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Become A Quality Control Chemist

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Working As A Quality Control Chemist

  • Documenting/Recording Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Processing Information
  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • $61,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Quality Control 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.

Duties

Chemists and materials scientists typically do the following:

  • Plan and carry out complex research projects, such as the development of new products and testing methods
  • Direct technicians and other workers in testing and analyzing components and the physical properties of materials
  • Instruct scientists and technicians on proper chemical processing and testing procedures, including ingredients, mixing times, and operating temperatures
  • Prepare solutions, compounds, and reagents used in laboratory procedures
  • Analyze substances to determine their composition and concentration of elements 
  • Conduct tests on materials and other substances to ensure that safety and quality standards are met
  • Write technical reports that detail methods and findings
  • Present research findings to scientists, engineers, and other colleagues

Some chemists and materials scientists work in basic research. Others work in applied research. In basic research, chemists investigate the properties, composition, and structure of matter. They also experiment with combinations of elements and the ways in which they interact. In applied research, chemists investigate possible new products and ways to improve existing ones. Chemistry research has led to the discovery and development of new and improved drugs, plastics, and cleaners, as well as thousands of other products.

Materials scientists study the structures and chemical properties of various materials in order to develop new products or enhance existing ones. They determine ways to strengthen or combine materials, or develop new materials, for use in a variety of products. Applications of materials science include inventing or improving ceramics, metallic alloys, and superconducting materials.

Chemists and materials scientists use computers and a wide variety of sophisticated laboratory instrumentation for modeling, simulation, and experimental analysis. For example, some chemists use three-dimensional computer modeling software to study the structure and properties of complex molecules. 

Most chemists and materials scientists work as part of a team. The number of scientific research projects that involve multiple disciplines is increasing, and it is common for chemists and materials scientists to work on teams with other scientists, such as biologists, physicists, computer specialists, and engineers. For example, in pharmaceutical research, chemists may work with biologists to develop new drugs and with engineers to design ways to mass-produce the new drugs. For more information, see the profiles on biochemists and biophysicists, microbiologists, zoologists and wildlife biologists, physicists and astronomers, computer and information technology occupations, and engineering occupations.

Chemists often specialize in a particular branch of the field. The following are examples of types of chemists:

Analytical chemists determine the structure, composition, and nature of substances by examining and identifying their various elements or compounds. They also study the relationships and interactions among the parts of compounds. Some analytical chemists specialize in developing new methods of analysis and new techniques for carrying out their work. Their research has a wide range of applications, including food safety, pharmaceuticals, and pollution control.

Inorganic chemists study the structure, properties, and reactions of molecules that do not contain carbon, such as metals. They work to understand the behavior and the characteristics of inorganic substances. Inorganic chemists figure out how these materials, such as ceramics and superconductors, can be modified, separated, or used in products.  

Medicinal chemists research and develop chemical compounds that can be used as pharmaceutical drugs. They work on teams with other scientists and engineers to create and test new drug products. They also help develop new and improved manufacturing processes to produce new drugs on a large scale effectively.

Organic chemists study the structure, properties, and reactions of molecules that contain carbon. They also design and make new organic substances that have unique properties and applications. These compounds in turn, have been used to develop many commercial products, such as pharmaceutical drugs and plastics.

Physical chemists study the fundamental characteristics of how matter behaves on a molecular and atomic level and how chemical reactions occur. On the basis of their analyses, physical chemists may develop new theories, such as how complex structures are formed. Physical chemists often work closely with materials scientists, to research and develop potential uses for new materials.

Theoretical chemists investigate theoretical methods that can predict the outcomes of chemical experiments. Theoretical chemistry encompasses a variety of specializations itself, although most specializations incorporate advanced computation and programming. Some examples of theoretical chemists are computational chemists, mathematical chemists, and chemical informaticians.

Materials scientists tend to specialize by the material they work with most often. A few examples of materials in which these scientists specialize are ceramics, glasses, metals, nanomaterials (extremely small substances), polymers, and semiconductors.

A growing numbers of chemists work in interdisciplinary fields, such as biochemistry and geochemistry. For more information, see the profiles on biochemists and biophysicists and geoscientists.

Many people with a chemistry background become professors or teachers. For more information, see the profiles on high school teachers and postsecondary teachers.

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How To Become A Quality Control 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.

Education

A bachelor’s degree in chemistry or in a related field is needed for entry-level chemist or materials scientist jobs. Although some materials scientists hold a degree in materials science, most have a degree in chemistry, physics, or engineering. Many jobs require a master’s degree or a Ph.D. and also may require significant levels of work experience. Chemists and materials scientists with a Ph.D. and postdoctoral experience typically lead basic- or applied-research teams.

Many colleges and universities offer degree programs in chemistry that are approved by the American Chemical Society. There are few programs specifically in materials science, but the number of programs is gradually increasing. Some colleges offer materials science as a specialization within their chemistry programs, and some engineering schools offer degrees in the joint field of materials science and engineering. High school students can prepare for college coursework by taking chemistry, math, and computer science classes.

