What Does a Chemist Do?

Learn About the Salary, Required Skills, & More


A chemist searches for new understanding about chemicals and makes use of it to enhance the manner we stay. He or she can also increase products such as artificial fibers, drugs, and cosmetics. Chemists create methods, consisting of oil refining and petrochemical processing, that lessen strength use and pollutants.

They specialize in regions consisting of analytical, organic, inorganic, physical and theoretical, macromolecular, scientific, and substances chemistry.

Chemist Duties & Responsibilities

This activity requires candidates in an effort to perform responsibilities that include the following:

  • Perform complicated studies projects, such as growing new merchandise and trying out new strategies
  • Provide education on proper chemical checking out and processing tactics which include mixing times, operating temperatures, and substances
  • Prepare compounds, reagents, and solutions used in laboratory processes
  • Analyze diverse materials to discover their composition
  • Test substances and materials for chemical safety
  • Write technical reports to describe their strategies and findings
  • Present their findings to engineers, scientists, and other colleagues

Chemists regularly paintings as a part of a research group,so they have to possess the potential to paintings with others closer to a commonplace outcome. Chemists frequently have a distinctiveness, together with a forensic chemist, organic chemist, bodily chemist or medicinal chemist.

Chemist Salary

A chemist's revenue varies based totally on the extent of training, enjoy, geographical area, and other factors.

  • Median Annual Salary: $seventy four,470 ($35.93/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: More than $one hundred thirty,560 ($62.seventy seven/hour)
  • Bottom 10% Annual Salary: Less than $forty two,960 ($20.65/hour)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017

Education, Training & Certification 

A chemist process calls for as a minimum a 4-year college degree, despite the fact that there are blessings to pursuing better degrees of training.

  • College diploma: If you need to be a chemist, you'll want to earn at the least, a bachelor's diploma in chemistry. However, most research jobs require a grasp's degree or, more likely, a Ph.D.
  • Internships: While now not mandatory, an internship, work-take a look at program or fellowship can assist college students gain experience whilst completing their degree, to assist cause them to better activity applicants.
  • Experience: With experience and advanced education in the form of a doctorate, chemists can end up lead researchers. Additional revel in can suggest assignments that encompass operating on larger and greater complicated projects.

Chemist Skills & Competencies

In addition to formal education, positive tender talents, or private features with that you have been both born or acquired through lifestyles enjoy, will make contributions for your fulfillment in this career. They are:

  • Problem Solving and Critical Thinking Skills: Your work as a chemist will identify troubles and come up with feasible answers to them. Before enforcing those fixes, you'll have to examine every one after which are expecting which one will be the only.
  • Speaking, Listening, and Interpersonal Skills: Since your task is probable to involve operating on a crew, the capability to communicate with others is critical.
  • Time Management Skills: Excellent time management capabilities will assist you to meet time limits.
  • Analytical Skills: Chemists, like other scientists, must analyze a variety of facts
  • Organizational Skills: Strong organizational abilties may be had to keep tune of your information, and carefully document all techniques and consequences.

Job Outlook 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the increase outlook for chemists and materials scientists over the next decade relative to other occupations and industries is similar to the average for all occupations, pushed by a continuing want for chemists to work on developing medical nanotechnology.

Employment for chemists is anticipated to grow with the aid of approximately 6 percent over the following ten years, which is slightly slower than the average boom projected for all occupations between 2016 and 2026. Growth for material scientists is projected to be 7 percent over the subsequent ten years, at the same time as bodily scientist jobs are projected to look a 10 percent growth over the subsequent decade.

These boom charges examine to the projected 7 percentage growth for all occupations. Lab revel in outdoor of a lecture room, which include with an internship, can help improve job prospects for brand spanking new chemistry graduates. Advanced stages and work experience, mainly with green chemistry, can boom your potentialities, and jobs will continue to be available due to the need to update chemists leaving the occupation.

Work Environment 

They in general have jobs in research and development inside the bodily, engineering, and lifestyles sciences. Pharmaceutical manufacturers and testing laboratories also hire chemists. Some paintings for the federal government, in addition to nation and nearby governments. Their workplaces are labs and places of work, where they're regularly a part of studies teams.

Work Schedule 

Chemists typically paintings everyday, complete-time hours. They may additionally occasionally need to paintings longer hours to fulfill project cut-off dates, or carry out time-sensitive paintings after hours.

How to Get the Job


Look for chemist jobs the use of on line task-search web sites including Indeed.com, Monster.com, or Glassdoor.com. You can also go to on-line web sites that specialize in technology-related jobs, along with NewScientist.com.


Locate an internship that will help you benefit publicity, thru your college's career middle. You can also take a look at for available internships on the equal online job portals that put up regular activity openings. Additionally, attempt visiting the American Chemical Society's (ACS) internet site for undergraduate internship opportunities.


Join the American Chemical Society and join up for activities to community with others in your selected area. The ACS site also has a career middle with activity postings.

Comparing Similar Jobs 

People inquisitive about turning into a chemist additionally remember the subsequent profession paths, indexed with their median annual salaries:

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017