Relocating to Frederick, MD for a BioTech Job

Frederick, Maryland has its fair share of impressive features: it’s just 40 miles from both Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, it’s home to more than 10 craft breweries, and it’s also the site of over 80 biotech businesses. Maybe you’ve just received a job offer in Frederick, or perhaps you’re considering jobs there now. Either way, you’re probably wondering what it’s like to move to this city of 70,000 people. 

Why Bring Your Biotech Career to Frederick?

Good question. Frederick County — of which Frederick is the county seat — is home to over 80 life sciences companies, according to Solash Aviles-Montanez of the Frederick County Office of Economic Development. These companies include AstraZeneca, Kite Pharma, Thermo Fisher, Lonza, Leidos, and the newest addition, Ellume, an Australian manufacturer of diagnostic tests, such as its rapid at-home COVID test. 

Frederick County is also home to Fort Detrick, a military base that conducts biomedical research and development. Fort Detrick also hosts the Frederick National Laboratory and offices of the National Cancer Institute, both of which provide a myriad of life sciences jobs in the community.

Additionally, the proximity to Washington, D.C., and the rest of the I-270 Tech Corridor allows for easy access to the capital, collaborators, and competition. The FDA being down the street definitely doesn’t hurt companies seeking approval for drugs and medication. 

There are also three airports within easy driving distance: Reagan, Dulles, and BWI. New York City, Philadelphia, and Boston are also a manageable drive or train ride away.

Additionally, businesses who choose Frederick enjoy some pretty cool perks.

“We have good communications with our business, and we offer Fast Track permitting assistance, low tax structure, and no business personal property tax,” Aviles-Montanez said.

What’s There to Do in Frederick?

Consistently listed as one of the top places to live and visit in the United States, Frederick sure has a lot going on. 

“Frederick is a ‘best of both worlds’ kind of place that has a little bit of everything for everyone. We say it’s where hip meets historic,” said Becky Kaler, Business Development Specialist at the City of Frederick. “The beautiful, two-and-a-half century-old streets of the downtown are alive with modern energy – laying stage to a booming business sector, a thriving arts and entertainment community, and a world-renowned restaurant scene.”

Downtown Frederick has a thriving foodie scene with award-winning restaurants and a slew of craft breweries and distilleries. The county is also home to 15 wineries and several outdoor recreation opportunities. The county boasts a myriad of parks full of hiking trails. 

A section of the C&O Canal also runs through Frederick County, creating a perfect spot for walking, biking, or boating. The Catoctin Mountains in the northern part of the county are sure to provide great views, too. 

And the County is vibrant, as well. For example, Frederick County is home to more Main Street USA associations than any other county in Maryland. There are also a wide variety of churches, a social sports league, nine libraries, and a whole lot of ways to get involved in your community.

“My husband and I decided to buy a house in Frederick County not too far from the city, and we enjoy having the best of both worlds, from the culinary hot spot in the heart of the city of Frederick to a more slow pace and great neighborhood (also great schools) we get in the county,” Avilez-Montanez said.

Is Frederick a Great Place to Live for Young People?

In short, yes. The median age of a Frederick resident is 38.7. But no matter your age, there’s sure to be something for you. And if you’re a first-time homebuyer and/or looking for a great place to live for a great price, Frederick, MD is the “Hottest Housing Market in Maryland” per Rocket Homes® at one of the lowest median homes sales prices in the state.

If you’re looking for a fun, walkable environment, Downtown Frederick is perfect. Market Street and Patrick Street are the central throughways downtown, but there’s plenty of housing—often in cute rowhomes—on quieter avenues like Church Street and 3rd Street. 

Downtown, you can find a plethora of bars that stay open late every night of the week, like Brewer’s Alley, which features two different rooftop patios. Across the street, Bushwaller’s hosts events every night of the week, like karaoke nights on Tuesdays.

If nightlife isn’t your thing, there are many great parts of Frederick to enjoy during the day. Carroll Creek Linear Park—a flood-mitigation project—is home to beautiful sculptures, ice cream shops, and breweries. And every Thursday night during the warmer months, the Carroll Creek amphitheater is home to Alive @ Five, a happy hour with live music. 

If you walk along the creek, you’ll eventually reach Baker Park, which features sprawling lawns, sports fields, and a community swimming pool. It even has its own bandshell, which is host to a free Sunday evening concert series during the summer.

For those who don’t want to live in the city, the county is full of smaller towns and communities that offer great housing and amenities, too.

Is Frederick a Great Place for Families to Live?

Yes! The average household size in Frederick County is 2.67 people. Frederick County Public Schools has 11 public high schools, 13 middle schools, and 41 elementary schools, which are often ranked among the best in the state

In addition to its excellent schools, the county features a plethora of parks, playgrounds, and businesses that are very family-friendly. Spend a day at the Fall Festival at Summers Farm, where kids can run through corn mazes, bounce on launch pads, and slide to their hearts’ content. Catoctin Wildlife Preserve is a zoo perfect for animal lovers located just outside Thurmont. If your kiddos can’t get enough of animals, South Mountain Creamery lets you meet the cows before or after enjoying a scoop of freshly made ice cream.

Adventure Park is a venue full of rides, games, and two mini-golf courses. Older kids will also love Tree Trekkers, a ropes course with several different levels and challenges.

More Information

Want to know more about biotech and life sciences in Frederick County? Visit the county’s website to learn more.