Organic Chemistry Professor: Job Info & Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become an organic chemistry professor. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about schooling, job duties and degree requirements to find out if this is the career for you.

View popular schools

Organic chemistry professors typically hold doctoral degrees, though master's degrees may be sufficient for work at community colleges. Besides teaching, they may also publish research papers, mentor graduate students, or be required to write grant proposals for their chemistry department.

Essential Information

Becoming an organic chemistry professor requires extensive schooling that includes years of graduate study. A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) is necessary for university professors, and a master's generally qualifies individuals for teaching at junior colleges. Ph.D. students complete original research and pass comprehensive exams. Grant-writing knowledge or the ability to raise funds for research projects may also be required.

Required Education Ph.D. for university positions, master's for junior colleges
Other Requirements Grant-writing or fundraising sometimes required
Projected Job Growth (2014 - 2024)* 15% for all chemistry postsecondary professors
Median Salary (2015)* $75,060 annually for all chemistry professors

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Organic Chemistry Professor Job Info

Organic chemistry professors are academics who study and teach the structures and reactions of compounds. They work within chemistry departments of universities and divide their time between instructing chemistry courses, conducting research and writing for academic publications. Organic chemistry professors may also mentor graduate students who are pursuing their doctorates.

Organic chemistry professors are skilled scientific professionals. Because their jobs require delivering lectures and publishing papers, they need strong communication and writing skills. They may also need to secure funding for research projects, which may require grant-writing or fundraising skills.

Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), overall employment for all chemistry professors was expected to increase 15% from 2014-2024 ( The best opportunities are for non-tenure track positions. The increase in employment is due to many professors nearing retirement and the growing number of college students.

Salary Information

The BLS reports that the median annual salary for chemistry professors was $75,060 as of May 2015. The average salary of college and university professors was higher than those who taught at junior colleges. Chemistry professors may also be employed in research and development.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Agricultural Education for Teachers
  • Art Teacher Education
  • Biology Education for Teachers
  • Business Teacher Education
  • Chemistry Teacher Education
  • Drama and Dance Teacher Education
  • Driver Safety Teacher Education
  • English Teacher Education
  • Foreign Language Education for Teachers
  • French Language Teacher Education
  • Geography Teacher Education
  • German Language Teacher Education
  • Health Occupations Teacher Education
  • Health Teacher Education
  • History Teacher Education
  • Home Economics Teacher Education
  • Industrial Arts Teacher Education
  • Latin Teacher Education
  • Mathematics Teacher Education
  • Music Teacher Education
  • Physical Education and Coaching
  • Physics Teacher Education
  • Psychology Teacher Education
  • Sales and Marketing Teacher Education
  • Science Teacher Education
  • Social Science Teacher Education
  • Social Studies Teacher Education
  • Spanish Education for Teachers
  • Speech Teacher Education
  • Teaching, Computers
  • Teaching, Reading
  • Technical Teacher Education
  • Vocational Teacher Education

Educational Requirements for Organic Chemistry Professors

While positions at junior colleges only require a master's degree, most jobs as university professors will require a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Master's degree programs in chemistry allow students to select organic chemistry as a focus area. These programs may require coursework in other advanced areas, such as applied analytical chemistry and applied biochemistry. Many master's programs allow students to choose either a thesis or research project as their capstone requirement.

Ph.D. Programs

Earning a Ph.D. requires years of schooling that begins with a bachelor's degree in chemistry. These programs require significant coursework and labs in general chemistry, organic chemistry and physical chemistry. In addition to chemistry courses, programs include physics and calculus requirements.

Ph.D. programs set credit-hour requirements beyond the bachelor's degree level. Students who've earned a master's degree can apply those credits toward a Ph.D. program. Students may also consider work as teaching assistants for undergraduate students while completing their studies. Although there are coursework requirements, Ph.D. students devote significant time to completing a doctoral thesis of original research in organic chemistry and preparing for comprehensive examinations.

If you want to become an organic chemistry professor, get ready for a long education. Depending on the level of university you plan to teach at, a master's degree in organic chemistry or a PhD is the minimum requirement to apply for the job. While the education requirements are lengthy, employment opportunities are expected to be above average between 2014 and 2024.

Next: View Schools

What is your highest level of education?

Some College
Complete your degree or find the graduate program that's right for you.
High School Diploma
Explore schools that offer bachelor and associate degrees.
Still in High School
Earn your diploma or GED. Plan your undergraduate education.

Schools you may like:

Popular Schools

The listings below may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users.

    • MA in Teaching (for Aspiring Teachers Grades 5-12)
    • MS in Education (for Practicing Teachers Grades K-12)
    • MS in Higher Ed - College Teaching and Learning
    • BS in Early Childhood Administration

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • Doctor of Education in Teaching and Learning with an Emphasis in Adult Learning
    • Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership - Behavioral Health
    • Master of Science in Chemistry with an Emphasis in Education
    • Master of Science in Biology with an Emphasis in Education
    • MA in Curriculum and Instruction
    • M.A. in Communication with an Emphasis in Education
    • M.Ed. in Elementary Education
    • M.Ed. in Secondary Education
    • Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education
    • Bachelor of Science in Math for Secondary Education
    • B.S. in Elementary Education with an Emphasis in Christian Education
    • BS in Early Childhood
    • B.S. in Early Childhood Education and Early Childhood Special Education

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

    • MA in Education and Human Development in Organizational Leadership and Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

    • MS in Education - Special Education and Wilson Reading System Certification

    What is your highest level of education completed?

    • MEd in Curriculum & Instruction - Science
    • MEd in Curriculum & Instruction - Leadership
    • MEd in Curriculum and Instruction - STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math)
    • MEd in Curriculum & Instruction - Environmental Education
    • MEd in Curriculum & Instruction - Mathematics
    • M.Ed in Career and Technical Education Leadership

    What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your highest level of education?

  • What is your age?

    • Elementary Education, B.A. without Licensure
    • Early Childhood Education, B.A. without Licensure

    What is your highest level of education completed?

  • What is your highest level of education completed?

Find your perfect school

What is your highest level of education?