Biological Sciences / Biotechnology

Cutting-Edge Careers in the Biological Sciences

From the origins of life to the origination of the latest treatments for disease, there is no other field that connects you to the mysteries of life quite like the life sciences. If you’re looking for a cutting-edge career that is as challenging as it is fulfilling, the Biological Sciences department at Irvine Valley College might be for you.

Students who obtain a degree or certification from the Biological Sciences department are well-prepared to enter a number of industry sectors where demand is high, and salaries even higher. Across the country, the need for nurses is growing at a rate double that of other professions. And for those who would rather wear a lab coat than a stethoscope, the Los Angeles/Orange County metro area comprises the sixth largest life sciences hub in the nation, employing more than 100,000 people!

For students interested in entering the workforce as quickly as possible, IVC’s Biological Sciences department offers the Biotechnology – Lab Assistant Certificate of Achievement (COA), which prepares students for entry-level employment in the biotechnology industry. 

Similarly, the Biotechnology – Biomanufacturing Technician Certificate of Proficiency (COP) gives students the practical skills they need to become entry-level biomanufacturing operators, media preparation assistants, purification assistants, and manufacturing technicians in the field of biomanufacturing.

More traditional, two-year Associate in Arts (AA) degrees in Biology and the Health Sciences are available for students interested in pursuing more advanced careers in the health professions, or who wish to transfer to a four-year university. 

No matter what pathway students choose, successful IVC graduates will have the practical and theoretical knowledge they need to pursue challenging and future-proof careers in biotechnology, nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, dental hygiene, physician assisting, the health sciences and more!

High-Quality Test Prep

Students who take BIOT 278 will learn the basics of quality assurance in industry. This course prepares students to take and pass the Certified Quality Improvement Associate (CQIA) examination given by the American Society of Quality (ASQ).

Ready to launch a Future BUILT career in the Biological Sciences? It all starts at Irvine Valley College!

What You Need to Know

What Degrees and Certificates Are Available to Me?
IVC offers a variety of program types to help build your future-proof career! 

Associate in Science Degrees

These two-year college degrees are designed for students who want to gain in-depth understanding of a particular field in order to enter a specific profession or to prepare for further education at a technical or trade school, or a 4-year college or university.

IVC Offers AS Degrees in:
Health Sciences

Associate in Science for Transfer Degrees

Like the AS, these degrees give students an in-depth understanding of a particular field but differ in that they are specifically designed to help students transfer seamlessly to a 4-year, California State University where they can complete a bachelor’s degree.

IVC Offers an AS-T in:
Environmental Science


Certificates of Achievement

Certificates of Achievement are state-approved certificates that acknowledge workplace competencies and job readiness in a particular field. In many cases, the courses that comprise a certificate of achievement are the same as those required for an associate degree, minus the General Education courses.

IVC Offers a COA in:
Biotechnology – Lab Assistant

Certificates of Proficiency

Certificates of Proficiency acknowledge basic workplace abilities and are designed for students who want to enter the workforce quickly or upgrade their job skills. These certificates have a total credit requirement of less than 18 units and are designed and approved by local business leaders in order to make them as practical as possible. 

IVC Offers a COP in:
Biotechnology – Biomanufacturing Technician

Make sure your class schedule is built for success. Visit the course catalog to see what classes you need to earn your degree or certificate in Biological Sciences.

Irvine Valley College is proud to provide our communities with affordable, accessible Career Education opportunities. For information on how financial aid, scholarships and grants can make college more affordable, visit IVC’s Financial Aid Office.

School of Life Sciences and Technologies
Department Offices: 949-451-5215

Lianna Zhao, MD

Emalee Mackenzie
Instructor, Biology,

IVC Biological Sciences graduates are building successful futures in careers like these, and more! Here are some in-demand job titles and their average yearly salaries.

Biological Technicians = $45,197 
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists = $50,765 
Nursing Assistants = $28,493 
Biologists = $69,197 
Registered Nurses = $92,986 
Licensed Vocational Nurses = $49,478 
Health Information Technicians = $41,606 
Quality Control Analysts = $46,330 

Average Salary In This Field

Average Salary In This Field

$41,606 to
Per Year

Potential Careers

Potential Careers

Biological Technician
Nursing Assistant
Registered Nurse

Have Questions? Talk To A Counselor!

You’ve made an independent choice to boost your life and career through Career Education at IVC… but you’re not alone! Talk to a counselor for information on getting started, planning your career pathway, and more!

Our Students Love Us!

“IVC has a really good reputation among the colleges nearby me, and so I decided on IVC to look for the specific course I wanted to take. The professors are also amazing people with real industry experience, and they are really worth connecting with. I 100% recommend these courses!”
- Nina Tran, IVC Student
“I loved all the classes at IVC. Professors are very professional and friendly. I would encourage everyone who needs a change in career to take courses at IVC.”
- Geiza Goulart, IVC Alum
“I enjoyed being involved on campus and making connections with the campus community. I would encourage any future students to engage on campus in any and every way they can.”
- Danielle Richmond, IVC Student