Chemist Job Description

A chemist is a science professional who deals with properties and structures of different chemical substances. The job outlook for a chemist is very vast since he/she can work in various fields like pharmaceuticals, research and development, mining, food processing, sewage treatment, etc. There are different types of chemists that include, analytical chemists, organic chemists, inorganic chemists, medical chemists and materials chemists. Before knowing the salary range of a chemist, let us take a look at the educational requirements.

Educational Requirements

Thorough knowledge of chemistry, mathematics and computers, are some of the basic requirements to become a chemist. He/she should also have ability to plan and solve queries, good numerical skills and good practical skills. Good communication skills are also necessary for interaction with other professionals. The student should have good knowledge about composition of all chemicals, their structures, properties and the chemical processes through which they get transformed to other substances.

To start your career as a chemist, you must acquire a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. You can acquire a job in technical sales and service with this Bachelor’s degree. You may also opt for teaching chemistry in high schools after obtaining this degree. With a Bachelor’s degree in your hand, you can also assist an experienced chemist. If you want to go for some high paying jobs in this field, then you will have to acquire a Master’s degree in Chemistry, which can be obtained in one or two years after graduation. Some students also obtain a doctoral degree in Chemistry, which requires four years of rigorous study. A doctoral degree in Chemistry can give you career opportunities to become an administrator or even as a teacher in a university.

Job Description of a Chemist

As mentioned earlier, a chemist is a scientist who studies and analyzes composition of different chemical elements. A chemist can work with a private industry that deals with production of textiles, cosmetics or plastics. He/she can also work in conjunction with a government firm for pollution control, agriculture and sewage treatment. A chemist who specializes in inorganic chemistry, deals with inorganic substances like metals and minerals. An organic chemist, analyzes and researches on matters that contain carbon, like plastic. Medical chemist or pharmaceutical chemist, is the one who develops medicines for health purposes. An analytical chemist analyzes composition of various chemical substances, like analyzing the composition of material obtained from a planet. Thus we can say that the duties of a chemist depends on the area he/she specializes in. Given below is a short list of different duties of a chemist.

  • Plan and synthesize new elements.
  • Find out different ways to optimize the quality of an existing chemical product.
  • Preparing test solutions, chemical compounds and performing various laboratory tests.
  • Carrying out various analysis test and finding out the physical and chemical properties of various chemical compounds.
  • Interact with other professionals like chemical engineers and scientists.
  • Prepare test reports, technical papers and standard specifications for the chemical product.
  • Analyze and study effects of various processes on composition of a chemical substance.
  • Utilizing computer software for processing the obtained information.

Salary Range of Chemist

The salary of a chemist is governed by various factors like education, experience, type of employer and type of specialization. The table given below specifies the chemist salary depending upon years of experience and type of employer. It is an approximate that has been made after going through data from various sources.

Type of Employer Average Annual Salary (in $)
Government (Local or State) 40,233 to 60,875
Private Firm 38,425 to 54,464
Government (Federal) 53,338 to 91,296
College/University 29,161 to 45,971

Years of Experience Average Annual Salary (in $)
Less than 1 year 31,115 to 44,946
1 to 4 37,136 to 49,227
5 to 9 44,969 to 61,127
10 to 19 49,895 to 66,066

This was a brief information on the job description of a chemist. The post of a chemist is quite challenging, that may also demand to work in poisonous and explosive environment. A chemist has to follow strict rules and regulations, to avoid injuries and accidents. Moreover one needs to have lots of patience while analyzing and solving various chemical problems. I hope the information provided in this article will prove useful to you.