Jobs for a Master's Degree in Chemistry

Sep 22, 2019

This article is geared towards recent graduates with a master's degree in chemistry. Several career options are listed, followed by their median salary and job growth, as well as any additional background or certifications required.

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A master's degree in chemistry allows graduates to pursue chemist careers, whether it be production or research based. Listed below are several career paths for people with a master's degree in chemistry.

Chemistry Master's Degree: Salary & Jobs

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Atmospheric Scientist $94,110 8%
Entry-level Biochemist $93,280 6%
Geoscientist $91,130 6%
Post-Secondary Chemistry Instructor $78,470 11%
Chemist/Materials Scientist $78,330 4%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Paths with a Master's in Chemistry

Atmospheric Scientist

Atmospheric scientists study climate and weather patterns. Some atmospheric scientists branch off into more specific fields, such as meteorology. This line of work includes working in an office environment, laboratory or even a weather station with some outside field work. Typically, atmospheric scientists work normal hours with possible extended hours during a weather crisis. A master's or doctorate's degree in a related field--such as chemistry, physics or geosciences--is required for research positions.

Entry-level Biochemist

Biochemists study the chemical properties and processes of living things. Biochemistry is the combination of both chemical and biological knowledge. Most biochemists perform research in a laboratory setting. This type of research extends to a variety of organisms, including plants and animals, as well as on the microscopic level. Biochemists can try to negate negative traits in an organism and keep optimal characteristics. While most biochemistry careers require a doctorate degree, a master's degree in chemistry or biochemistry will suffice for entry-level positions.


Geoscientists study the chemical properties of the Earth by examining rocks and minerals and how they navigate through soil and water. This career path is useful because it allows scientists to theorize how the Earth has changed over time. Geoscientists also aide mining and oil companies by reducing environmental damage. Geoscientists work in both a laboratory setting as well as outside in the field gathering samples. This line of work typically requires irregular working hours with travel to remote locations. A master's degree in chemistry with a focus in geosciences is highly preferred and more advantageous in landing a job as a geoscientist.

Post-Secondary Chemistry Instructor

Post-secondary chemistry instructors teach students the academic principles of chemistry. Chemistry instructors work normal hours based on their institution of employment, as well as after hours for lesson planning. While most institutions require a doctorate degree to teach, community colleges have been known to accept those who possess a master's degree in a related field.

Chemist/Materials Scientist

Chemists and material scientists study and analyze substances at the atomic level in order to test products and create new, custom material. Because this is a broad field, most material scientists specialize in a specific material type, and chemists can also specialize in a particular area like analytical chemistry, physical chemistry or forensic chemistry. A master's degree in chemistry or engineering is required for research positions.

If you are a recent graduate with a master's degree in chemistry, there are several career paths to choose from. Whether it be in an office, school, laboratory or outdoor setting, chemistry is a growing field with an ability to make a lasting impact.

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