Chemistry is a broad field, and those who study it can find many educational and career paths related to the subject. Read on to learn about the career options and requirements in the chemistry sciences.
Inside Chemistry Sciences
Chemistry is the study of matter, its properties and its mutations. Chemistry students take courses in molecular science, chemical principles, organic chemistry and thermodynamics. General chemistry programs do not typically require students to specialize, so a wide range of chemistry concepts are covered. Because this is such a broad subject, students who study chemistry are able to enter a variety of different professional fields, including academia, the medical field or chemical industries.
With so many education and career paths available for students interested in studying chemistry, it is important to do your research. Study.com has many resources that contain information about everything you need to know about studying chemistry.
Educational requirements vary by profession, but generally a bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement for a career in chemistry. For those who choose to pursue careers as teachers at the K-12 level, the appropriate teaching licensure can be obtained through the state after completing the necessary prerequisites, which could include a bachelor's degree in chemistry and a separate educational experience in teaching. To teach at the college level, a graduate degree in chemistry is required.
The level of education needed to enter the field can vary greatly depending on career choice. However, a graduate degree can increase chances of employment, regardless of the industry. Explore the pages below to learn more about education options.
For those who would like to study chemistry online, a few options are available. Some colleges and universities offer entire degree programs through the Internet, while others offer select courses online. Free online courses and material are also available, but these do not offer credit. It is important to keep in mind that many courses and programs have in-person laboratory requirements. The articles below explain these distance learning options in more detail.
Individuals with a master's or doctoral degree in chemistry may wish to enter the field in hands-on positions as chemists. Chemists work in a variety of settings, including laboratories and factories, researching new chemical compounds and properties or monitoring chemical processes to ensure safety.
Because chemists tend to work in groups, the ideal candidate will have excellent communication skills. All students who study chemistry should possess the curiosity and analytical skills necessary to draw conclusions from their research. The links below further discuss chemists, as well as some other career possibilities for chemistry students.
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), finding employment as a chemist is fairly competitive, so an advanced degree will help prospective employees when looking for a job (www.bls.gov). Job prospects for teachers are better, with postsecondary teacher employment expected to increase by 19% from 2012-2022.
The BLS reported that chemists earned a median annual salary of $72,350 in 2013, while postsecondary chemistry teachers earned a median of $72,670. In comparison, elementary school teachers earned a median of $53,590, while high school teachers earned a median of $55,360.
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