biotech companies that puts some hefty research into Oncology and they take a rigorous approach to understanding cancer biology and drug discovery.

Personalized Healthcare

This is not always something you’ll hear from biotechnology companies, because it’s often easier to make a “one size fits all” drug. But Roche knows that each patient is unique, so they take a more personalized approach to treatment through their PHC program.

Roche - largest biotech companies

Image Source: Roche | Best Biotech Companies

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Conclusion—Top 6 Best Biotech Companies

Often we’ll see the name of one of the biotechnology companies on a bottle of medicine and just think of them as a huge faceless corporation. But each of these top biotech companies was started by people that care about making lives better.

They may have grown from a handful of employees into one of the biggest and best biotech companies in the world, but the scientists and doctors that work there still display that same passion for finding cures to disease and helping people.

Whether you’re seeking a career at one of these top biotech companies or looking to invest in the next best cure for a catastrophic disease, each of the biotech companies on our list has proven over time they have what it takes to be the best at what they do.

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