A chemist usually heads a team of chemists on a specific project or task. Depending on the setting, the lead chemist may perform administrative tasks along with their chemist duties.

A day in the life of a lead chemist involves performing research, preparing compounds, creating reports of findings, and presenting findings to other colleagues. They may also supervise the work of team members and assign tasks to them. If a lab technician is on the team, the chemist lead may also oversee their activities.

In some settings, a lead chemist may also be responsible for procuring equipment and supervising its care.

To become a lead chemist, you'll need a degree in chemistry or relevant fields. Employers favor advanced degrees and years of experience when filling this role. Skills like problem-solving and critical thinking are also an advantage.

What Does a Chemist Lead Do

There are certain skills that many chemist leads have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed analytical skills, communication skills and math skills.

Learn more about what a Chemist Lead does

How To Become a Chemist Lead

If you're interested in becoming a chemist lead, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 81.3% of chemist leads have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 10.2% of chemist leads have master's degrees. Even though most chemist leads have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Chemist Lead Career Paths

Average Salary for a Chemist Lead

Chemist Leads in America make an average salary of $83,663 per year or $40 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $117,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $59,000 per year.
Average Chemist Lead Salary
$83,663 Yearly
$40.22 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?


Chemist Lead Education

Chemist Lead Majors

49.1 %
14.5 %

Chemist Lead Degrees


81.3 %


10.2 %


4.7 %

Top Colleges for Chemist Leads

1. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

2. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI • Private

In-State Tuition

3. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition

4. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

5. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition

6. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

7. Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN • Private

In-State Tuition

8. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

9. University of Florida

Gainesville, FL • Private

In-State Tuition

10. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

Top Skills For a Chemist Lead

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, 12.8% of chemist leads listed instrument maintenance on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and communication skills are important as well.

  • Instrument Maintenance, 12.8%
  • Analytical Methods, 11.9%
  • Chemistry, 5.8%
  • Lab Equipment, 4.7%
  • Hplc, 4.5%
  • Other Skills, 60.3%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Chemist Lead Resume templates

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

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Chemist Lead Demographics

Chemist Lead Gender Distribution


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

  • Among chemist leads, 34.8% of them are women, while 65.2% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among chemist leads is White, which makes up 66.2% of all chemist leads.

  • The most common foreign language among chemist leads is Spanish at 40.0%.

Online Courses For Chemist Lead That You May Like

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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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Best States For a Chemist Lead

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a chemist lead. The best states for people in this position are Delaware, Washington, Vermont, and New Jersey. Chemist leads make the most in Delaware with an average salary of $111,714. Whereas in Washington and Vermont, they would average $107,902 and $100,367, respectively. While chemist leads would only make an average of $100,296 in New Jersey, 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. Rhode Island

Total Chemist Lead Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. Delaware

Total Chemist Lead Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Tennessee

Total Chemist Lead Jobs:
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Chemist Leads

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Top Chemist Lead Employers

Most Common Employers For Chemist Lead

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1Agilent Technologies$113,276$54.461
2The Dow Chemical Company$99,535$47.854
7Quaker Houghton$93,057$44.743
9California Medical Association$89,713$43.133
10Clean Harbors$85,217$40.9714