Associate in Applied Science, Biotechnology

Prepare for a Rewarding Career as a Laboratory Technician With a Rigorous AAS Degree in Biotechnology From PITT Community College

Do you picture yourself working in a laboratory, collaborating with other technicians to create, test, and prepare life-saving drugs? Maybe you’re interested in attending an undergraduate program in biology, chemistry, or biotechnology and want to save money and time by earning an AAS before transferring? Achieve these goals and fulfill your career aspirations with an Associate in Applied Science in Biotechnology from Pitt Community College.

Our AAS degree in biotechnology is an interdisciplinary program that brings together biology, chemistry, mathematics, and technical communications to prepare students for careers as quality control technicians, research assistants, and lab techs — among many other potential career pathways. As a student in the biotechnology degree program, you’ll take engaging courses and learn from highly experienced faculty who prioritize their students’ success.

Work in state-of-the-art labs and classrooms

When you earn your Associate in Applied Science in Biotechnology from PCC, you’ll work in the Williams Science Building — the envy of many other colleges and universities. You’ll have access to:

  • A full mammalian cell culture suite with six two-person biosafety cabinets
  • A fully stocked DNA research tech lab that includes a DNA sequencer
  • Two real-time PCR machines

Our bioanalytical lab tech program pathway students will also enjoy a cutting-edge pharma lab with four HPLCs, dissolution testers, Karl Fisher moisture testers, fermentation equipment, and low-pressure column chromatography equipment for protein purification. We also have a fully functional Class A cleanroom for sterile operations.

Whether you dream of becoming a lab analyst or a quality assurance technician, our facilities will give you firsthand experience working with the tools used by professionals every day.

Why Choose Pitt Community College for an Associate in Applied Science in Biotechnology?

As you earn your AAS degree in biotechnology at PCC, you’ll do much more than build a foundation in the skills and knowledge to excel in a rewarding career. You will also have many opportunities for paid part-time jobs and internships at nearby companies such as Thermo Fisher Scientific, Catalent Pharma Solutions, and CMP Pharma — which offer positions for students in the biotechnology degree program who meet the qualifications for employment.

To help tailor your AAS degree in biotechnology to your career goals, we offer two distinct “career pathways” that you can study. One is an analyst/pharmaceutical lab tech program pathway for students interested in quality control associated with pharmaceutical manufacturing. The other career pathway is a research lab/forensic lab/university transfer program pathway for students interested in working in a research, forensics, or other lab that requires a BS degree or higher.

You’ll also save money when you earn your AAS degree in biotechnology at PCC. The cost of our entire program is typically less than a single year at a university, and a Pell Grant can cover the total cost of the biotechnology degree for students who are eligible. Additionally, Catalent Pharma Solutions offers competitive scholarships of $2,000 per semester for up to four years for selected students who commit to working for Catalent for a minimum of two years after graduation.

Career Opportunities for Associate in Applied Science in Biotechnology Graduates

Earning an AAS degree in biotechnology from PCC can prepare you for fast-growing careers in many industries, as well as graduate programs to further your education. About 85 percent of biotechnology degree graduates are either immediately employed in biotechnology positions or enter additional educational programs.

Most graduates of the AAS in Biotechnology start making $17–$22 per hour as entry-level quality control lab analysts or research technicians. Many report receiving a promotion and accompanying significant raise within their first two years of employment.

Most of our students find work in industries such as:
• Research and Development
• Manufacturing
• Pharmaceuticals
• Molecular Testing

“The Associate of Applied Science in Biotech program at PCC was instrumental in my journey of transitioning into the pharmaceutical industry. The opportunity to perform various labs and simulations —as well as being exposed to gowning — prior to entering the workforce helped to prepare me for the steriles commercial environment. I’m currently employed at Thermo Fisher Scientific as a Senior Quality Specialist in Steriles Manufacturing Quality.”


Class of 2013

Get Started on Your Associate in Applied Science in Biotechnology

• General Biology I and II
• Genetics
• Microbiology
• Basic Lab Techniques
• Bioprocess Techniques
• Cell Culture
• Immunological Techniques
• Introduction to Chemistry and Chemistry Lab
• Organic and Biochemistry
• Bioethics
• Pharma Lab Techniques I, II, and III
• Recombinant DNA Technology

• How to perform basic laboratory techniques, calculations, and procedures properly
• How to recognize laboratory hazards and adhere to proper safety protocol
• How to explain the process of biotech product development and production utilizing the FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Processes (CGMPs)
• To demonstrate proficiency in specialized laboratory techniques in the areas of cell culture, recombinant DNA technology, bioprocess, and product analysis
• How to accurately document laboratory activities in a laboratory notebook

Most graduates of the Biotechnology AAS start out around $17-$22/hr as entry-level lab technicians. Many report they receive a promotion and accompanying significant raise within their first two years of employment.

The majority of our students find work in industries such as:

• Research and Development
• Manufacturing
• Pharmaceuticals
• Forensic Laboratories
• Sales
• Customer Service

Occupational Outlook Handbook: Life, Physical, and Social Science Occupations – U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

PCC Career Services – Planning and support for PCC students and alumni.