CHEMISTS search for and put into practical use new knowledge about chemicals. Chemical research has had a hand in the discovery and development of almost all modern products. Chemists also develop processes that save energy and reduce pollution, such as improved oil refining and petrochemical processing methods. Research on the chemistry of living things provide the scientific basis for advances in medicine, agriculture, food processing, and other fields, as well as for the regulation of substances by law. Chemists also work with the production and quality control departments of chemical manufacturing plants.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $70,500 average per year ($34.00 per hour)
- A medium occupation (80,200 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow slowly (0.2% per year)
A bachelor's degree in chemistry or a related discipline is usually the minimum educational requirement for entry level CHEMIST positions. However, most research and college teaching positions require a Ph.D. degree. Voluntary certification is offered by the National Certification Commission in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, the American Board for Clinical Chemistry, and the National Registry in Clinical Chemistry, and is an indication of professional status.