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11 Popular Chemistry Degree Jobs

A chemistry degree can lead to a wide range of interesting and lucrative jobs. So, I decided to explore some of the most popular chemistry degree jobs and what you can expect from them. I will also take a look at the qualifications you need for these positions and what a day in the life of these professionals is like.

Finally, I will discuss salary expectations for chemists in various fields, so get ready to find your dream job!

What Is Chemistry?

What Is Chemistry

Chemistry is the study of matter and the changes it undergoes. It is a branch of science that has been around for centuries, and it plays a vital role in our everyday lives. Chemistry is used in many different fields, such as medicine, agriculture, and manufacturing.

Popular Chemistry Degree Jobs

There are many different types of jobs that you can get with a chemistry degree. Here are some of the most popular ones:

Analytical Chemist

An analytical chemist is someone who uses their knowledge of chemistry to analyze samples and identify the composition of substances. They use a variety of techniques, including chromatography and spectroscopy, to perform their work. Analytical chemists often work in laboratories, and their work can be used in a variety of fields, such as medicine and environmental science.

QualificationsA bachelor’s degree in chemistry is the minimum requirement for this job, but many employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree or higher.

Day in the Life: Analytical chemists typically work regular hours in laboratories. They may be required to work with hazardous materials, so they must follow safety protocols.

Salary Expectations: The median salary for an analytical chemist is $64,000 per year.

Chemical Engineer

A chemical engineer is someone who uses their knowledge of chemistry to design and oversee the production of chemicals and other products. They work in a variety of industries, such as food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.

Qualifications: A bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering is the minimum requirement for this job. Many employers also require candidates to have a master’s degree or higher.

Day in the Life: Chemical engineers typically work regular hours in office environments. However, they may also need to visit production facilities to monitor operations or troubleshoot problems.

Salary Expectations: The median salary for a chemical engineer is $84,000 per year.

Research Chemist

A research chemist is someone who uses their knowledge of chemistry to conduct experiments and develop new products. They often work in laboratories, and their work can be used in a variety of fields, such as medicine and agriculture.

Qualifications: If you’d like to work as a research chemist, you will need a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and, most likely, a master’s degree or higher.

Day in the Life: Research chemists typically work regular hours in laboratories. However, they may also need to work evenings or weekends to complete experiments, meet deadlines, or around equipment availability.

Salary Expectations: The median salary for a research chemist is $66,000 per year.

Chemistry Teacher

Chemistry Teacher

A chemistry teacher is someone who uses their knowledge of chemistry to teach students at the secondary or post-secondary level. They typically work in schools, but they may also work in online or distance education programs.

Qualifications: A bachelor’s degree in chemistry is the minimum requirement for this job, but many employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree or higher. Most states also require teachers to be licensed.

Day in the Life: Chemistry teachers typically work regular hours, but they may also need to work evenings or weekends to prepare lessons or meet with students. Teachers usually start the day around 8:00 am and run classes until late afternoon; they will also have to prepare lessons and grade homework and tests.

Salary ExpectationsThe median salary for a chemistry teacher is $60,000 per year.

Forensic Chemist

A forensic chemist is someone who uses their knowledge of chemistry to analyze evidence from crime scenes. Their work can be used in criminal investigations.

Qualifications: A bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and sometimes a Ph.D. in a relevant field is required. Some states also expect forensic chemists to be licensed.

Day in the Life: Forensic chemists typically work regular hours in laboratories. However, they may also need to work evenings or weekends when trying to gather evidence from important crime scenes.

Salary Expectations: The median salary for a forensic chemist is $62,000 per year.

Pharmaceutical Chemist

A pharmaceutical chemist is someone who uses their knowledge of chemistry to develop new drugs and medications. They often work in laboratories, and their work can be used in the medical field.

Qualifications: A bachelor’s degree in chemistry is the minimum requirement for this job, but many employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree or higher.

Day in the Life: Pharmaceutical chemists work in labs daily, mixing new drugs and testing them. They will have to write up results and look at possible side effects.

