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Boston is Now the Largest Biotech Hub in the World

Posted on February 2023

Boston skyline

​Biotech is booming in Boston. Massachusetts is now the number one Biotech hub in the world, overtaking closest rival - California. As a recent MassBio report makes clear, the Life Sciences industry in Massachusetts continues to experience significant growth, with the Biopharma employment growing by 13.2% in 2021 – and not by chance. The Boston metropolitan area, including Cambridge, Worcester and Waltham, has been doing all it can to attract the best talent in the Life Sciences industry, and venture funders have spoken with their wallets.

 So what is the secret of Boston’s Biotech success, and should you consider becoming part of it?

The growth of Biotech in Boston

Biotech industry jobs have been growing steadily for more than a decade, with the Biotech R&D industry experiencing an 11.5% growth from January 2021 to January 2022 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Massachusetts also has a significant number of employees in Biopharma, with 106,679 employees in this industry in 2021, an increase of 96.5% since 2008 when the Massachusetts Life Sciences Initiative was passed. In the first six months of 2022 venture capitalists poured $5.1bn into Massachusetts Biopharma companies, the fourth highest amount of investment in Massachusetts-headquartered Biopharma companies of any full year.

 The growth of the industry has led to significant employment growth compared with competitor U.S. states. The state’s largest employers in the sector are Takeda (6,288 employees in 2021), Sanofi (4,300), Pfizer (2,886), Novartis (2,500) and Vertex (2,500). For the sector’s 106,704 Biopharma employees, the average annual wage is $201,549. This makes Boston one of the best places for Biotech jobs, with a vast number of Biotech companies and opportunities in the state capital of Massachusetts.

In-demand skills in the Biotech sector

With three of the top four National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded hospitals, Massachusetts has plenty of opportunity for ground-breaking research and treatment development. The area has the highest per-capitafunding in the United States, receiving 9% of all NIH funding in 2021. The most in-demand skill sets are Regulatory Affairs and Clinical Operations, especially at the Project Manager level.

Oncology is the most frequently researched therapeutic area in the state, with 34% of projects attributed to this area. The next most commonly researched areas are CNS (15%) and anti-infectives (10%). For professionals looking to help develop technologies and treatments that have a real potential to make a difference to patients in the near term, this is the place to be.

It’s a candidate’s market in Boston

In Boston, there are more open roles than active professionals in the Biotech sector, meaning that qualified candidates have a very high chance of being able to secure a promising position with attractive terms. While rival Biotech center San Francisco offers plenty of sunshine, Boston boasts a lower cost of living, a rich history and first-class medical and educational institutions.

 In fact, according to Glassdoor, Boston has recently been ranked in the top 4 best cities in the U.S. to work in 2022. For the report, Glassdoor analyzed millions of employee reviews and insights, and the companies in these cities were praised for their flexible work environments and strong benefits and company perks, among other advantages.

 Boston is home to almost 1,000 Biotech companies, with the headquarters of Pharma giants such as Biogen, Shire and Takeda sitting alongside a large number of promising smaller companies and start-ups.

 This diverse range of Biotech companies in Boston means professionals can take their pick of working environment. The region’s ‘innovation hub’ status refers to the strength of R&D taking place in the area, with start-ups presenting some of the most exciting opportunities for R&D candidates.

Finding your feet in the nation’s Biotech innovation hub

Relocating to Boston offers a huge range of opportunities for skilled professionals, but settling into a new neighborhood takes time. If you’re considering relocating to the region’s innovation hub, EPM Scientific can help you find a new role in a new city. As a leading specialist talent partner for the Life Sciences industry, we give companies and professionals peace of mind that the talent acquisition process is in expert hands. Alongside providing permanent, contract and multi-hire talent solutions, we can support you with your relocation process by negotiating a strong relocation package and sharing key insights on the Boston area.

We pride ourselves in keeping our professional network up-to-date with any changes that will shape the future of work or affect the hiring process. Discover more invaluable insights, including exclusive research, salary guides and market trends and view our current job listings across Massachusetts to get started

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