What can you do with a Chemistry Degree?

Best Jobs For Chemistry Major

Many people have a tough time finding a job right out of college. But for those with a chemistry major, career opportunities tend to be plentiful. By looking through millions of job listings and 38,235 chemistry major resumes, we were able to discover which are the preferred jobs for chemistry majors.

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1. Chemist

Top Locations:
Houston, TX;  Indianapolis, IN;  Lancaster, PA;  Cincinnati, OH;  San Diego, CA;  Saint Louis, MO;  Irvine, CA;  New York, NY;  Morgantown, WV;  Chicago, IL;  
Job Description:
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.

2. Laboratory Technician

Top Locations:
Houston, TX;  New York, NY;  San Antonio, TX;  Indianapolis, IN;  Salt Lake City, UT;  Saint Louis, MO;  Philadelphia, PA;  Chicago, IL;  San Diego, CA;  Baltimore, MD;  
Job Description:
Medical laboratory technologists (commonly known as medical laboratory scientists) and medical laboratory technicians collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances.

3. Scientist

Top Locations:
San Diego, CA;  Cambridge, MA;  Houston, TX;  New York, NY;  Richmond, VA;  Seattle, WA;  Gaithersburg, MD;  Frederick, MD;  Boston, MA;  Austin, TX;  
Job Description:
Medical scientists conduct research aimed at improving overall human health. They often use clinical trials and other investigative methods to reach their findings.

4. Pharmacist Technician

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Houston, TX;  Orlando, FL;  Saint Louis, MO;  Chicago, IL;  Philadelphia, PA;  Baltimore, MD;  Tucson, AZ;  Tampa, FL;  Memphis, TN;  
Job Description:
Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals.

5. Research Assistant

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Boston, MA;  Chicago, IL;  Washington, DC;  Los Angeles, CA;  Philadelphia, PA;  Ann Arbor, MI;  Atlanta, GA;  Baltimore, MD;  San Diego, CA;  
Job Description:
A Research Assistant helps carry out a particular research agenda. They are generally found in the social science or laboratory setting.
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Part Time
Internship
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6. Laboratory Assistant

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  San Diego, CA;  Boston, MA;  Los Angeles, CA;  Houston, TX;  Chicago, IL;  Davis, CA;  Madison, WI;  Berkeley, CA;  Seattle, WA;  
Job Description:
Medical laboratory technologists (commonly known as medical laboratory scientists) and medical laboratory technicians collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances.

7. Associate Scientist

Top Locations:
Cambridge, MA;  Rockville, MD;  Richmond, VA;  Middleton, WI;  Morrisville, NC;  San Diego, CA;  Gaithersburg, MD;  Parkton, NC;  Pearl River, NY;  Wayne, PA;  
Job Description:
Medical scientists conduct research aimed at improving overall human health. They often use clinical trials and other investigative methods to reach their findings.

8. Research Scientist

Top Locations:
Seattle, WA;  New York, NY;  Houston, TX;  Cambridge, MA;  San Diego, CA;  Atlanta, GA;  Boston, MA;  Los Angeles, CA;  Dallas, TX;  Durham, NC;  
Job Description:
Medical scientists conduct research aimed at improving overall human health. They often use clinical trials and other investigative methods to reach their findings.

9. Analytical Chemist

Top Locations:
Madison, WI;  Indianapolis, IN;  Greenville, NC;  Cincinnati, OH;  Wilmington, NC;  Dayton, NJ;  Irvine, CA;  Philadelphia, PA;  San Diego, CA;  Seymour, IN;  
Job Description:
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.

10. Quality Control Technician

Top Locations:
Houston, TX;  Indianapolis, IN;  San Diego, CA;  Saint Louis, MO;  Dallas, TX;  Charlotte, NC;  Atlanta, GA;  Chicago, IL;  Denver, CO;  Los Angeles, CA;  
Job Description:
Industrial engineering technicians help industrial engineers implement designs to use personnel, materials, and machines effectively in factories, stores, healthcare organizations, repair shops, and offices. They prepare machinery and equipment layouts, plan workflows, conduct statistical production studies, and analyze production costs.

11. Research Associate

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Washington, DC;  San Diego, CA;  Las Vegas, NV;  Boston, MA;  Chicago, IL;  San Francisco, CA;  Los Angeles, CA;  Philadelphia, PA;  Cambridge, MA;  
Job Description:
A Research Associate plans, organizes, and conducts research in scientific, cultural, historical, or artistic. They conduct literature, collect and analyze data, and recruit and/or interview new people.

