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.

What Does a Chemist Do

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.

Learn more about what a Chemist does

How To Become a 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.

Learn More About How To Become a Chemist

Chemist Career Paths

Average Salary for a Chemist

Chemists in America make an average salary of $64,961 per year or $31 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $90,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $46,000 per year.
Average Chemist Salary
$64,961 Yearly
$31.23 hourly
$46,000
10 %
$64,000
Median
$90,000
90 %

What Am I Worth?

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How To Become a Chemist
How To Become a Chemist Career Overview

States With The Most Chemist Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active chemist jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where chemists earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Chemist Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
1California2,275$61,259
2Massachusetts1,082$81,229
3New York794$64,304
4Texas736$63,325
5Pennsylvania677$57,459
6New Jersey600$73,863
7Washington565$79,198
8Maryland512$75,227
9Illinois441$56,144
10Ohio420$63,339
11Florida408$44,587
12North Carolina398$50,569
13Virginia321$80,187
14Wisconsin299$59,463
15Minnesota284$64,696
16Indiana270$60,355
17Missouri265$54,417
18Georgia260$62,103
19Michigan250$63,587
20Oregon191$53,897
21Iowa180$59,328
22Connecticut164$75,073
23Tennessee163$66,318
24Colorado142$63,262
25Arizona141$56,049
26Utah129$53,315
27Kentucky117$55,562
28South Carolina110$57,410
29New Hampshire93$68,658
30New Mexico81$62,369
31Kansas81$61,051
32Alabama80$60,518
33Delaware72$91,070
34Arkansas66$51,064
35Nebraska60$55,111
36Rhode Island51$78,435
37Idaho48$49,979
38Louisiana47$66,912
39Maine46$58,554
40Nevada44$53,493
41Oklahoma39$56,816
42North Dakota32$56,502
43West Virginia28$65,029
44South Dakota27$62,697
45Mississippi25$57,025
46Alaska25$55,535
47Montana24$60,146
48Vermont23$88,284
49Wyoming15$45,178
50Hawaii11$60,722

Chemist Education

Chemist Majors

54.0 %
17.1 %

Chemist Degrees

Bachelors

80.1 %

Masters

10.6 %

Associate

4.7 %

Top Colleges for Chemists

1. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

2. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

3. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

4. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$14,184
Enrollment
30,845

5. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

6. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

7. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,816
Enrollment
6,840

8. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,381
Enrollment
34,564

9. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

10. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

Top Skills For a Chemist

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, 19.9% of chemists listed chemistry on their resume, but soft skills such as math skills and organizational skills are important as well.

  • Chemistry, 19.9%
  • Lab Equipment, 7.1%
  • Test Results, 6.6%
  • Product Development, 4.8%
  • Method Development, 4.6%
  • Other Skills, 57.0%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Chemist Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Chemist templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Chemist resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Chemist Resume
Chemist Resume
Chemist Resume
Chemist Resume
Chemist Resume
Chemist Resume
Chemist Resume
Chemist Resume
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Chemist Demographics

Chemist Gender Distribution

Male
Male
60%
Female
Female
40%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among chemists, 40.4% of them are women, while 59.6% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among chemists is White, which makes up 66.1% of all chemists.

  • The most common foreign language among chemists is Spanish at 47.2%.

Work Experience Programs For Chemists

Virtual work experience programs replicate work at top companies and help you gain the skills to be successful when applying and working there. In only a few hours, learn the relevant tools necessary to complete a typical work day at that company. Virtual work experience programs are 100% free, open-access, and self-paced. No experience or application is required!

Workplace Preparation Program

Company: ANZ

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Data Analytics Program

Company: General Electric

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Data Analytics Program

Company: KPMG AU

Cost: Free

Duration: 2-3 hours

Technical Consulting Program

Company: SAP USA

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Online Courses For Chemist That You May Like

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Statistics for Business Analytics using MS Excel
udemy
4.5
(309)

Learn how probability & statistics is used for business & business strategy. Make statistical business models in Excel...

