Career Options for Chemistry Jobs in the Military
The United States Military is a huge organization that is comprised of several separate branches, including the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marines, and the Coast Guard. Each of these organizations performs different duties, all in the name of national defense. For individuals who have an interest in chemistry, they will be happy to know that their skills can be put to good use in the U.S. Military, as there are a number of jobs that require chemistry knowledge. Some jobs require that you already have a degree in chemistry or a related field before joining, while others provide training after enlisting.
|Job Title||Base Monthly Salary (2017)*||Educational Requirements|
|Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Specialist||$1,599||High school diploma, receive training in Army|
|Air Force Chemist||$3,034||Bachelor's degree|
|Navy Forensic Toxicologist||$3,034||Master's degree or Ph.D.|
|Army Biochemist/Physiologist||$3,034||Master's degree or Ph.D.|
Source: *Department of Defense
Career Information for Chemistry Jobs in the Military
Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Specialist
In the U.S. Army, you could pursue a career as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Specialist, or a CBRN Specialist. These professionals are responsible for coming up with defense strategies for CBRN weapons. They often need to know how to detect these weapons, understand how to contain them or operate decontamination equipment, and be knowledgeable about various types of hazardous materials which involves a high level of chemistry understanding. To become one of these professionals, you need to have a high school diploma, take a series of tests to see if you qualify and have an interest in physics and chemistry.
Air Force Chemist
Chemists who work in the Air Force spend much of their time researching and problem solving. Their specific job duties may vary. They may conduct experiments using the principles of chemistry, serve on military committees as experts, manage scientific programs, and create new policies in the area of chemical weapons. To become a chemist in the Air Force, you will need to already have a bachelor's degree in a field like chemistry, chemical engineering, or something similar. This will allow you to join the Air Force as an officer.
Navy Forensic Toxicologist
In the U.S. Navy, forensic toxicologists are responsible for analyzing bodily fluids to check for evidence of drug abuse or blood toxins. They must know how to operate advanced scientific equipment and perform chemistry experiments to check for toxicity levels. Often, they may present their findings in military courts as evidence. Toxicologists may also be in charge of analyzing different chemical compounds to figure out how much a human can be safely exposed to. These professionals generally join the Navy after already pursuing their bachelor's and master's degree.
As a U.S. Army Biochemist/Physiologist, you will play a key role on the Army health care team. One of your primary job duties will involve conducting scientific research in laboratories. You may oversee various experiments and tests or act as an expert advisor in matters regarding biochemistry. To become an Army Biochemist, you must have at least a master's degree in biochemistry or a closely related field. Physiologists generally need a Ph.D. degree. Upon enlisting, you will need to complete an Officer Basic Leadership Course.