Salary Expectations: The median salary for a pharmaceutical chemist is $75,000 per year.

Oceanographer

An oceanographer is someone who uses their knowledge of chemistry to study the oceans. They often work in laboratories, but they may also work on ships or in field research stations.

Qualifications: If you would like to be an oceanographer, you will need to have a master’s degree in a relevant field along with experience in the sector.

Day in the Life: Oceanographers typically work regular hours in office environments; they also need to visit production facilities to monitor operations or troubleshoot problems.

Salary Expectations: The median salary for an oceanographer is $72,000 per year.

Environmental Chemist

Environmental Chemist

An environmental chemist is someone who uses their knowledge of chemistry to study the environment and identify pollutants. They often work in laboratories, but they may also work in the field to collect samples.

Qualifications: Having a bachelor’s degree in environmental science or chemistry will be needed for this career.

Day in the Life: Environmental chemists typically work regular hours, usually in the office writing up results from their research. They will also visit production facilities or field sites to collect samples or monitor operations which they later analyze in a laboratory.

Salary Expectations: The median salary for an environmental chemist is $68,000 per year.

Food Chemist

A food chemist is someone who uses their knowledge of chemistry to study food and identify contaminants.

Qualifications: A bachelor’s degree in food science is the minimum requirement for this job, but many employers prefer candidates with a master’s degree or higher.

Day in the Life: Food chemists work in laboratories daily and in offices when writing up their findings. They may also routinely work in factories that produce food to check it is up to standard.

Salary Expectations: The median salary for a food chemist is $64,000 per year.

Cosmetic Chemist

A cosmetic chemist is someone who uses their knowledge of chemistry to develop new cosmetics and personal care products. Their work can be used in the beauty industry.

Qualifications: Like the other chemist careers above, if you would like to take this route, you will need at minimum a chemistry undergraduate degree and preferably a master’s degree. Work experience and internships can help progress your career.

Day in the Life: Cosmetic chemists can expect to work daily in a lab but will also be expected to attend meetings to discuss new product launches and their own findings.

Salary Expectations: The median salary for a cosmetic chemist is $58,000 per year.

Soil Chemist

A soil chemist is someone who uses their knowledge of chemistry to study soil and identify pollutants. They will be expected to work out in the field collecting samples before analyzing them in a lab.

Qualifications: You will need experience and a bachelor’s degree as a minimum for this career.

Day in the Life: The day-to-day activities of a soil chemist vary depending on their project. They may have to do site visits and apply for funding from different agencies, collect samples and run tests on them or write up their results.

Salary Expectations: The median salary for a soil chemist is $54,000 per year.

Studying Chemical Engineering?

Do we have some great study aids for you, such as the PPI FE Chemical Practice Problems, along with the PPI FE Chemical Review Manual – Comprehensive Review Guide for the NCEES FE Chemical Exam, or how about the Mathematical Methods in Chemical Engineering and the Elements of Chemical Reaction Engineering to help ace those exams.

I also found the informative Balancing Act: The Young Person’s Guide to a Career in Chemical Engineering, if you’re still undecided, as well as the Introduction to Chemical Engineering, or the Introduction to Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics, the Perry’s Chemical Engineers’ Handbook, or Chemical Process Safety: Fundamentals with Applications, and the Fundamentals of Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics in 2022.

Popular Chemistry Degree Jobs – Final Thoughts

As you can see, there are a variety of top chemistry degree jobs that you can pursue with your degree.

With the right qualifications, you can find a job that suits your interests and lifestyle. So don’t wait any longer; get out there and start pursuing your dream career today!

Congratulations on getting your Degree in Chemistry!

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About Robert A. Casey

Robert works with his girlfriend at a busy LA actors agency, where he secures roles for a number of B-list and a few A-list celebrities. His knowledge and connections within the film and TV industry are very impressive, and he loves sharing his experiences with all our readers on the site.

He lives in Studio City with his girlfriend Rachael, and his cat, Gerald.  

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