- Soil scientists
- Plant scientists
- Materials scientists and engineers
- Food science technicians
- Chemical technicians
- Environmental science and protection technicians, including health
- Chemical plant and system operators
A bachelor's degree in chemistry or a related discipline usually is the minimum educational requirement for entry-level chemist jobs. Most research jobs in chemistry require a master's degree or, more frequently, a PhD.
Nature of the Work
Everything in the environment, whether naturally occurring or of human design, is composed of chemicals. Chemists search for and use new knowledge about chemicals. Chemical research has led to the discovery and development of new and improved synthetic fibers, paints, adhesives, drugs, cosmetics, electronic components, lubricants, and thousands of other products.
Chemists usually work in offices and laboratories. R&D chemists spend a lot of time in laboratories, but also work in offices when they do theoretical research or plan, record, and report on their lab research. Although some laboratories are small, others are large enough to incorporate prototype chemical manufacturing facilities, as well as advanced testing equipment.
On the Job
- Analyze organic and inorganic compounds to determine chemical and physical properties, composition, structure, relationships, and reactions, utilizing chromatography, spectroscopy, and spectrometer techniques.
- Develop, improve, and customize products, equipment, formulas, processes, and analytical methods.
- Compile and analyze test information to determine process or equipment operating efficiency and to diagnose malfunctions.
- Confer with scientists and engineers to conduct analysis of research projects, interpret test results, or develop nonstandard tests.
- Direct, coordinate, and advise personnel in test procedures for analyzing components and physical properties of materials.
- Induce changes in composition of substances by introducing heat, light, energy, and chemical catalysts for quantitative and qualitative analysis.
- Write technical papers and reports and prepare standards and specifications for processes, facilities, products, or tests.
- Prepare test solutions, compounds, and reagents for laboratory personnel to conduct test.
- Study effects of various methods of processing, preserving, and packaging on composition and properties of foods.
Companies That Hire