Career Opportunities

Employers of the chemistry profession include schools and institutions of higher education, governmental agencies, business and industry. Whether you specialize in research chemistry and deal with the nature of matter or in the practical application of experimental results to situations such as pollution or soil analysis, the profession is rewarding and challenging. The BA (chemistry or biochemistry options) is excellent preparation for a range of programs in the health professions leading to careers in such areas as medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and osteopathy. Specific careers include medical technology, pharmacology, forensics, materials analysis, teaching, scientific writing, museum work, patent law, industrial hygiene, toxicology, water and air analysis, paints and coatings, instrumentation, and chemical sales.

Employment and Salary Outlook

Chemists are widely employed in private industry, government, and education. Traditional chemical employers such as chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturers will need workers to replace an aging workforce. Increased opportunities in biotechnical and environmental companies are likely in the upcoming years, as are positions in defense and national security related fields. There is a continued shortage of qualified secondary science teachers, and many faculty members at Community Colleges and Universities will be retiring in the next decade.

Salaries for chemists, particularly in the private sector, continue to be very competitive even when the economy is weak.

Here are some links to helpful sites with career information and job listings:

Here are some of the fields where chemistry majors find employment:
  • Chemist (chemical and pharmaceutical companies)
  • Quality Control and Assurance (QA/QC)
  • Water purification, monitoring, and compliance
  • Air quality
  • Hazardous water management
  • Chemical lab technician
  • Instrumentation and chemical companies
  • Biochemist and biotechnology
  • Chemometrics and computational chemistry
  • Technical writer
  • Sales representative for chemical and instrumentation companies
  • Health administrator
  • Teacher
  • Food/Drug inspector
  • Materials scientist (e.g. building materials, cement, plastics, textiles)
  • Environmental scientist (public agencies, private consulting companies)
  • Criminologist (forensic scientist)
  • Pharmocologist
  • Pharmacist
  • Dentist
  • Physician
  • Geochemist
  • Petroleum industry
  • Clinical chemist (Clinical Laboratory Scientist)
  • Veterinarian
  • Medical librarian
  • Paints and Coatings
  • Agricultural companies
  • Food and nutraceutical companies
  • Perfume and cosmetic manufacturers