Sample-based Learning Methods
coursera

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...

Basic Analytical Chemistry
edX (Global)

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...

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Full Time
Part Time
Internship
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Best States For a Chemist

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, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Virginia. Chemists make the most in Delaware with an average salary of $91,070. Whereas in Vermont and Massachusetts, they would average $88,284 and $81,229, respectively. While chemists would only make an average of $80,187 in Virginia, 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.

1. Delaware

Total Chemist Jobs:
72
Highest 10% Earn:
$129,000
Location Quotient:
1.24

2. Massachusetts

Total Chemist Jobs:
1,082
Highest 10% Earn:
$113,000
Location Quotient:
2.54

3. Washington

Total Chemist Jobs:
565
Highest 10% Earn:
$121,000
Location Quotient:
1.67
Full List Of Best States For Chemists

How Do Chemist Rate Their Jobs?

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5.0

Want to become a chemistJuly 2019

5.0

Zippia Official LogoWant to become a chemistJuly 2019

What do you like the most about working as Chemist?

To discover new formulas and mixtures thats can break through the science world Show More

What do you NOT like?

I do not have a bachelor in chemistry but i do have a associate's in biology from the university of belize. Show More

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Top Chemist Employers

Most Common Employers For Chemist

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1The Dow Chemical Company$102,841$49.4433
2Pfizer$94,300$45.3453
3BASF$92,566$44.5047
4PPG$85,341$41.0356
5Merck$80,829$38.8642
6Abbott$77,255$37.1438
7Sherwin-Williams$72,001$34.6244
8UChicago Argonne$64,549$31.0342
9Tris Pharma$63,031$30.3046
10Mylan$62,927$30.2566

Chemist Videos

Becoming a Chemist FAQs

Chemist Vs. Chemical Engineer

A chemist creates and develops new and original materials and devises related processes, while a chemical engineer uses these materials and processes.

A chemist investigates the background of science and focuses on developing materials and processes, analyzing substances, and measuring the physical properties of substances. They also tend to theories and focus on finding new concepts and ideas through this testing.

Do Chemists Get Paid Well?

Yes, chemists get paid well. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for chemists was $79,300 in 2020. On the lower end, some may earn only around $44,970, usually with entry-level positions.

How Many Years Does It Take To Become A Chemist?

It takes about four to nine years to become a chemist due to necessary postsecondary education. At the minimum, chemists need at least a bachelor's degree in chemistry or a related physical science field like biochemistry or biology.

Is It Hard To Become A Chemist?

Yes, it's hard to become a chemist. Because of the nature of the work, you need postsecondary education and relevant experience, which takes a lot of time and money. At the minimum, chemists need at least a bachelor's degree in chemistry or a related physical science field like biochemistry or biology.

What Does A Chemist Study?

A chemist studies chemistry, which is the branch of science concerned with the properties and behavior of matter.

Your typical chemist studies substances at the atomic and molecular levels and analyzes the ways in which the substances interact with one another. It can be more specialized from that point.

What Qualifications Do You Need To Be A Chemist?

The qualifications you need to be a chemist are a bachelor's degree in chemistry and relevant work experience.

At the minimum, chemists need at least a bachelor's degree in chemistry or a related physical science field like biochemistry or biology. That is usually enough for entry-level positions. However, it's common to need a master's degree or Ph.D. for research positions where they typically lead teams.

Where Do Chemists Work?

Chemists work in chemical manufacturing plants, scientific research and development departments, and agricultural and engineering service companies. Federal, state, and local government agencies also employ many chemists.

Where Would A Chemist Work?

A chemist typically works in laboratories and offices but, depending on the industry, may also work in facilities or outdoors.

Some chemists work in industrial manufacturing facilities and usually are responsible for monitoring the environmental conditions at the plant.

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