Careers Involving Chemistry

Chemistry is a broad field that is utilized by many different careers in some capacity. We discuss a few of the career opportunities that use chemistry on a daily basis, as well as the education requirements for each.

Career Options Involving Chemistry

Chemistry can help identify, answer and explain a wide range of problems and concerns, such as the cause of a disease or what a particular substance is made of. Therefore, there are many careers across a variety of fields that involve chemistry. Here we present a few of the possible career opportunities that utilize chemistry the most.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Chemists $73,740 3%
Chemical Engineers $98,340 2%
Chemical Technicians $45,840 2%
Biochemists and Biophysicists $82,180 8%
Chemistry Teachers, Postsecondary $76,750 15%
Forensic Science Technicians $56,750 27%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Careers Involving Chemistry


Given their name, a chemist is the most obvious career choice that involves chemistry. Chemists conduct complex research projects that examine different substances at the molecular, or even atomic, level. They may study how these substances interact with one another to develop or improve products and ensure the safety of different materials. Their findings are reported in scientific papers and presentations. Chemists generally need a bachelor's degree, but master's and/or Ph.D.'s are needed for most research positions.

Chemical Engineers

Chemical engineers combine engineering principles with many of the sciences, including chemistry, to research and design solutions to problems in various production processes. They develop safety procedures for working with dangerous chemicals used in the production of drugs, fuel, other chemicals and more. They often conduct complex tests to evaluate problems and troubleshoot any issues. Chemical engineers need a bachelor's degree, and any practical experience is helpful.

Chemical Technicians

Chemical technicians usually work closely with chemists and/or chemical engineers. They may prepare and perform many of the laboratory tests conducted on chemical products and processes. This involves prepping lab equipment, mixing solutions and troubleshooting any instrument malfunctions. Their findings analyzed and presented in technical reports. These technicians generally hold an associate's degree and receive on-the-job training.

Biochemists and Biophysicists

Biochemists and biophysicists use chemistry to study and research different biological processes. They also conduct complex experiments to examine the physical characteristics of living things, and look at the effects of things, such as hormones or drugs, on these biological processes, like cell development. Again, these scientists report their findings in scientific reports, papers and presentations. These professionals must hold a Ph.D. to perform independent research, but may be able to find an entry-level job with a bachelor's or master's degree.

Chemistry Teachers, Postsecondary

Chemistry teachers at the postsecondary level are mainly responsible for teaching a variety of courses in their subject area, but are typically also required to perform some independent research for their institution. Teaching their chemistry courses involves planning their curriculum, designing assignments and assessments and being available to answer students' questions. Depending on the size of the institution, these professionals may also be responsible to oversee the work of graduate students interested in their area of research. Most chemistry teachers at the postsecondary level hold a Ph.D., but may be able to find a position with a master's degree.

Forensic Science Technicians

Forensic science technicians utilize chemistry as they work in the laboratory, but are also usually responsible for extensive fieldwork. They are responsible for collecting and analyzing evidence, including photographs, fingerprints, bodily fluids and more, from crime scenes. They use scientific tests to search for DNA evidence and other results that link a particular suspect to a crime. Their findings are often presented in the courts during criminal trials. Forensic science technicians must hold a bachelor's degree in a natural science, and usually receive some on-the-job training.

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