12. Research Internship

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Washington, DC;  Boston, MA;  Chicago, IL;  Philadelphia, PA;  San Diego, CA;  Los Angeles, CA;  Houston, TX;  Baltimore, MD;  Atlanta, GA;  
Job Description:
Market research analysts study market conditions to examine potential sales of a product or service. They help companies understand what products people want, who will buy them, and at what price.

13. Process Engineer

Top Locations:
Houston, TX;  Austin, TX;  Chandler, AZ;  Dallas, TX;  Hillsboro, OR;  Baton Rouge, LA;  San Diego, CA;  San Jose, CA;  Louisville, KY;  Rochester, NY;  
Job Description:
Industrial engineers find ways to eliminate wastefulness in production processes. They devise efficient systems that integrate workers, machines, materials, information, and energy to make a product or provide a service.

14. Quality Control Chemist

Top Locations:
Morgantown, WV;  Huntsville, AL;  Hauppauge, NY;  Philadelphia, PA;  Somerset, NJ;  Lynchburg, VA;  Saint Louis, MO;  Middlesex, NJ;  Bedford, OH;  Memphis, TN;  
Job Description:
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.

15. Manufacturing Engineer

Top Locations:
Houston, TX;  Everett, WA;  Wichita, KS;  Savannah, GA;  Tulsa, OK;  Fort Worth, TX;  Charleston, SC;  Waterloo, IA;  Irvine, CA;  Jacksonville, FL;  
Job Description:
A Manufacturing Engineer plans, designs, sets up, and monitors the manufacturing processes. They work in various sectors, such as plastics, oil, pharmaceuticals, and biotechnology.

16. Quality Control

Top Locations:
Houston, TX;  Dallas, TX;  Fort Worth, TX;  New York, NY;  Phoenix, AZ;  Los Angeles, CA;  Charlotte, NC;  Salt Lake City, UT;  Memphis, TN;  Indianapolis, IN;  

17. Quality Control Analyst

Top Locations:
Houston, TX;  Phoenix, AZ;  Dallas, TX;  Jacksonville, FL;  New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  San Antonio, TX;  Indianapolis, IN;  Thousand Oaks, CA;  Denver, CO;  

18. Medical Laboratory Technician

Top Locations:
Houston, TX;  San Antonio, TX;  Birmingham, AL;  Dallas, TX;  Phoenix, AZ;  Memphis, TN;  Nashville, TN;  New York, NY;  Richmond, VA;  El Paso, TX;  
Job Description:
Medical laboratory technologists (commonly known as medical laboratory scientists) and medical laboratory technicians collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances.

19. Medical Technologist

Top Locations:
Houston, TX;  Baltimore, MD;  San Antonio, TX;  New York, NY;  Chicago, IL;  Dallas, TX;  Las Vegas, NV;  Phoenix, AZ;  Indianapolis, IN;  Atlanta, GA;  
Job Description:
Medical laboratory technologists (commonly known as medical laboratory scientists) and medical laboratory technicians collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances.

20. Research Technician

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Boston, MA;  Austin, TX;  Houston, TX;  Baltimore, MD;  Chicago, IL;  Mattawan, MI;  Martinsville, VA;  Chapel Hill, NC;  San Antonio, TX;  
Job Description:
Biological technicians help biological and medical scientists conduct laboratory tests and experiments.

21. Analyst

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Chicago, IL;  Houston, TX;  Indianapolis, IN;  Detroit, MI;  Washington, DC;  Austin, TX;  Atlanta, GA;  Tampa, FL;  Dallas, TX;  
Job Description:
Management analysts, often called management consultants, propose ways to improve the efficiency of an organization. They advise managers on how to make organizations more profitable through reduced costs and increased revenues.

22. Data Scientist

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  San Francisco, CA;  Chicago, IL;  Boston, MA;  Dallas, TX;  Palo Alto, CA;  San Jose, CA;  Seattle, WA;  Austin, TX;  Cambridge, MA;  
Job Description:
Computer and information research scientists invent and design new approaches to computing technology and find innovative uses for existing technology. They study and solve complex problems in computing for business, medicine, science, and other fields.

