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What Are Some Careers in Chemistry?

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Chemical engineers can work anywhere in the world.

Chemical engineers supervise the central pumping station at the Yukos Oil and Gas company in Nefteyugansk, Siberia. Chemical engineers can work anywhere in the world.

Getty Images Many graduates with chemistry degrees go on to teach at a college, high school, or elementary school.

Many graduates with chemistry degrees go on to teach at a college, high school, or elementary school.

Tetra Images, Getty Images Chemists only spend part of their time in a lab.

Chemists only spend part of their time in a lab. They have offices and work as part of interdisciplinary teams.

Ryan McVay, Getty Images

Question: What Are Some Careers in Chemistry?

Answer: The career options in chemistry are practically endless! However, your employment options depend on how far you have taken your education. A 2-year degree in chemistry won't get you very far. You could work in some labs washing glassware or assist at a school with lab preparation, but you wouldn't have much advancement potential and you could expect a high level of supervision. A college bachelor's degree in chemistry (B.A., B.S.) opens up more opportunities. A 4-year college degree can be used to gain admittance to advanced degree programs (e.g., graduate school, medical school, law school). With the bachelor's degree, you can get a bench job, which would allow you to run equipment and prepare chemicals. A bachelor's degree in chemistry or education (with a lot of chemistry) is necessary to teach at the K-12 level. A master's degree in chemistry, chemical engineering, or other field opens up far more options. A terminal degree, such as a Ph.D. or M.D., leaves the field wide open. In the United States you need at least 18 graduate credit hours to teach at the college level (preferably a Ph.D.). Most scientists who design and supervise their own research programs have terminal degrees. Chemistry is a part of biology and physics, plus, there are lots of categories of chemistry! Here's look at some of the career options related to chemistry:

  • Agrochemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Astrochemistry
  • Atmospheric Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Catalysis
  • Ceramics Industry
  • Chemical Engineering (chemical engineer profile)
  • Chemical Information Specialist
  • Chemical Sales
  • Chemical Technology
  • Chemist (chemist profile)
  • Colloid Science
  • Consulting
  • Consumer Products
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Law
  • Ethnobotany
  • Food Chemistry
  • Forensic Science
  • Geochemistry
  • Government Policy
  • Hazardous Waste Management
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Science
  • Medicine
  • Metallurgy
  • Military Systems
  • Oceanography
  • Organic Chemist
  • Paper Industry
  • Patent Law
  • Perfume Chemistry
  • Petroleum and Natural Gas Industry
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Plastics Industry
  • Polymer Industry
  • R&D Management
  • Science Writer
  • Software Design
  • Space Exploration
  • Surface Chemistry
  • Teaching
  • Technical Writing
  • Textile Industry

This list isn't complete. You can work chemistry into any industrial, educational, scientific, or governmental field. Chemistry is a very versatile science. Mastery of chemistry is associated with excellent analytical and mathematical skills. Students of chemistry are able to solve problems and think things through. These skills are useful for any job!

10 Great Careers in Chemistry

 

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