Bioscience Talent Prevalent in Iowa

Capitalizing on its agrarian roots and comprehensive plant, animal and human research capabilities, Iowa has emerged as a bioscience industry leader. During the past decade, the bioscience workforce in Iowa grew by 26 percent to more than 15,000 strong. Today, Iowa agricultural feedstock and chemical companies employ nearly seven percent of the industry’s total U.S. workforce.

Iowa colleges and universities award more than 2,000 bioscience degrees each year, providing Iowa bioscience companies with an ongoing supply of new talent and growth support.


Iowa’s 15 community colleges focus on two-year programs and workforce skills training. Iowa currently has the nation’s eighth largest concentration of biological technicians.


With 14 accredited engineering schools, Iowa ranks 5th nationally for the number of Science and Engineering degrees awarded per 1,000, creating additional support for the bioscience industry’s research and innovation needs.

Iowa has funded more than $260 million dollars in job training programs since 2006. Today, Iowa workers rank among the nation’s best (14th) in terms of value-added per worker. (U.S. Census Bureau, Annual Survey of Manufacturers)

Payroll costs in Iowa are 14.1 percent below the national average ($45,230). The average worker in Iowa’s bioscience industry makes $54,000 - 85.7 percent of the U.S. industry average of $63,000.

Iowa is among the national leaders for unemployment, 38 percent lower than the national average.

With more than 1.66 million employees, Iowa has one of the highest labor force participation rates in the country.