Careers in Chemistry


Science jobs are in demand


Every year, the demand for science graduates continues to grow. Dozens of industries are experiencing rapid growth in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related jobs. These jobs are being created much faster than they can be filled. From the president’s State of the Union address to the latest article from industry blogs, everyone is trying to figure out how to fill the need for these highly skilled jobs. 

Chemists work in many industries

Analytical chemists determine the structure, composition, and nature of substances by examining and identifying their various elements or compounds. They also study the relationships and interactions between the parts of compounds and develop new techniques for carrying out their work. Their research has a wide range of applications, including food safety, pharmaceuticals, and pollution control.

Inorganic chemists study the structure, properties, and reactions of molecules that do not contain carbon, such as metals. They work to understand the behavior and the characteristics of inorganic substances. Inorganic chemists figure out how these materials can be modified, separated, or used in products, such as ceramics and superconductors.  

Medicinal chemists research and develop chemical compounds that can be used as pharmaceutical drugs. They work on teams with other scientists and engineers to create and test new drug products. They also help develop new and improved manufacturing processes to produce new drugs on a large scale effectively.

Organic chemists study the structure, properties, and reactions of molecules that contain carbon. They also design and make new organic substances that have unique properties and applications. These compounds have, in turn, been used to develop many commercial products, such as pharmaceutical drugs and plastics.

Physical chemists study the fundamental characteristics of how matter behaves on a molecular and atomic level and how chemical reactions occur. Based on their analyses, physical chemists may develop new theories, such as how complex structures are formed. Physical chemists often work closely with materials scientists to research and develop potential uses for new materials.

 Chemists Salary


The median annual wage of chemists and material scientists was $67,790 in 2010. That works out to be $33.55 hour. Check out the occupational handbook for more information on the job outlook for chemists.