Careers Involving Chemistry and Medicine

Chemistry is often an intricate part of medicine; therefore, there are several jobs that combine the two subjects. Learn about some of these jobs, their median salaries and education requirements.

Career Options Involving Chemistry and Medicine

There are several career options that involve both chemistry and medicine. Most of these professionals conduct their duties in a laboratory setting where chemistry can easily be performed. Explore a handful of the careers that involve chemistry and medicine below.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2016-2026)*
Biochemists and Biophysicists $82,180 11%
Chemists $73,740 6%
Pharmacists $122,230 6%
Medical Scientists $80,530 13%
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists $61,070 12%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Information for Careers Involving Chemistry and Medicine

Biochemists and Biophysicists

Biochemists and biophysicists use chemistry and other laboratory techniques to study living things and biological processes. Part of their research may include examining how drugs and medications affect processes like cell development or how these substances combat diseases and illnesses. These scientists report the findings of their complex experiments in technical reports and research papers that are available to other scientists and interested parties. Biochemists and biophysicists typically need a Ph.D. to conduct research, but entry-level jobs are available for those with a bachelor's or master's degree.

Chemists

An obvious career that involves chemistry is that of a chemist, and some of these scientists specialize in medicinal chemistry. These medicinal chemists focus their research and efforts on developing and testing new pharmaceutical drugs, as well as new manufacturing processes for existing drugs. This research, similar to research conducted by other kinds of chemists, requires the mixing of solutions and compounds, analyzing substances and reporting findings in technical reports. Chemists performing research need a master's or doctorate degree, but some positions are available for those with a bachelor's degree.

Pharmacists

Pharmacists work with medications daily as they fill prescriptions for patients, and they must be well-versed in chemistry and how medications interact with our biological chemistry. They must also use chemistry as they verify the correct amounts of medications and ensure that different medications will not interact in a negative way if taken together. Pharmacists are responsible for overseeing the work of pharmacy technicians and may give vaccinations and health advice to pharmacy patients. These professionals must have a license and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

Medical Scientists

Medical scientists work in a laboratory setting using chemistry to conduct clinical trials and other research on medical samples and drugs. Their research may include standardizing drug potency and doses, testing medical devices and studying human diseases. They may apply their results to developing health-related programs aimed at improving health outcomes for the public. Medical scientists usually have a Ph.D. and may even hold a medical degree.

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists

Similar to medical scientists, medical and clinical laboratory technologists use chemistry to perform tests on various biological samples. They may test urine, blood and tissue samples for drugs, medications or other normal or abnormal findings. This requires them to use a variety of complex laboratory equipment that can perform multiple tests at once, and they must take careful notes to update patients' medical records and inform physicians about results. These technologists need at least a bachelor's degree and may need a license in some states.


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