How to Become a Chemical Information Specialist


Those who become chemical information specialists typically have more of an interest in scientific literature than they do in scientific method. They tend to be interested in natural sciences, have excellent written and oral communication skills, and be comfortable working with others. Those who get into this field are also individuals that have a propensity for public service, and they posses the ability to pay close attention to detail.


Below we've outlined what you'll need to begin a career in this field. We've also included helpful information for this career, such as job description, job duties, salary expectations, a list of possible employers and much more!



Education Needed to Become a Chemical Information Specialist

The educational requirements for entering this field vary depending on the area of chemical information in which you will work. Working as an indexer or document analyst generally requires a bachelor´s degree in chemistry or a closely related field, although a graduate degree may be required for more specialized work.


A master's degree in library science (M.L.S.), as well as a certain amount of career experience (dependent on the requirements of the employer) is necessary to become a chemical librarian that works in an academic environment.


To become a chemical information specialist that works in private industry, you'll likely need to have an advanced degree in your specialized area of chemistry. To work as a market researcher, a consultant, or in a sales and management position, it is beneficial to combine technical training in chemical information with an education in business. 





General Job Description of a Chemical Information Specialist 

Chemical information specialists are responsible for compiling and organizing scientific information in order to make it easily accessible for those who are unable to keep up with the periodicals and patent literature in their field; including researchers, students, industry professional and others.


Those that work in research and development are responsible for supporting research chemists by providing the background information necessary to undertake new experiments.


Those that work in the chemical industry in a capacity outside of research and develop may provide such services as assisting sales and marketing teams with compiling relevant information to help bring a product to market.


Chemical information specialists that work in academia act as scientific librarians who manage information for academic researchers.



Typical Duties of the Job

• Read and analyze scientific data

• Compile and organize scientific organization

• Distill the most important information from informational materials

• Present and organize information in an a manner which allows the reader to easily obtain the most relevant points

• Act as an expert resource in specialized field of chemistry

• Maintain current knowledge of chemical research techniques and processes

• May conduct laboratory work



Who Employs Them?

Chemical information specialists are hired by organizations in private industry and academia to manage chemical information in order to assist people with research, providing support to sales teams, and a variety of other functions.


Types of employers include:


• Colleges and universities

• Chemical companies

• Scientific libraries

• Private research institutions

• Management consulting firms

• Publishing houses (in the technical and trade divisions)

• Scientific software development companies





Salary Levels Typical to This Profession

The salary level of chemical information specialists can vary depending on factors such as their level of education, their level of experience, where they work, the specific responsibilities of their job.


Unfortunately, there is no specific salary information available from reputable sources for this profession, although we can get an idea of their earning level by looking at the salary level of closely occupational fields.


Chemical Information Specialist Salary - Canada (Alberta): According to the 2017 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans working in the Librarians occupational group earn an average salary of $49,118 per year. The report also states that Albertans working in the Chemists occupational group earn an average wage of between $79,440 per year. Unfortunately, no similar statistics were available from reliable sources for other Canadian provinces or territories at the time of writing (July 1, 2019).


Chemical Information Specialist Salary United States: According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of workers in the Librarians occupational group is $54,500 per year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also claims that the median salary level for workers in the Chemists and Materials Scientists occupational group is $69,790 per year.



Skills and Traits Needed

To be effective in this field, you need to posses certain skills and personality characteristics. These traits and skills will allow you to learn how to perform your job with competence, as well as help you endure its ups and downs.


• An interest in scientific literature

• An interest in lifelong learning

• A methodical approach to compiling information

• The ability to understand and distill scientific information

• Effective verbal and written communication skills

• An interest in public service

• An eye for detail

• Ability to work with specialized computer programs



Actual Job Postings

Our job board below has "chemical information specialist" postings in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.




Similar Occupations in Our Database

Listed below are occupations in our database that are similar in nature to 'chemical information specialist', as they may involve many of the same skills, competencies and responsibilities.


Medical Librarian

Medical Writer

Research Assistant

Science Advisor

Science Writer




Please use the references below to find more information on the various aspects of a career as a chemical information specialist.


Occupations in Alberta:Chemist.” (March 5, 2018). ALIS website - Alberta Learning Information Service. Retrieved November 3, 2019.

Life, Physical, and Social Science:Chemists and Materials Scientists.” (September 4, 2019). Occupational Outlook Handbook - United States Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Retrieved November 3, 2019.

College & Career:Chemical Information Management Specialist.” AGCAS editors (n.d.). American Chemical Society website. Retrieved November 3, 2019.



Scholarships for Becoming a Chemical Information Specialist

Scholarships in our database that are relevant for this career are those that are found on our Chemistry Scholarships page.


Success Tip: Be sure to apply for any scholarships that you even barely qualify for, as there are millions of dollars of scholarships that go unused every year due to a lack of applicants!



Relevant Fields of Study

Studying one of the university majors listed below is an excellent starting point to becoming a chemical information specialist. Click on the links to find out what else you can do with these majors!


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