23. Quality Assurance Technician

Top Locations:
Houston, TX;  Portland, OR;  Memphis, TN;  Chicago, IL;  Columbus, OH;  Dallas, TX;  San Antonio, TX;  Phoenix, AZ;  Indianapolis, IN;  Atlanta, GA;  
Job Description:
Industrial engineering technicians help industrial engineers implement designs to use personnel, materials, and machines effectively in factories, stores, healthcare organizations, repair shops, and offices. They prepare machinery and equipment layouts, plan workflows, conduct statistical production studies, and analyze production costs.

24. Laboratory Internship

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Boston, MA;  San Diego, CA;  Davis, CA;  Washington, DC;  Philadelphia, PA;  Chicago, IL;  Los Angeles, CA;  Saint Louis, MO;  Atlanta, GA;  
Job Description:
Biological technicians help biological and medical scientists conduct laboratory tests and experiments.

25. Formulation Chemist

Top Locations:
Clark, NJ;  Round Rock, TX;  Bedford, OH;  Elmwood Park, NJ;  Springville, UT;  Ann Arbor, MI;  Auburn, WA;  Cedartown, GA;  Columbus, OH;  Mason, OH;  
Job Description:
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.

26. Pharmacy Internship

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Boston, MA;  Philadelphia, PA;  Houston, TX;  Los Angeles, CA;  Chicago, IL;  Pittsburgh, PA;  Atlanta, GA;  Rochester, NY;  Las Vegas, NV;  
Job Description:
Pharmacists dispense prescription medications to patients and offer expertise in the safe use of prescriptions. They also may conduct health and wellness screenings, provide immunizations, oversee the medications given to patients, and provide advice on healthy lifestyles.

27. Research And Development Chemist

Top Locations:
Eagan, MN;  Kansas City, MO;  New York, NY;  Northvale, NJ;  Salt Lake City, UT;  Somerset, NJ;  Thomasville, NC;  Dalton, GA;  Houston, TX;  Irvine, CA;  
Job Description:
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.

28. Senior Scientist

Top Locations:
San Diego, CA;  Cambridge, MA;  Houston, TX;  Parkton, NC;  Fort Worth, TX;  Point, PA;  Seattle, WA;  Boston, MA;  Durham, NC;  Saint Louis, MO;  
Job Description:
Medical scientists conduct research aimed at improving overall human health. They often use clinical trials and other investigative methods to reach their findings.

29. Laboratory Analyst

Top Locations:
Greenville, NC;  Rocky Mount, NC;  Houston, TX;  Dayton, NJ;  Salt Lake City, UT;  Kingsport, TN;  Indiana, PA;  Maplewood, MN;  Arecibo, PR;  Baton Rouge, LA;  
Job Description:
Environmental science and protection technicians monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution and contamination, including those affecting public health. In addition, they work to ensure that environmental violations are prevented.

30. Research And Development Scientist

Top Locations:
San Diego, CA;  New York, NY;  Cincinnati, OH;  Houston, TX;  Piscataway, NJ;  Irvine, CA;  Cambridge, MA;  Chicago, IL;  Saint Louis, MO;  Baltimore, MD;  
Job Description:
Medical scientists conduct research aimed at improving overall human health. They often use clinical trials and other investigative methods to reach their findings.

31. Pharmacist

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Houston, TX;  Chicago, IL;  Philadelphia, PA;  Orlando, FL;  Las Vegas, NV;  Tampa, FL;  Los Angeles, CA;  San Diego, CA;  Washington, DC;  
Job Description:
Pharmacists dispense prescription medications to patients and offer expertise in the safe use of prescriptions. They also may conduct health and wellness screenings, provide immunizations, oversee the medications given to patients, and provide advice on healthy lifestyles.

32. Quality Laboratory Technician

Top Locations:
Houston, TX;  Cincinnati, OH;  Evansville, IN;  Huntsville, AL;  Lima, OH;  Memphis, TN;  Selma, AL;  Sidney, OH;  Baltimore, MD;  Charlotte, NC;  
Job Description:
Industrial engineering technicians help industrial engineers implement designs to use personnel, materials, and machines effectively in factories, stores, healthcare organizations, repair shops, and offices. They prepare machinery and equipment layouts, plan workflows, conduct statistical production studies, and analyze production costs.

