Careers with a Chemistry Degree

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Perhaps when one thinks of what they can do with a chemistry degree, they think, "Well, I can go on to graduate school and become a chemist". And yes, they can! But, that's just one of many, many careers options with this degree!

 

Chemistry degree programs can provide you with the necessary knowledge base and skill set to become successful in virtually any field that's even remotely related in some way to chemistry.

 

For example, chemistry graduates can be found applying their skills within the areas of environmental consulting, medical science, scientific equipment sales, science communication, teaching or academic research, and many, many other fields.

 

This careers guide contains detailed occupational information on career paths relevant to this degree. Included are job descriptions, expected salaries, educational requirements and other pertinent information related to these careers. We’ve also included chemistry-specific scholarships to help you pay for school!

 

 

 

 

Will I Need a Graduate Degree?

With an undergraduate chemistry degree, there are careers you may be able to jump right into. These are typically positions with lower levels of responsibility, often referred to as “entry-level” jobs. Jobs with a higher degree of responsibility will often require further education, training and/or experience to qualify for. This typically includes most teaching, research and consulting positions.

 

Fortunately, if you are interested in a career that requires further education, an undergraduate degree in this field serves as a great foundation for advanced study, in this and other graduate and professional programs, such as Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine and Law.

 

 

List of Careers Directly Relevant to Chemistry

The knowledge and skills you can gain by studying chemistry at the university level serve as an excellent foundation for the following careers (not an inclusive list):

 

Agricultural Chemist

Air Pollution Monitor

Assayer

Blogger

Brewmaster

Chemical Analyst

Chemical Engineer

Chemical Information Specialist

Chemical Oceanographer

Chemical Safety Officer

Chemical Technician

Chemist

Clinical Chemist

Clinical Data Analyst

Clinical Research Associate

Clinical Research Coordinator

Clinical Technician

Consumer Advocate

Crime Lab Assistant

Dentist

DNA Analyst

Elementary School Teacher

Energy Engineer

Energy Policy Analyst

Energy Researcher

Entrepreneur

Environmental Chemist

Flavorist

Food and Drug Inspector

Food Chemist

Food Safety Auditor

Food Scientist

Food Technologist

Forensic Chemist

Forensic Lab Analyst

High School Teacher

Industrial Chemist

Laboratory Manager

Materials Scientist

Medical Laboratory Technologist

Medical Writer

Methods Development Chemist

• Military Officer

Nanotechnologist

New Food Product Developer

Nuclear Chemist

Organic Chemist

Patent Agent

Perfumer

Pest Control Technician

Petroleum Chemist

Pharmaceutical Chemist

Pharmacist

Pharmacologist

Pulp and Paper Chemist

Quality Control Specialist

Regulatory Affairs Manager

Regulatory Affairs Specialist

Research Assistant

Research Chef

Sales Representative

Science Advisor

Science Writer

Technical Writer

Textile Chemist

Toxicologist

University Professor

Wastewater Operator

Wastewater Treatment Engineer

Water Purification Chemist

Water Quality Analyst

Water Quality Control Manager

 

Please Note: Some of the above listed careers require additional education, training and/or experience. Click on careers that are of interest to you to find out more about the qualifications you’ll need.

 

 

What Types of Employers Hire Chemistry Majors?

There are many employers, across many different sectors of industry that are interested in the skills and knowledge of chemistry majors, including:

 

• Cosmetics and fragrance production companies

• Computer and telecommunication companies

• Pulp and paper companies

• Consulting firms

• Pharmaceutical companies

• Municipal, regional and federal government agencies

• Universities, colleges and schools

• Hospitals & other medical organizations

• Magazines and newspapers

• Environment and pollution control firms

• Fine and heavy chemical manufacturing companies

• Food and beverage production companies

• Mining and metallurgy companies

• Law Firms

• Oil and gas companies

• Plastic manufacturing companies

• Museums

• Engineering firms

• Industrial inspection firms

• Scientific research and development companies

 

 

Job Postings Related to Your Degree

Whether you're a chemistry student looking for a job to help you pay for school, or a graduate looking for an entry or mid-level job, our job board has opportunities directly and indirectly related to your degree.

