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.