33. Quality Assurance

Top Locations:
Houston, TX;  Memphis, TN;  Phoenix, AZ;  New York, NY;  Atlanta, GA;  Dallas, TX;  San Antonio, TX;  Austin, TX;  Chicago, IL;  Charlotte, NC;  

34. Research And Development Internship

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Washington, DC;  Chicago, IL;  Boston, MA;  Philadelphia, PA;  San Francisco, CA;  Austin, TX;  Atlanta, GA;  San Diego, CA;  
Job Description:
Computer and information research scientists invent and design new approaches to computing technology and find innovative uses for existing technology. They study and solve complex problems in computing for business, medicine, science, and other fields.

35. Chemical Technician

Top Locations:
Petersburg, VA;  Houston, TX;  Elizabeth, NJ;  San Antonio, TX;  Midland, TX;  New Milford, CT;  Rochester, NY;  Ames, IA;  Clayton, NJ;  Corpus Christi, TX;  
Job Description:
Chemical technicians use special instruments and techniques to help chemists and chemical engineers research, develop, produce, and test chemical products and processes.

36. Researcher

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Los Angeles, CA;  Atlanta, GA;  Chicago, IL;  Cambridge, MA;  Boston, MA;  Irvine, CA;  Washington, DC;  Seattle, WA;  Berkeley, CA;  
Job Description:
Medical scientists conduct research aimed at improving overall human health. They often use clinical trials and other investigative methods to reach their findings.

37. Quality Technician

Top Locations:
Memphis, TN;  Houston, TX;  Indianapolis, IN;  Chattanooga, TN;  Grand Rapids, MI;  Holland, MI;  Warren, MI;  San Antonio, TX;  York, PA;  Charlotte, NC;  
Job Description:
Industrial engineering technicians help industrial engineers implement designs to use personnel, materials, and machines effectively in factories, stores, healthcare organizations, repair shops, and offices. They prepare machinery and equipment layouts, plan workflows, conduct statistical production studies, and analyze production costs.

38. Data Analyst

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Houston, TX;  Chicago, IL;  Atlanta, GA;  Washington, DC;  Boston, MA;  Austin, TX;  Charlotte, NC;  Dallas, TX;  San Francisco, CA;  
Job Description:
Management analysts, often called management consultants, propose ways to improve the efficiency of an organization. They advise managers on how to make organizations more profitable through reduced costs and increased revenues.

39. Assistant Scientist

Top Locations:
Middleton, WI;  Madison, WI;  Miami, FL;  Minneapolis, MN;  Denville, NJ;  Richmond, VA;  Columbia, MO;  Ithaca, NY;  Wilmington, NC;  Ames, IA;  
Job Description:
Medical scientists conduct research aimed at improving overall human health. They often use clinical trials and other investigative methods to reach their findings.

40. Laboratory Chemist

Top Locations:
Houston, TX;  Middlesex, NJ;  Tulsa, OK;  Bristol, CT;  Caguas, PR;  Carteret, NJ;  Charlotte, NC;  Columbus, OH;  East Chicago, IN;  La Porte, TX;  
Job Description:
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.

41. Senior Chemist

Top Locations:
Corona, CA;  Pittsburgh, PA;  Indianapolis, IN;  Irvine, CA;  Bend, OR;  Dallas, TX;  Greenville, NC;  Houston, TX;  Saint Paul, MN;  Arlington Heights, IL;  
Job Description:
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.

42. Chemist/Laboratory Technician

Top Locations:
Houston, TX;  Ann Arbor, MI;  Bedford Park, IL;  East Windsor, NJ;  El Paso, TX;  Independence, OH;  Lakewood, CO;  Lexington, KY;  Melville, NY;  Mesa, AZ;  
Job Description:
Chemical technicians use special instruments and techniques to help chemists and chemical engineers research, develop, produce, and test chemical products and processes.

43. Research Chemist

Top Locations:
Maplewood, MN;  Houston, TX;  New York, NY;  Lafayette, LA;  Albany, NY;  Bloomington, IN;  Cambridge, MA;  Cincinnati, OH;  Clark, NJ;  Dayton, OH;  
Job Description:
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.