 

Search Chemistry Jobs

 

 

 

 

 

Transferable Skills You Can Learn

Apart from the technical skills that are specific to a chemistry degree, you will also develop fundamental professional skills through your studies. You can apply these skills to many careers not directly related to the field. These skills include:

 

• Effective listening skills

• Presentation skills

• Data recording and analysis skills

• Competitive leadership skills

• Ability to work efficiently independently or in a team

• Organizational communication fluidity

 

 

What Can I Do with These Skills?

You could apply these skills to a career as a lawyer, a sales representative, a research chef, a small business owner, an advertising consultant…and the list goes on and on! There are virtually no limits to the type of career you can pursue!

 

While these skills may not “get you a job” in a field outside of chemistry, they will serve as an excellent foundation for gaining the required education, training or experience you will need to pursue these careers.

 

For example, simply putting “Data recording and analysis skills” on your resume will probably not be enough to land you a high-powered job in corporate law. On the other hand, having that skill and applying it to studying for the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), will help you succeed at that test, and eventually become a lawyer.

 

 

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Average Salary Levels of Graduates

The salary you could earn with a chemistry degree varies based on a wide variety of factors, such as:

 

• The type, size, and budget of your employer

• The discretion of your employer
• Your level of education and experience
• Your level of certification (if applicable)
• The region in which you work 
• How much overtime you are able to work (if applicable)
• The amount of responsibility inherent in your position
• Your level of experience (it’s worth noting that people with several years worth of experience can often earn substantially in their profession more than what’s listed below)

 

The salary you could earn is also highly dependent on the career field you enter. Below is an overview of the average earnings of people in a few career fields that are relevant to a degree in chemistry. Please note however, that the salary information listed below is meant only to serve as a guideline. In many cases, workers in these fields can earn a much lower, or much higher salary, than what is listed below.

 


Agricultural Chemist
(See “Chemist”)

 

Air Pollution Monitor
(See “Chemical Technician”)

 

Brewmaster
Alberta: N/A
Canada: $50,825 (Canada)
United States: N/A

 

Chemical Analyst
(See “Chemist”)

 

Chemical Engineer
Alberta: $107,372 (ALIS)
Canada: $83,599 (indeed)
United States: $86,872

 

Chemical Oceanographer
Alberta: $128,940 (ALIS)
Canada: N/A
United States: $101,541 (Glassdoor)

 

Chemical Safety Officer
(See “Chemical Technician”)

 

Chemical Technician
Alberta: $62,913 (ALIS)
Canada: $45,397 (PayScale)
United States: $35,280 (indeed)

 

Chemist
Alberta: $79,450 (ALIS)
Canada: $52,160 (indeed)
United States: $62,640 (indeed)

 

Clinical Chemist
(See “Chemist”)

 

Clinical Data Analyst
Alberta: $64,360 (ALIS)
Canada: N/A
United States: $75,687 (Glassdoor)

 

Clinical Technician
Alberta: $77,398 (ALIS)
Canada: N/A
United States: $51,770 (BLS)

 

Crime Lab Assistant
Alberta: $62,913 (ALIS)
Canada: N/A
United States: $57,850 (BLS)

 

Dentist
Alberta: $154,564 (ALIS)
Canada: N/A
United States: $158,120 (BLS)

 

DNA Analyst
Alberta: $62,913 (ALIS)
Canada: N/A
United States: $57,850 (BLS)

 

Energy Engineer
Alberta: N/A
Canada: $91,799 (indeed)
United States:$82,839 (indeed)

 

Energy Policy Analyst
Alberta: N/A
Canada: $58,882 (PayScale)
United States: $65,000 (Glassdoor)

 

Environmental Chemist
(See “Chemist”)

 

Flavorist
Alberta: N/A
Canada: N/A/
United States: $63,545 (indeed)

 

Food Chemist
Alberta: $80,949 (ALIS)
Canada: N/A
United States: $71,780 (BLS)

