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The Life Sciences in Tennessee

Life sciences, sometimes referred to as biosciences, are a diverse group of sectors and activities with a common link – they apply knowledge of the way in which plants, animals, and humans function. The industry spans different markets and includes manufacturing, services and research activities. The life sciences industry includes companies in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, biomedical technologies, life systems technologies, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals, food processing, environmental biology, and biomedical devices. It also includes organizations and institutions that devote the majority of their efforts in various stages of research, development, technology transfer and commercialization. By definition, the life sciences are a unique industry cluster and are constantly changing to incorporate the latest research and scientific discoveries. 

Broadly defined, the industry includes the following five sectors:

  • agricultural feedstock, chemicals and biofuels 5,605 jobs in TN

  • drugs and pharmaceuticals 1,839 JOBS iN tn

  • medical devices and equipment 7,549 JOBS in tn

  • research, testing and medical laboratories 8,093 JOBS in tn

  • BIOlogistics 16,514 JOBS in tn

*Biologistics is specialized sub-category, with a cluster of expertise in West Tennessee. The sub-sector focuses on logistics, warehousing and distribution of biomedical products across the marketplace.

TENNESSEE BY THE NUMBERS


1,200

 LIFE SCIENCE BUSINESSES IN TENNESSEE 

40,000 

EMPLOYEES IN THE INDUSTRY ACROSS THE STATE

$79,000

AVERAGE ANNUAL WAGE OF A LIFE SCIENCES EMPLOYEE

 
$1.1 Billion

private investment in life sciences 2004-2009 

 

$456 million

nih funded research in tn in 2013

 



High Wage, High Growth

Nationally, bioscience employment growth – led by research, testing and medical labs – greatly outpaced overall national employment growth in 2001–2008. There are an estimated eight million bioscience jobs. On a national basis, 5.8 additional jobs are created for every one new bioscience job.

In the U.S. the overall bioscience sector paid average annual wages of $77,595 in 2008, $32,366 more than the average annual wage of the total U.S. private sector. Real earnings for bioscience industry workers has increased by 10.1% since 2001, compared with 3.2% for the U.S. private sector. Nationally, every one new life sciences job creates 5.8 additional jobs, creating a ripple effect that Tennessee experiences as well with its industry. 

In Tennessee, more than 1,500 life sciences businesses exist, employing more than 49,000 Tennesseans. Those employees earn an average of $75,000 annually, significantly more than the average private-sector wage of about $40,000.

Looking to the future, the biosciences remain positioned for strong economic growth. The U.S. Department of Labor projects that the biosciences will grow at an average annual rate of 1.5 percent between 2008 and 2018, making it one of the fastest growing industry sectors. Overall private sector employment is projected to grow by an average annual rate of 1 percent during this time period.

Downloads

Life Science Tennessee 2014 Targeted for Growth report
State of Tennessee Life Science Industry Overview

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