44. Clinical Laboratory Scientist

Top Locations:
Los Angeles, CA;  San Diego, CA;  Baltimore, MD;  Cypress, CA;  San Francisco, CA;  San Juan Capistrano, CA;  Cincinnati, OH;  Fresno, CA;  Irvine, CA;  Sacramento, CA;  
Job Description:
Medical laboratory technologists (commonly known as medical laboratory scientists) and medical laboratory technicians collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances.

45. Business Analyst

Top Locations:
New York, NY;  Chicago, IL;  Houston, TX;  Atlanta, GA;  Boston, MA;  Charlotte, NC;  Dallas, TX;  Minneapolis, MN;  San Francisco, CA;  Philadelphia, PA;  
Job Description:
A business analyst is someone who analyzes an organization or business domain (real or hypothetical) and documents its business or processes or systems, assessing the business model or its integration with technology.

46. Chemical Engineer

Top Locations:
Houston, TX;  Cincinnati, OH;  Kingsport, TN;  Lexington, KY;  Cleveland, OH;  Baton Rouge, LA;  Cambridge, MA;  Colorado Springs, CO;  Des Plaines, IL;  Niskayuna, NY;  
Job Description:
Chemical engineers apply the principles of chemistry, biology, physics, and math to solve problems that involve the production or use of chemicals, fuel, drugs, food, and many other products. They design processes and equipment for large-scale manufacturing, plan and test production methods and byproducts treatment, and direct facility operations.

47. Process Technician

Top Locations:
Durham, NC;  Jefferson City, MO;  Evansville, IN;  Raleigh, NC;  Salt Lake City, UT;  Belvidere, IL;  Grand Rapids, MI;  Fremont, CA;  Santa Clara, CA;  Winchester, VA;  
Job Description:
Industrial engineering technicians help industrial engineers implement designs to use personnel, materials, and machines effectively in factories, stores, healthcare organizations, repair shops, and offices. They prepare machinery and equipment layouts, plan workflows, conduct statistical production studies, and analyze production costs.

48. Formulation Scientist

Top Locations:
Skillman, NJ;  Somerset, NJ;  Coralville, IA;  East Windsor, NJ;  Hauppauge, NY;  King of Prussia, PA;  Levittown, PA;  Pomona, NY;  Torrance, CA;  Trumbull, CT;  
Job Description:
Medical scientists conduct research aimed at improving overall human health. They often use clinical trials and other investigative methods to reach their findings.

49. Production Chemist

Top Locations:
San Diego, CA;  Torrance, CA;  Milpitas, CA;  Hercules, CA;  San Jose, CA;  Smithfield, RI;  Carlsbad, CA;  Fargo, ND;  Horsham, PA;  Lansing, MI;  
Job Description:
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.

50. Medical Laboratory Scientist

Top Locations:
Dallas, TX;  Houston, TX;  Austin, TX;  Minneapolis, MN;  Lexington, KY;  Nashville, TN;  San Antonio, TX;  Seattle, WA;  Charlotte, NC;  Chicago, IL;  
Job Description:
Medical laboratory technologists (commonly known as medical laboratory scientists) and medical laboratory technicians collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances.

Chemistry Major Jobs

Average Salary For a Chemistry Major

Depending on the industry that chemistry majors work in, their salaries can vary significantly. In fact, we found that chemistry majors who work in the pharmaceutical industry have an average salary of $61,817, while those who work in the non profits industry have an average salary of $41,161. If salary is the most important thing to you, then you should look for jobs in the pharmaceutical industry.

Average Salary
$49,697
Show Salaries
Best Paying Industries
Industry
Average Salary
Pharmaceutical
Pharmaceutical
$61,817
$62k
Finance
Finance
$53,657
$54k
Manufacturing
Manufacturing
$45,453
$45k
Health Care
Health Care
$44,844
$45k
Education
Education
$42,124
$42k

Entry Level Jobs For Chemistry Majors

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

Chemistry Internships

How To Get A Job With A Chemistry Degree

So you've graduated from college with your degree in Chemistry -- the study of matter -- which is, well... basically everything.

After all of the hours you've sacrificed finishing lab reports, pouring over tedious texts, knocking out undergraduate research and generally hating your life you emerge from that academic daze.

You're left with one big question: now that you've got a degree in the study of matter, how can you employ it in your career in a way that matters?

Well, that's where we come in. We literally created a map, just for Chemistry Majors such as yourself, to navigate your way through the choppy waters of recent graduation.