 

Food Safety Auditor
Alberta: $80,949 (ALIS)
Canada: N/A
United States: $71,780 (BLS)

 

Forensic Lab Analyst
Alberta: $62,913 (ALIS)
Canada: N/A
United States: $57,850 (BLS)

 

High School Teacher
Alberta: $73,966 (ALIS)
Canada: $58,000 (PayScale)
United States: $59,170 (BLS)

 

Industrial Chemist
(See “Chemist”)

 

Laboratory Manager
Alberta: N/A
Canada: $63,590 (PayScale)
United States: $60,174 (indeed)

 

Materials Scientist
Alberta: N/A
Canada: N/A
United States: $101,910 (BLS)

 

Medical Laboratory Technologist
Alberta: $77,398 (ALIS)
Canada: $67,160 (Glassdoor)
United States: $51,770 (BLS)

 

New Food Product Developer
Alberta: N/A
Canada: $48,609 (PayScale)
United States: $72,294 (Glassdoor)

 

Patent Agent
Alberta: N/A
Canada: N/A
United States: $116,000 (BLS)

 

Perfumer
Alberta: N/A
Canada: N/A
United States: $122,084 (PayScale)

 

Petroleum Chemist
Alberta: N/A
Canada: N/A
United States: $89,142 (Glassdoor)

 

Pharmacist
Alberta: $98,037 (ALIS)
Canada: $103,926 (Glassdoor)
United States: $124,170 (BLS)

 

Pharmacologist
Alberta: $84,998 (ALIS)
Canada: N/A
United States: $82,090 (BLS)

 

Regulatory Affairs Manager
Alberta: N/A
Canada: $82,478 (indeed)
United States: $105,290 (Glassdoor)

 

Research Chef
Alberta: N/A
Canada: N/A
United States: $54,443 (Glassdoor)

 

Sales Representative
Alberta: $62,683 (ALIS)
Canada: $61,624 (indeed)
United Sates: $60,340 (BLS)

 

Science Writer
Alberta: $58,979 (ALIS)
Canada: $56,634 (PayScale)
United States: $57,549 (BLS)

 

Textile Chemist
(See “Chemist”)

 

Toxicologist
Alberta: $84,998 (ALIS)
Canada: N/A
United States: $74,631 (indeed)

 

Wastewater Operator
Alberta: $63,721 (ALIS)
Canada: $69,245 (PayScale)
United States: $69,444 (Glassdoor)

 

Water Quality Analyst
Alberta: N/A
Canada: N/A
United States: $53,460 (PayScale)


 
The name in brackets next to the salary data for each region is the sources from which the data was obtained. Please note, the salary data that is sourced from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) represents median salary figures, rather than average salary figures.
 

 

Salary Data Reference Information

ALIS: Alberta Learning and Information Service (alis.alberta.ca), sponsored by the Government of Alberta. For an overview of their salary survey methodology, please visit here.
PayScale: Private organization owned by PayScale Incorporated (payscale.com). For an overview of their salary survey methodology, please visit here.
BLS: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov), sponsored by the federal government of the United States of America. For details regarding their salary survey methodology, please visit here.
Glassdoor: Glassdoor is a private organization owned by Glassdoor incorporated (glassdoor.com). For an overview of their salary survey methodology, please visit here.
Canadian Food Inspection Agency: For the career profile of “Food & Drug Inspector” 

 

 

Relevant Scholarships

If you’re a chemistry major looking for help in paying for school, then you’re in luck! Our scholarships database has Canadian and American scholarships that are specific to chemistry, scholarships for science students in general, and scholarships that are open to any field of study.

 

 

Professional Associations for Careers in the Field

To find out more about careers directly related to your chemistry degree, consult the following professional association websites. They offer career-related information, and many have opportunities for student membership, as well as job placement and mentoring opportunities.

 

Canada

Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering

Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists

Chemical Institute of Canada

 

United States

American Chemical Society

American Institute of Chemical Engineers

The American Institute of Chemists

 

 


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