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Careers Involving Chemistry and Physics

For individuals who are interested in pursuing a career that involves both chemistry and physics, they have a few options to choose from, depending on their interests and the amount of time they want to spend in school. Find out about these options' job requirements, median salaries and employment outlook.

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Career Options Involving Chemistry and Physics

There are numerous careers available that involve either chemistry and physics, though fewer that require knowledge in both of these fields. However, for individuals who are interested in pursuing a career that involves both chemistry and physics, there are a variety of possibilities that they may want to consider. We will look at five of these career paths below.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Biochemist/Biophysicist $82,180 11%
Natural Sciences Manager $119,850 10%
Environmental Scientist/Specialist $68,910 11%
Chemical Engineer $98,340 8%
Middle School Teacher $56,720 8%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Information About Careers Involving Chemistry and Physics

Biochemist/Biophysicist

Biochemists and biophysicists are research professionals who primarily work in laboratories conducting experiments and research in areas like cell development, genetic disorders, nerve communication, and other biological processes. They may be involved in research with the purpose of developing new medications or figuring out better ways of keeping the environment clean. Biochemists and biophysicists are multi-disciplinary scientists by nature, as knowledge in chemistry, physics, and biology is necessary in order to conduct their research. To become one of these types of scientists, you will usually need a Ph.D. in biochemistry, biophysics or a related field.

Natural Sciences Manager

Individuals who also are interested in more administrative and managerial duties may want to consider a career as a natural sciences manager. These managers are responsible for overseeing a number of different types of scientists, like chemists and physicists, and making sure they are conducting their research and work properly, staying on budget, and following proper procedures. In order to do this effectively, natural science managers must also have a background in physics and chemistry, as well as an ability to manage staff and a laboratory. Many natural sciences managers have extensive work history as scientists and all have at least a bachelor's degree, if not a master's or Ph.D., in a science field.

Environmental Scientist/Specialist

As an environmental scientist or specialist, you will likely be involved in research related to the environment, pollution, human health, climate change, or a related area. These scientists may hold a number of diverse roles and perform different duties, as some may be responsible for creating plans to combat pollution from factories and industries whereas others may focus on how to restore a polluted area, to name a few examples. This job requires knowledge of both chemistry and physics, as principles from both of these fields will be key in your research and problem-solving as an environmental scientist. To become an environmental scientist, you will likely need a bachelor's degree in environmental science -- which typically includes coursework in physics and chemistry -- or in one of the natural sciences, like chemistry, biology, or physics.

Chemical Engineer

Chemical engineers typically work in the manufacturing and production of many different types of products, from food and medication to energy. This career requires extensive knowledge in both chemistry and physics, as well as biology and math, as all fields are necessary to solve some of the complex problems that chemical engineers will face in their research and work. Some of their duties include designing environmentally-friendly manufacturing equipment, overseeing and evaluating the efficiency of various manufacturing processes, and conducting research. To become a chemical engineer, you will typically need a bachelor's in chemical engineering.

Middle School Teacher

For individuals who are interested in working in the field of education, they may want to consider a career as a middle school teacher, as it would allow them to teach both physics and chemistry. At the middle school level, science classes are often still more generalized and have not been split into specific subjects, so middle school science teachers are often responsible for providing students with a base knowledge in all the sciences, including physics and chemistry. Some of their duties may include lecturing, preparing tests and homework for students, grading papers, and ensuring that students understand the course material. To become a middle school teacher, you will need a bachelor's degree in education or in a science content area, depending on state requirements.

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