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Become An Analytical Chemist

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Working As An Analytical Chemist

  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Processing Information
  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • $55,250

    Average Salary

What Does An Analytical Chemist Do

An Analytical Chemist uses a wide range of methods to investigate the chemical nature of substances. They analyze samples using different software, techniques, and equipment, and then interpret and report the results.

How To Become An Analytical Chemist

Chemists and materials scientists need at least a bachelor’s degree in chemistry or a related field. However, a master’s degree or Ph.D. is required for many research jobs.


A bachelor’s degree in chemistry or in a related field is needed for entry-level chemist or materials scientist jobs. Although some materials scientists hold a degree in materials science, most have a degree in chemistry, physics, or engineering. Many jobs require a master’s degree or a Ph.D. and also may require significant levels of work experience. Chemists and materials scientists with a Ph.D. and postdoctoral experience typically lead basic- or applied-research teams.

Many colleges and universities offer degree programs in chemistry that are approved by the American Chemical Society. There are few programs specifically in materials science, but the number of programs is gradually increasing. Some colleges offer materials science as a specialization within their chemistry programs, and some engineering schools offer degrees in the joint field of materials science and engineering. High school students can prepare for college coursework by taking chemistry, math, and computer science classes.

Undergraduate chemistry majors typically are required to take courses in analytical, organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry. In addition to chemistry coursework, they take classes in mathematics, biological sciences, and physics. Computer science courses are essential, because chemists and materials scientists need computer skills to perform modeling and simulation tasks, manage and manipulate databases, and operate computerized laboratory equipment.

Laboratory experience, either at a college or university, or through internships, fellowships, or work–study programs in industry, is also useful.

Graduate students studying chemistry commonly specialize in a subfield, such as analytical chemistry or inorganic chemistry. For example, those interested in doing research in the pharmaceutical industry usually develop a strong background in medicinal or organic chemistry.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Chemists and materials scientists carry out scientific experiments and studies. They must be precise and accurate in their analyses, because errors could invalidate their research.

Communication skills. Chemists and materials scientists need to communicate with team members and other scientists. They must be able to read and write technical reports and give presentations.

Critical-thinking skills. Chemists and materials scientists carefully evaluate their own work and the work of others. They must determine if results and conclusions are based on sound science.

Interpersonal skills. Chemists and materials scientists typically work on interdisciplinary research teams and need to work well with others toward a common goal. Many serve as team leaders and must be able to motivate and direct other team members.

Math skills. Chemists and materials scientists regularly use complex mathematical equations and formulas, and they need a broad understanding of mathematics, including calculus, algebra, and statistics.

Organizational skills. Chemists and materials scientists need to document processes carefully in order to conform to regulations and industry procedures. Disorganization in the workplace can lead to legal problems, damage to equipment, and chemical spills.

Perseverance. Scientific research involves substantial trial and error, and chemists and materials scientists must not become discouraged in their work.

Problem-solving skills. Chemists and materials scientists research and develop new and improved chemical products, processes, and materials. This work requires a great deal of trial and error on the part of chemists and materials scientists before a unique solution is found.

Time-management skills. Chemists and materials scientists usually need to meet deadlines when conducting research. They must be able to manage time and prioritize tasks efficiently while maintaining their quality of work.


Chemists typically receive greater responsibility and independence in their work as they gain experience. Greater responsibility also is gained through further education. Ph.D. chemists usually lead research teams and have control over the direction and content of projects, but even Ph.D. holders have room to advance as they gain experience. As chemists become more proficient in managing research projects, they may take on larger, more complicated, and more expensive projects.

Some chemists and materials scientists become natural sciences managers.

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Analytical Chemist jobs

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Analytical Chemist Career Paths

Analytical Chemist
Quality Control Supervisor Laboratory Manager Clinical Research Coordinator
Clinical Study Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Supervisor Operations Manager Purchasing Manager
Director Of Materials Management
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Chemist Senior Scientist Project Manager
Engineering Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Research Scientist Senior Software Engineer Engineering Manager
Manufacturing Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Scientist Project Manager Product Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Quality Assurance Quality Assurance Manager
Quality Assurance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Associate Scientist Senior Scientist Project Leader
Quality Assurance Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Supervisor Laboratory Manager Quality Control Manager
Quality Control Director
9 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Quality Control Inspector
Quality Control Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Research Scientist Process Engineer Quality Assurance Manager
Quality Systems Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Engineering Manager Quality Assurance Manager
Regulatory Affairs Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Engineer Research And Development Engineer
Research And Development Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Scientist Project Manager Product Manager
Research And Development Technician
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Chemist
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Scientist Associate Director Operations Director
Senior Director, Operations
14 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Purchasing Manager Product Developer
Senior Manager, Product Development
10 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Manager Quality Assurance Manager
Senior Quality Assurance Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Associate Scientist Scientist Research Scientist
Senior Research Associate
6 Yearsyrs
Scientist Research Scientist
Senior Scientist
9 Yearsyrs
Laboratory Manager Operations Manager Purchasing Manager
Supply Chain Manager
10 Yearsyrs
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Analytical Chemist Demographics