Undergraduate chemistry majors typically are required to take courses in analytical, organic, inorganic, and physical chemistry. In addition to chemistry coursework, they take classes in mathematics, biological sciences, and physics. Computer science courses are essential, because chemists and materials scientists need computer skills to perform modeling and simulation tasks, manage and manipulate databases, and operate computerized laboratory equipment.

Laboratory experience, either at a college or university, or through internships, fellowships, or work–study programs in industry, is also useful.

Graduate students studying chemistry commonly specialize in a subfield, such as analytical chemistry or inorganic chemistry. For example, those interested in doing research in the pharmaceutical industry usually develop a strong background in medicinal or organic chemistry.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Chemists and materials scientists carry out scientific experiments and studies. They must be precise and accurate in their analyses, because errors could invalidate their research.

Communication skills. Chemists and materials scientists need to communicate with team members and other scientists. They must be able to read and write technical reports and give presentations.

Critical-thinking skills. Chemists and materials scientists carefully evaluate their own work and the work of others. They must determine if results and conclusions are based on sound science.

Interpersonal skills. Chemists and materials scientists typically work on interdisciplinary research teams and need to work well with others toward a common goal. Many serve as team leaders and must be able to motivate and direct other team members.

Math skills. Chemists and materials scientists regularly use complex mathematical equations and formulas, and they need a broad understanding of mathematics, including calculus, algebra, and statistics.

Organizational skills. Chemists and materials scientists need to document processes carefully in order to conform to regulations and industry procedures. Disorganization in the workplace can lead to legal problems, damage to equipment, and chemical spills.

Perseverance. Scientific research involves substantial trial and error, and chemists and materials scientists must not become discouraged in their work.

Problem-solving skills. Chemists and materials scientists research and develop new and improved chemical products, processes, and materials. This work requires a great deal of trial and error on the part of chemists and materials scientists before a unique solution is found.

Time-management skills. Chemists and materials scientists usually need to meet deadlines when conducting research. They must be able to manage time and prioritize tasks efficiently while maintaining their quality of work.

Advancement

Chemists typically receive greater responsibility and independence in their work as they gain experience. Greater responsibility also is gained through further education. Ph.D. chemists usually lead research teams and have control over the direction and content of projects, but even Ph.D. holders have room to advance as they gain experience. As chemists become more proficient in managing research projects, they may take on larger, more complicated, and more expensive projects.

Some chemists and materials scientists become natural sciences managers.

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Quality Control Chemist Career Paths

Quality Control Chemist
Analytical Chemist Scientist
Senior Research Associate
6 Yearsyrs
Scientist Project Manager Quality Manager
Quality Systems Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Supervisor Quality Assurance Manager Quality Manager
Senior Quality Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Supervisor Quality Control Manager Quality Manager
Corporate Quality Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Analytical Chemist Scientist Senior Scientist
Research And Development Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Senior Chemist Senior Scientist Research And Development Manager
Research And Development Director
11 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Supervisor Quality Control Manager
Quality Control Director
9 Yearsyrs
Quality Control Manager Quality Assurance Manager Regulatory Affairs Manager
Regulatory Affairs Director
12 Yearsyrs
Analytical Chemist Research Scientist Laboratory Manager
Laboratory Manager Of Operations
10 Yearsyrs
Senior Chemist Senior Scientist Laboratory Manager
Director Of Laboratory Services
12 Yearsyrs
Research Scientist Process Engineer Research And Development Engineer
Research And Development Project Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Specialist Store Manager Food Service Director
Food Safety Director
8 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Specialist Quality Assurance Manager Compliance Manager
Regulatory Compliance Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Quality Assurance Specialist Quality Assurance Engineer Senior Quality Engineer
Vice-President Of Quality
15 Yearsyrs
Senior Laboratory Technician Senior Technologist Senior Engineering Technician
Engineering Laboratory Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Regulatory Affairs Specialist Regulatory Affairs Manager
Regulatory Compliance Director
12 Yearsyrs
Research Scientist Assistant Professor Senior Research Associate
Study Director
7 Yearsyrs
Process Engineer Research And Development Engineer Research And Development Senior Engineer
Research And Development Project Leader
6 Yearsyrs
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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Senior Chemist 5.0 years
Chemist 3.5 years
Process Chemist 3.4 years
Analytical Chemist 3.2 years
Chemist Lead 3.0 years
Associate Chemist 3.0 years
Production Chemist 2.9 years
Laboratory Chemist 2.8 years
Junior Chemist 2.2 years
Contract Chemist 1.4 years
Top Careers Before Quality Control Chemist
Chemist 15.6%
Internship 5.4%
Scientist 2.5%
Analyst 1.8%
Researcher 1.7%
Top Careers After Quality Control Chemist
Chemist 14.6%
Scientist 7.1%

Do you work as a Quality Control Chemist?

