Those who have a bachelor's degree in chemistry are prepared for entry-level positions within laboratory environments. These individuals are typically employed to work on a particular topic or issue that needs to be solved for the company. With work experience and further education, management positions may become available for career advancement.
Graduates with a bachelor's degree in chemistry will find themselves qualified for entry-level positions as clinical laboratory technologists, chemists, or materials scientists. These jobs share similarities in that all of them involve working with complex chemical experimentation and require a large amount of laboratory work. Students willing to receive further training and specialize may qualify for supervisory or management positions.
|Career Titles||Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologist||Chemist||Materials Scientist|
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree||Bachelor's degree||Bachelor's degree|
|Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)*||11%||4%||3%|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$52,330||$76,890||$99,800|
Source:*U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
A bachelor's degree is usually considered sufficient for entry-level positions in these fields, although some employees may require a graduate degree. Chemists and materials scientists share many similarities; both make careers out of understanding chemical compositions and how chemicals may be used to improve our lives. Many different products, including synthetic materials such as nylon, paint, and adhesives, are the result of the research and development conducted by chemists and material scientists. Much like clinical laboratory technologists, chemists and materials scientists spend most of their time working in laboratories.
Clinical Laboratory Technologist
While individuals with associate's degrees may qualify to work as clinical laboratory technologists, a bachelor's degree is generally preferred by employers. Clinical laboratory technologists usually work in hospitals or other clinical settings performing complex tests, analysis and specimen examinations.
In some larger hospitals and laboratories, technologists can specialize in a particular area or field, such as clinical chemistry, immunology or cytotechnology. Some of these jobs may require additional training, although some employers may accept a combination of coursework and on-the-job experience.
Hospitals provide the majority of employment opportunities for clinical laboratory technologists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean annual income of a medical and clinical laboratory technologist in 2018 was $53,880. Job opportunities in this field are expected to grow much faster than average between 2018 and 2028, according to BLS projections.
Chemists generally focus on a specific branch of chemistry such as analytical, theoretical, organic or physical chemistry. According to the BLS, the mean yearly salary for chemists in 2018 was $83,850. Between 2018 and 2028, the BLS predicts that opportunities for chemists will increase is slower than average.
Materials scientists often specialize in a specific material. A materials scientist might focus on materials such as ceramics, metals or synthetics. In 2018, materials scientists earned a mean annual income of $102,450, per the BLS. Many of these professionals find employment in medicine and pharmaceutical manufacturing companies or scientific research. From 2018 to 2028, demand for materials scientists is projected to rise slower than average for job seekers.
In summary, although the job prospects for chemists and materials scientists aren't looking too promising, medical and clinical laboratory technologists are enjoying growth that is much faster than average. And with a median salary of about $52,000, there are a few attractive options for those with a bachelor's degree in chemistry.