Photo licensed from iStock Photos.

Photo licensed from iStock Photos.

Austin’s biotechnology industry is booming, according to a report released Thursday from the Austin Technology Council.

The life sciences sector has 206 companies, 6,052 employees and generates more than $1 billion in economic activity to the region.

The five sectors that make up the industry include pharmaceutical manufacturing, research and development in physical, engineering and life sciences, research and development in biotechnology, surgical appliance and supplies manufacturing and biological product manufacturing.

The industry also pays high wages with the average salary in the life sciences sector of $75,209, compared to $49,557 for the regional economy as a whole.

The sector did suffer a job loss following the dot com bust and during the financial meltdown in mid-2000. But it’s been on the mend and with the groundbreaking of the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin, the industry is expected to expand even more.

Austin’s life sciences industry is still much smaller than San Antonio’s bioscience and healthcare industry. BioMedSA reported that more than one in every six jobs in San Antonio are in that industry which had an overall economic impact of more than $29 billion in 2011.

Research organizations, private sector companies and the U.S. military drive the bioscience industry growth, according to BioMedSA. The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is one of the main contributors to the industry along with the University of Texas at San Antonio, the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, Southwest Research Institute, South texas Accelerated Research Therapeutics and the National Trauma Institute.