Career Advice on How to Become A Chemist

General Career Information

Many of us have memories of being miserable in chemistry class in high school or college.  Yet, if your one of the lucky ones that love chemistry, then there will no doubt be plenty of interesting job openings for you once you have a chemistry degree.  Those who excel at chemistry may want to consider adding a career as chemist to their job search or career planning.

Today’s chemist is employed in an ever-widening range of industries.  It is common to find chemists working in almost every industry under the sun, including the alternative energy and alternative fuel industries.  Chemists are currently working to develop everything from new drugs and cosmetics to electronic components.  One can even find chemists, a great many in fact, working in the petroleum industry.  As it turns out, chemists are needed by the petroleum industry to help with oil refining and other processes.


Career Facts:

The facts are that while the world may have went digital, there has probably never been a more exciting time to be a chemist.  Chemists are needed in every cutting-edge industry that one can imagine.  Materials science is poised to be one of the transformative industries of the early twenty-first century, and chemists will play a critical role.  Expect to find chemists working in the fields of nanotechnology, alternative fuel and energy development such as solar and fuel cell, as well as working to help create the coming generations of computer chips.  If you are thinking that a degree in chemistry can lead to employment in almost any field, then you are correct.


Career Opportunities and Job Outlook- Below Average:

While there has never been a more exciting time to be a chemist, the rate of growth is only expected to be about three percent, which is below normal for all jobs.  There are exceptions, as chemists who specialize in material science, for example, should see a twelve percent increase in hiring between 2008 and 2010.  Those holding graduate degrees will likely find more opportunities than their undergraduate counterparts.
Job Outlook is Not Good

A Day in The Life:

Like many employed in the sciences or engineering, the job description can vary considerable depending upon specialization and the industry in which one is working.  Chemists may work in research and development where their skills will be used to develop new products or new drugs.  This likely means a good deal of time spent in the lab.

It is important to note that the nature of some jobs may mean that chemist may be exposed to numerous chemicals.  This exposure represents a health risk, and those considering becoming a chemist should definitely take this fact into consideration.


Average Salary:

The average chemist earns roughly $66,000, with the top ten percent earning about $113,000.



Career Training and Qualifications:

A bachelor’s degree in chemistry is obviously a must.  Those with graduate degrees will likely have an easier time finding employment.
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