Chemists are professionals who develop various products such as paints, cosmetics and medicines. They study the contents of these products and make sure about their suitability…
Just like in the business world, there is a wide range of career opportunities available in the science field. One of the most prominent and highly regarded jobs is that of a chemist. A chemist is a science expert who is familiar with all aspects of chemistry. His job involves a lot of research on the components and elements of a particular substance. As being from the research and science field, the income that a chemist gets is substantial.
How to Become a Chemist?
To become a chemist one should know about the job duties, field of work, pay range, and other details regarding this career. While at school, focus more on science subjects such as chemistry, biology, physics, and math. A four-year bachelor’s degree in Chemistry is necessary to become a professional chemist. Also make sure that the degree is recognized by the American Chemical Society (ACS). Job opportunities vary depending on the degree and work experience. While pursuing your bachelor’s, you can also choose to specialize in other areas such as forensic chemistry, materials science, biotechnology, pharmacy, or production, for better job prospects. Consult with your guidance counselor to check if there are any internships that would give you hands-on experience of the work.
You can even take computer courses in the meantime, as many employers prefer those with a good computer knowledge. A bachelor’s degree would fetch you an entry-level job, but for research positions or for a career in teaching, one needs to possess a master’s degree or a Ph.D. in Chemistry. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology fields are considered the best if you want your income prospects to be high. Besides, one should have an eye for detail and should be comfortable working in a laboratory independently.
- Doing extensive research on the elements of various products, such as paints, cosmetics, and drugs.
- Experimenting on a variety of chemicals and their facts to discover new ones.
- Working and researching on chemicals present in paints, drugs, and cosmetics to help manufacturers develop fine products for commercial use.
- Conducting research on the elements present in an existing product, and improving its quality.
- Coordinating work along with product engineers in manufacturing settings to study suitable methods of product development.
Note that these tasks may change based on the area the professional is providing services in. For example, these specialists can provide services in various fields like biochemistry, organic chemistry, food chemistry, forensic chemistry, and so on.
According to surveys, it is recorded that chemists currently receive an annual pay of around $56,000. However, this figure may change as per the criteria mentioned in the following table.
|Years of Experience||Median Salary Scale|
|0 to 1 Year||$35,000 – $45,000|
|1 to 4 Years||$37,300 – $50,000|
|5 to 9 Years||$44,000 – $61,000|
|10 to 19 Years||$50,000 – $63,500|
|Over 20 Years||$52,000 – $76,000|
|State of Employment||Median Salary Scale|
|Illinois||$40,000 – $55,500|
|California||$44,000 – $60,500|
|Texas||$39,500 – $59,500|
|North Carolina||$37,000 – $58,000|
|Pennsylvania||$48,500 – $62,000|
|City of Employment||Median Salary Scale|
|Los Angeles||$40,000 – $56,000|
|Houston||$38,500 – $65,500|
|Cleveland||$43,000 – $55,500|
|Chicago||$37,000 – $52,500|
|Pittsburgh||$46,000 – $62,500|
This is some information about what education is needed to become a chemist. Note that the above figures and average salary of a chemist is just an estimate, and may change from time to time. This job requires one to have good interpersonal skills and an ability to always keep updated. So if you are ready to face the challenges that this field offers, you can get immense job satisfaction from this profession. All the best!