If you're looking for a career that will blow all the other careers out of the water, becoming a chemist will quite literally do that. At least the blowing up part. Chemists get to study how substance interact with each other, while studying them at atomic and molecular levels.
You won't have to worry about any schedule changes because chemists tend to keep regular, full-time hours. Plus, you'll get to work in a lab. It'll be like "Dexter's Laboratory" and you could be Dexter! But seriously, blowing stuff up is where it's at.
Chemists and materials scientists study substances at the atomic and molecular levels and the ways in which the substances interact with one another. They use their knowledge to develop new and improved products and to test the quality of manufactured goods.
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.Education
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.Advancement
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.
Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.
Don't Have A Professional Resume?
In addition to switching up your job search, it might prove helpful to look at a career path for your specific job. Now, what's a career path you ask? Well, it's practically a map that shows how you might advance from one job title to another. Our career paths are especially detailed with salary changes. So, for example, if you started out with the role of laboratory manager you might progress to a role such as manager eventually. Later on in your career, you could end up with the title manufacturing director.
Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.
Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to see how your pay matches up.
Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Chemist. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.
Chemist2018 - Present
Coal Chemist2011 - 2018
Merck & Co.•Summit, NJ
Chemical Engineering Internship2010 - 2011
NASA•College Park, MD
Bachelor's Degree Chemistry2007 - 2010
University of Maryland - College Park•College Park, MD
Chemist2011 - Present
Chemist2005 - 2011
PPG IndustriesPittsburgh, PA
Chemist Assistant2002 - 2005
Clean HarborsCollege Park, MD
Bachelor's Degree Chemistry1999 - 2002
University of Maryland - College ParkCollege Park, MD
San Juan, PR
Chemist2016 - Present
Pfizer•San Juan, PR
Inorganic Chemist2009 - 2016
IVAX•San Juan, PR
Research Chemist2008 - 2009
Patheon•San Juan, PR
Bachelor's Degree Chemistry2005 - 2008
University of Puerto Rico - Rio Piedras Campus•San Juan, PR
Learn How To Write a Chemist Resume
At Zippia, we went through countless Chemist resumes and compiled some information about how to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.View Chemist Resume Examples And Templates
Hispanic or Latino
Find the best Chemist job for you
Los Angeles, CA • Private
Ann Arbor, MI • Private
Chapel Hill, NC • Private
Berkeley, CA • Private
Evanston, IL • Private
New York, NY • Private
Nashville, TN • Private
Gainesville, FL • Private
Pittsburgh, PA • Private
Stanford, CA • Private
Find the best Chemist job for you
Become A Professional in HPLC From A to Z - Your Comprehensive guideline. The first and the lonely Chemistry HPLC course...
Analytical chemistry takes a prominent position among all fields of experimental sciences, ranging from fundamental studies of Nature to industrial or clinical applications.Analytical chemistry covers the fundamentals of experimental and analytical methods and the role of chemistry around us. This course introduces the principles of analytical chemistry and provides how these principles are applied in chemistry and related disciplines - especially in life sciences, environmental sciences and...
In this course, you will learn about several algorithms that can learn near optimal policies based on trial and error interaction with the environment-learning from the agent's own experience. Learning from actual experience is striking because it requires no prior knowledge of the environment's dynamics, yet can still attain optimal behavior. We will cover intuitively simple but powerful Monte Carlo methods, and temporal difference learning methods including Q-learning. We will wrap up this cou...
The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 17.4% of chemists listed chemistry on their resume, but soft skills such as math skills and organizational skills are important as well.
Build a professional chemist resume in minutes. Browse through our resume examples to identify the best way to word your resume. Then choose from 12+ resume templates to create your chemist resume.
Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a chemist. The best states for people in this position are Delaware, Virginia, Vermont, and Massachusetts. Chemists make the most in Delaware with an average salary of $89,145. Whereas in Virginia and Vermont, they would average $81,658 and $77,075, respectively. While chemists would only make an average of $75,560 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.