Considering a Chemist job? The overview below is designed to tell you more about the field, including the types of jobs available, skills required, typical salary range, and current industry trends.

Were you the kid in the kitchen making crazy science experiments and blowing up your mother’s jars with your concoctions? If so, being a chemist might be in your DNA. Chemists work—in the safety of a lab!—with a variety of compounds to create new products and substances that can perform a variety of duties.

Chemist Overview

As a chemist, you will likely work in a research facility, studying the way different combinations of chemicals and substances interact. You might be a pharmaceutical chemist, studying ways to make drugs to save lives, or a biological chemist, studying the way cells interact in different settings. Duties will vary based on your specific field, but you can expect to perform the following:

  • Preparing samples and substances for testing
  • Inspecting laboratory equipment and reporting any issues to the maintenance team
  • Ensuring quality control methods are strictly adhered to
  • Running tests using specialized equipment and supplies
  • Analyzing the results of your tests to determine outcomes
  • Cleaning and maintaining test tubes and related supplies
  • Working with a team to produce research papers and publish results

Chemist Salary and Outlook

The field of chemistry is growing more slowly than the national job average, but over 5,000 jobs will be added by 2022. With a bachelor’s degree and sometimes a Ph.D., depending on their career goals, chemists can expect to make $35.13 per hour, or $73,060 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Being a chemist requires an analytical mind and unwavering attention to detail. If you love seeing how things work and enjoy the thrill of discovering a new combination or product, the field of chemistry is definitely worth looking into.

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