Feel free to focus on the map alone -- it's pretty cool, if we do say so ourselves. But for those of you who prefer step by step navigation on your path, keep reading. We'll give you the rundown on:

  • What skills you'll need
  • How to begin
  • What jobs you can expect to find
  • Some quick tips for the job search
  • Options for furthering your education
  • External resources

First thing's first: what skills you'll need to get started.

1. Skills for Chemistry Majors

While the education gained in the classroom is without a doubt beneficial, you've learned more from your chemistry degree than balancing chemical equations.

A chemistry degree is well-rounded and cultivates a number of different skills and traits that can be applied to environments outside the laboratory and classroom -- beyond personal development and simply learning how to learn, employers will want to see how you can reflect, realize, and grow.

Applying these skills to real world learning opportunities yields a more robust and balanced career. Here are some of the common skills that you should talk up when trying to get a job with your Chemistry degree.

Effective communication. Written communication skills is increasingly essential to functioning effectively as chemists, or in any field. Whether you want to make a go of it in a lab or elsewhere, you'll need to be able to present proposals and findings to colleagues -- and potential funding sources.

Observational skills and attention to detail. Your research experience taught you to keep a complete, accurate record of your work, including the conditions under which the experiment was carried out, the procedures you followed, and the results you obtained.

Critical thinking and analysis. You've learned to draw conclusions from experimental results through sound reasoning and judgment.

You've had to test research findings and theories even though they were trusted, looking for consistencies and inconsistencies in logic. You scoured data for alternative interpretations and subtle biases that may have led to erroneous conclusions.

2. Where to Begin Your Career After Getting a Chemistry Degree

Chemistry is a broad subject with equally diverse specifications -- physical, analytical, biochemical, organic and inorganic. And then the branches that include materials chemistry, theoretical chemistry, macromolecular (polymer) chemistry, nuclear chemistry, metallurgy, forensic chemistry, medicinal chemistry and more.

And what's more, you can choose to carry out research at universities, private laboratories, or for the government.

That's a lot to figure out even if you already know you want to work as a chemist, but we've got some ideas for narrowing it all down -- even if you want to branch out.

Land yourself a Chemistry internship

An internship will provide you with an understanding of the skills that a career in chemistry requires, not just what your university demanded -- and with all of the options you have available, the opportunity to learn what it is that you don't want to do in your career is invaluable.

Here are some common types of internships for Chemistry Majors to help you make an informed decision about your career path:

Skillfully completing an internship with a governmental agency, research company, or university is a strong pathway to securing employment with them upon graduation -- but also, you'll be able to discern the areas where you need to build your skillset.

And wouldn't it be simply magical to land an internship with Disney? But maybe a more real-world application would be an industrial chemistry internship.

Use an internship as an opportunity to take the lead on your competition

Your professors mean well, but academia is drastically different from real world applications.

For example, with the rise of genomics and proteomics, chemistry is evolving from a mainly experimental science performed at the bench to one in which large databases of information and computer models play a significant role.

Before you settle on an internship, though, you'll want to make sure it's the right fit for you as far as your career trajectory. But also, ask yourself these practical questions:

  • Will this internship grow me as a person or is it just checking off a box?
  • Where (in the state/the country/the world) do you want to work?
  • What type of organization do you want to work for -- government, university, private?
  • Would you take an unpaid internship in exchange for experience, references, networking, and further education?
  • Is relocation an option?

An easy place to start is within your university -- just reach out to your department head or search the website. Another option is through the government's STEM internship program.

3. Available Jobs

And now, the step you've probably been waiting for: getting a job.

The first step is deciding whether or not you want to stick to chemistry at all -- it's a tough job market out there, as chemistry is considered a knowledge-based degree and not skill-based.

The next step is deciding whether you're interested in a research setting or not. You've got options.

Chemistry is applicable to careers in healthcare, environmental management and conservation, or education. These types of professions include veterinarians, doctors, teachers, or even park rangers.

With our map, you can click the Job Titles and learn more specific information for each position (what their responsibilities are, how much they get paid, etc.) But here, we wanted to call out some of the most common jobs for recent chemistry major grads.

Just like you.

Here are some common entry-level jobs for recent grads like you:

Why are there so many Laboratory Technicians?

A lot of chemistry students choose the major because it coincides with healthcare professional school requirements.

And since it typically takes more than one round of applications to get accepted, this is a popular job for building up their applications. As a medical lab tech, you'll collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances.

