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Working as a Laboratory Chemist

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a laboratory chemist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $28.95 an hour? That's $60,217 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 4% and produce 3,500 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Laboratory Chemist Do

There are certain skills that many laboratory chemists 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 math skills, organizational skills and problem-solving skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a laboratory chemist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 7.6% of laboratory chemists included lab equipment, while 6.1% of resumes included analytical methods, and 6.1% of resumes included diagnostic tests. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the laboratory chemist job title. But what industry to start with? Most laboratory chemists actually find jobs in the manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries.

How To Become a Laboratory Chemist

If you're interested in becoming a laboratory chemist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 62.3% of laboratory chemists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 24.6% of laboratory chemists have master's degrees. Even though most laboratory chemists have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a laboratory chemist. When we researched the most common majors for a laboratory chemist, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on laboratory chemist resumes include associate degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a laboratory chemist. In fact, many laboratory chemist jobs require experience in a role such as laboratory technician. Meanwhile, many laboratory chemists also have previous career experience in roles such as chemist or research assistant.

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Average Salary$60,217
Job Growth Rate4%

Laboratory Chemist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Laboratory Chemist

Chemist
14.7 %

Top Careers After Laboratory Chemist

Chemist
18.7 %

What is the right job for my career path?

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

Average Salary for a Laboratory Chemist

Laboratory Chemists in America make an average salary of $60,217 per year or $29 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $82,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $43,000 per year.
Average Salary
$60,217

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Wilmington, DE
Salary Range66k - 105k$84k$83,979
Nutley, NJ
Salary Range60k - 94k$75k$75,385
Billerica, MA
Salary Range52k - 83k$67k$66,515
South San Francisco, CA
Salary Range48k - 81k$63k$62,994
New York, NY
Salary Range47k - 74k$59k$59,135
La Porte, TX
Salary Range43k - 76k$58k$57,745
$38k
$105k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Textile Dye Lab Chemist
Textile Dye Lab Chemist
Ford & Associates
Ford & Associates
11/05/2020
11/05/2020
$70,00011/05/2020
$70,000
Lab Chemist
Lab Chemist
Adecco Staffing
Adecco Staffing
09/11/2020
09/11/2020
$44,72409/11/2020
$44,724
Lab Pack Chemist-Immediately!
Lab Pack Chemist-Immediately!
Aerotek
Aerotek
08/24/2020
08/24/2020
$31,30508/24/2020
$31,305
Clinical Lab-Phd/Clinical Chemist-Intermountain Central Lab
Clinical Lab-Phd/Clinical Chemist-Intermountain Central Lab
Intermountain Healthcare
Intermountain Healthcare
08/04/2020
08/04/2020
$104,35008/04/2020
$104,350
Laboratory Chemist (20008563)
Laboratory Chemist (20008563)
City of South San Francisco, Ca
City of South San Francisco, Ca
05/29/2020
05/29/2020
$90,20005/29/2020
$90,200
See More Recent Salaries

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Laboratory Chemist Demographics

Gender

male

58.3 %

female

35.9 %

unknown

5.9 %

Ethnicity

White

64.9 %

Asian

17.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

7.9 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

45.0 %

German

7.5 %

Japanese

7.5 %
See More Demographics

Laboratory Chemist Education

Majors

Chemistry
47.1 %
Biology
14.5 %

Degrees

Bachelors

62.3 %

Masters

24.6 %

Associate

4.8 %

Top Colleges for Laboratory 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 • Public

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

3. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Public

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

4. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Public

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 • Public

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
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Laboratory 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, 7.6% of laboratory chemists listed lab equipment on their resume, but soft skills such as math skills and organizational skills are important as well.

Best States For a Laboratory Chemist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a laboratory chemist. The best states for people in this position are Delaware, Virginia, New Jersey, and Connecticut. Laboratory chemists make the most in Delaware with an average salary of $83,582. Whereas in Virginia and New Jersey, they would average $80,328 and $75,145, respectively. While laboratory chemists would only make an average of $72,069 in Connecticut, 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. New Jersey

Total Laboratory Chemist Jobs:
182
Highest 10% Earn:
$114,000
Location Quotient:
1.06
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Connecticut

Total Laboratory Chemist Jobs:
68
Highest 10% Earn:
$110,000
Location Quotient:
0.96
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. New Hampshire

Total Laboratory Chemist Jobs:
46
Highest 10% Earn:
$92,000
Location Quotient:
1.33
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Laboratory Chemist Employers

1. Clean Harbors
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$58,867
Laboratory Chemists Hired: 
48+
2. TRADEBE
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$59,548
Laboratory Chemists Hired: 
9+
3. AmSpec
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$60,340
Laboratory Chemists Hired: 
9+
4. Merck & Co.
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$70,959
Laboratory Chemists Hired: 
6+
5. Safety-Kleen Systems
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$52,838
Laboratory Chemists Hired: 
5+
6. Pfizer
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$67,453
Laboratory Chemists Hired: 
5+

Laboratory Chemist Videos

Updated October 2, 2020