  • Male

  • Female

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Asian

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Chinese

  • Vietnamese

  • Hindi

  • German

  • Mandarin

  • Russian

  • Italian

  • Portuguese

  • Cantonese

  • Japanese

  • Dutch

  • Carrier

  • Urdu

  • Polish

  • Swedish

  • Igbo

  • Marathi

  • Gujarati

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Analytical Chemist

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Analytical Chemist Education

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Real Analytical Chemist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Analytical Chemist Apicore Us LLC Somerset, NJ Oct 15, 2015 $98,010
Research Support-Analytical Chemist Ut-Battelle, LLC (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) Oak Ridge, TN Sep 22, 2015 $91,960
Analytical Chemist II Nitto Denko Avecia, Inc. Milford, MA Jan 07, 2016 $87,956
Analytical Chemist I Nitto Denko Avecia, Inc. Milford, MA Aug 25, 2016 $84,926
Analytical Chemist II Nitto Denko Avecia, Inc. Milford, MA May 23, 2016 $84,926
Analytical Chemist II Nitto Denko Avecia, Inc. Milford, MA Nov 07, 2016 $84,926
Analytical Chemist II Nitto Denko Avecia, Inc. Milford, MA May 25, 2016 $84,926
Analytical Chemist Avery Dennison Corporation Mentor, OH Apr 27, 2015 $82,000
Analytical Chemist II Invagen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Hauppauge, NY Sep 20, 2015 $81,916
Analytical Chemist API Inc. Fairfield, NJ Jun 16, 2015 $81,578
Pharmaceutical Analytical Development Chemist Hovione LLC East Windsor, NJ Jan 30, 2015 $81,474
Analytical Chemist Epic Pharma LLC NY Sep 14, 2015 $80,000
Analytical Chemist Sunrise Pharmaceutical Inc. Rahway, NJ Jun 17, 2016 $79,000
Analytical Chemist Battelle Memorial Institute Atlanta, GA Feb 22, 2016 $78,936
Analytical Chemist Virtual Matrix Corporation Eden Prairie, MN Oct 13, 2016 $67,018
Analytical Chemist Westrock Services Inc. Evadale, TX Sep 08, 2016 $67,000
Analytical Chemist Meadwestvaco Corporation Evadale, TX Jul 23, 2015 $67,000
Analytical Chemist Berkeley Analytical Associates, LLC Richmond, CA Sep 14, 2015 $66,784
Analytical Chemist Sciegen Pharmaceuticals Inc. Hauppauge, NY Jan 15, 2016 $66,750
Analytical Chemist Integrated Analytical Laboratories LLC Randolph, NJ Sep 01, 2015 $66,706
Analytical Chemist Granules Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Chantilly, VA Jan 09, 2016 $55,000
Analytical Chemist Gregory Pharmaceutical Holdings, Inc. Bristol, TN Sep 16, 2015 $54,995
Analytical Chemist The Ritedose Corporation Columbia, SC Nov 12, 2015 $54,267 -
Analytical Chemist The Ritedose Corporation Columbia, SC Aug 01, 2015 $54,267 -
Analytical Chemist Epic Pharma LLC NY Sep 19, 2016 $53,518

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Top Skills for An Analytical Chemist


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Top Analytical Chemist Skills

  1. Laboratory Equipment
  2. Hplc
  3. Gc/Ms
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Performed troubleshooting, calibration, and maintenance of laboratory equipment.
  • Create and economize GC, GC-MS, & HPLC methods of analysis for new products.
  • Trained in evaluating and reporting analytical data related to GC/MS analysis.
  • Performed instrument qualification procedures under protocol.
  • Analyze raw materials and drug products as per manufacturer's specifications and SOP's Performed training of new employees

Top Analytical Chemist Employers

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Analytical Chemist Videos

A Day in the Life of HSA (Corporate Video).mp4

Career Advice on becoming a Forensic Consultant by Ron D (Full Version)