Both technicians and technologists perform tests and procedures that physicians and surgeons or other healthcare personnel order. However, technologists -- which require more education -- perform more complex tests and laboratory procedures than technicians do.

For example, technologists may prepare specimens and perform detailed manual tests, whereas technicians perform routine tests that may be more automated. Medical laboratory technicians usually work under the general supervision of medical laboratory technologists or laboratory managers.

What about that cold hard cash, though?

Pharma jobs are on a relative boom, with the expiration of a lot of name-brand drugs expiring. You can get an entry-level job with just a BS, typically as research assistants or research technicians.

Scientists, as well as medical professionals, can also focus on related administrative roles, including data entry, survey interviews and as research associates. Decide what your key motivators are. It your focus salary, stability or personal fulfillment?

4. Some Quick Job Search Tips for Chemistry Majors

Get some serious lab experience. The most important thing a chemistry major can do is gain exposure in the lab. Showing a potential employer that you've worked in, and are familiar with lab equipment -- which will be your chief tool -- can greatly increase your chances of landing a job.

An internship will help you here, but any type of experience you can get with lab procedures, LIMS, and report writing is critical.

Check out the NSF REU Sites search tool for research experience opportunities.

Familiarize yourself with computers... beyond Office

We're moving beyond the bench in chemistry, and having some familiarity with UNIX, SQL, and enough programming to understand your standard LIMS is going to be essential.

Bioinformatics, biotechnology and other data-based fields are booming with career opportunities. People working in these field must have a solid background in chemistry, math and computer science with an emphasis on quantitative reasoning -- so go get some.

Two of the biggest umbrellas being agriculture and the environment, which gives you the opportunity to do "wet bench" research, meaning researchers do much of the at-the-lab-bench research work. Those jobs are generally available to scientists with an undergraduate degree, with many companies providing career ladders to help with advancement.

Get someone with experience to read your resume

Even if you don't have any direct work experience, you need to be able to communicate your capabilities and general knowledge of chemical principles.

Because many entry level job applicants only have internships, retail jobs, or summer gigs, they haven't had any "big achievements" to mention.

You will stand out tremendously if you take initiative at these jobs in small ways and add it to your resume.

Did you lead any other student researchers? Did you publish any of your research? Make your work work for you.

Someone with experience will help think of ways to make it look like you got a lot out of the experiences. At the very least, they can make sure you format your resume appropriately.

5. Continuing Education and Certifications

You'll want to ensure that you stand out, particularly if you're just entering the job market. Some letters after your name go a long way.

And they're practically mandatory if you want to do research.

Pursuing an advanced degree

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you need a Ph.D. to participate in those ultra competitive independent research projects.

For those seeking a clinical or scientific research position, an advanced degree is crucial -- but many employers of these top-notch positions also want prior experience, whether through an internship, summer research position or volunteer work.

A master's degree is usually enough for some jobs in applied research and product development. In their words, a bachelor's degree is "adequate for some non-research jobs." The basic story here is to not stop working and hustling, even if you're pursuing an advanced degree.

Medical Technologist certification

If lab jobs aren't falling into your lap and you're interested in healthcare -- as many of you bio majors are would-be doctors -- consider becoming a medical technologist.

The certification can take another year if you don't have the prerequisites -- which are similar to pre-med's -- but it places you in a medical lab setting, typically in a hospital. The BLS predicts double-digit job growth for technologists, so this is a safe bet for your career.

6. External Resources

If you're still not sure what to do with your degree or could use some help making yourself even more competitive, here are some external sites to help you with your decision:

American Chemical Society

Their mission statement is "to advance the broader chemistry enterprise and its practitioners for the benefit of Earth and its people"... they also serve as a solid place to look for ways to advance your studies and career.

NSF REU Sites

If your school wasn't helpful in placing you with some research opportunities, try the government's site.

USAJobs

Enter "chemistry" into the search bar and you can get a sense of what kind of government jobs are available to chemistry majors. Find a job title you like and come back here to learn more about it.

Bureau Of Labor Statistics

The BLS offers detailed data on pay, location, and availability of different kinds of jobs across the country.

In fact, we draw a lot of our research on the best places for jobs from the information provided on the site.

And if this all seems like a lot - don't worry - the hard part (getting your degree!) is already over.

Updated July 15, 2020