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All About Chemists

Career Description Conduct qualitative and quantitative chemical analyses or experiments in laboratories for quality or process control or to develop new products or knowledge.

What Do Chemists Do On a Daily Basis?

  • Study effects of various methods of processing, preserving, or packaging on composition or properties of foods.
  • Prepare test solutions, compounds, or reagents for laboratory personnel to conduct tests.
  • Compile and analyze test information to determine process or equipment operating efficiency or to diagnose malfunctions.
  • Purchase laboratory supplies, such as chemicals, when supplies are low or near their expiration date.
  • Induce changes in composition of substances by introducing heat, light, energy, or chemical catalysts for quantitative or qualitative analysis.
  • Conduct quality control tests.

Qualities of a Chemist

Chemists state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Types of Chemist Jobs

  • Inorganic Chemist
  • Oil Expert
  • Chemist
  • Research Scientist
  • Development Associate

Chemist Employment Estimates

In the United States, there were 88,300 jobs for Chemist in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 6.5% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 5,700 new jobs for Chemist by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 8,600 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Chemists in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Chemist are Utah, Wisconsin, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in Alabama, North Dakota, or Hawaii. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of a Chemist

The typical yearly salary for Chemists is somewhere between $43,920 and $133,180.

Salary Ranges for Chemists

Chemists who work in District of Columbia, Maryland, or Delaware, make the highest salaries.

How much do Chemists make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $76,220
Alaska $83,310
Arizona $72,090
Arkansas $72,840
California $88,570
Colorado $77,250
Connecticut $92,850
Delaware $105,570
District of Columbia $120,980
Florida $67,800
Georgia $83,240
Hawaii $76,480
Idaho $78,400
Illinois $74,770
Indiana $69,690
Iowa $71,120
Kansas $77,600
Kentucky $72,100
Louisiana $77,490
Maine $64,730
Maryland $116,060
Massachusetts $94,270
Michigan $79,860
Minnesota $88,400
Mississippi $78,680
Missouri $73,940
Montana $64,820
Nebraska $79,740
Nevada $71,230
New Hampshire $77,960
New Jersey $96,100
New Mexico $95,940
New York $85,590
North Carolina $77,820
North Dakota $83,570
Ohio $72,940
Oklahoma $77,740
Oregon $76,780
Pennsylvania $77,250
Rhode Island $85,390
South Carolina $75,960
South Dakota $62,550
Tennessee $75,430
Texas $87,490
Utah $70,450
Vermont $69,140
Virginia $98,670
Washington $84,440
West Virginia $66,040
Wisconsin $71,690
Wyoming $66,420

What Tools & Technology do Chemists Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Chemists may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Hypertext markup language HTML
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Access
  • Word processing software
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Structured query language SQL
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • Extensible markup language XML
  • Minitab
  • National Instruments LabVIEW
  • C
  • Graphics software
  • Statistical software
  • Internet browser software
  • Laboratory information management system LIMS
  • Apple iWork Keynote

How to Become a Chemist

Education needed to be a Chemist:

Chemist Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Chemist?

Chemist Work Experience

Who Employs Chemists?

Chemist Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Chemists employed by various industries.

Chemist Industries

You May Also Be Interested In…

Those interested in being a Chemist may also be interested in:

Are you already one of the many Chemist in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

References:

Image Credit: Sarah Chambers via Public domain

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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