Average Yearly Salary
$61,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$45,000
Min 10%
$61,000
Median 50%
$61,000
Median 50%
$61,000
Median 50%
$61,000
Median 50%
$61,000
Median 50%
$61,000
Median 50%
$61,000
Median 50%
$83,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Bayer
Highest Paying City
North Andover, MA
Highest Paying State
Maine
Avg Experience Level
2.8 years
How much does a Quality Control Chemist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Quality Control Chemist in the United States is $61,542 per year or $30 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $45,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $83,000.

Real Quality Control Chemist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Quality Control Chemist Manager Aviation Fueling Consulting Corp Miramar, FL Aug 16, 2016 $128,440
Quality Control Chemist Bizlink Technology, Inc. Fremont, CA Jan 06, 2016 $114,941
Supervisor Quality Control Chemist Jubilant Cadista Pharmaceuticals Inc. Salisbury, MD Oct 24, 2015 $81,110
Quality Control Chemist Bactolac Pharmaceutical Inc. Hauppauge, NY Jan 10, 2016 $80,501
Supervisor, Quality Control Chemist Jubilant Cadista Pharmaceuticals Inc. Salisbury, MD Nov 05, 2015 $78,107
Quality Control Chemist Sciegen Pharmaceuticals Inc. Hauppauge, NY Jan 10, 2016 $77,575
Quality Control Chemist Protech Minerals, Inc. Victorville, CA Mar 10, 2015 $77,230
Analytical QC Chemist New Jersey Laboratories New Brunswick, NJ Jan 09, 2016 $76,960
Quality Control Chemist Contract Pharmacal Corp. Hauppauge, NY Jun 14, 2016 $74,464
Chemist-Quality Control Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Inc. Cranbury, NJ Nov 03, 2015 $74,154
Quality Control Chemist/Scientist Ascent Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Central Islip, NY Jun 11, 2016 $74,000
QC Chemist Sigmapharm Laboratories, LLC Bensalem, PA Nov 01, 2016 $72,093
Chemist III, QC Sandoz, Inc. Wilson, NC Jan 03, 2016 $72,000
QC Chemist Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Inc. Cranbury, NJ Sep 20, 2016 $71,000
Quality Control Chemist II Stason Pharmaceutical Irvine, CA Feb 25, 2016 $63,918
Quality Control Chemist/Scientist Ascent Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Central Islip, NY Jun 11, 2016 $63,500
Chemist-Quality Control Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Inc. Cranbury, NJ May 27, 2015 $63,345
Quality Control Chemist/Scientist Ascent Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Central Islip, NY Jun 11, 2016 $63,000
Chemist-Quality Control Sun Pharmaceutical Industries, Inc. Cranbury, NJ Sep 16, 2015 $62,817
Quality Control Chemist Belcher Pharmaceuticals, LLC Largo, FL Oct 01, 2015 $62,000
Quality Control Staff Chemist Johnson Matthey Pharmaceutical Services Devens, MA Oct 28, 2015 $61,386
Quality Control Chemist Chemeor, Inc. Covina, CA Sep 14, 2016 $54,000
Quality Control Chemist Aspire Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Somerset, NJ Sep 12, 2016 $54,000
Quality Control Chemist Epic Pharma LLC NY Sep 19, 2016 $53,518
Quality Control Chemist Invagen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Hauppauge, NY Oct 01, 2015 $53,000
Quality Control Chemist SPI Pharma, Inc. Lewes, DE Sep 30, 2016 $52,562
Quality Control Chemist Bactolac Pharmaceutical Inc. Hauppauge, NY Oct 01, 2015 $52,500
Quality Control Chemist SPI Pharma, Inc. DE Sep 30, 2016 $52,500
Quality Control Chemist SPI Pharma, Inc. Lewes, DE Sep 30, 2016 $52,420

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Top Skills for A Quality Control Chemist

  1. Lab Equipment
  2. Analytical Methods
  3. Raw Materials
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Calibrated lab equipment, analyzed testing issues and determined resolution observing GMP.
  • Worked with quality assurance personnel to evaluate and incorporate new analytical methods and equipment to the process.
  • Conducted routine and non-routine analysis for raw materials, in process and finished formulations according to quality test procedures.
  • Performed stability and release testing of drug products, developed training curricula and trained laboratory personnel.
  • Performed research, conducted experiments, and determined HPLC specifications for incoming materials on a daily basis.

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Top 10 Best States for Quality Control Chemists

  1. Maryland
  2. New Mexico
  3. Texas
  4. Delaware
  5. New Jersey
  6. North Carolina
  7. District of Columbia
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Virginia
  10. Pennsylvania
  • (170 jobs)
  • (41 jobs)
  • (391 jobs)
  • (15 jobs)
  • (192 jobs)
  • (250 jobs)
  • (31 jobs)
  • (203 jobs)
  • (171 jobs)
  • (389 jobs)

Quality Control Chemist Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 5,082 Quality Control Chemist resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Quality Control Chemist Resume

View Resume Examples

Quality Control Chemist Demographics

Gender

Male

49.3%

Female

39.3%

Unknown

11.3%
Ethnicity

White

52.0%

Asian

19.0%

Hispanic or Latino

13.6%

Black or African American

9.9%

Unknown

5.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

38.3%

French

9.6%

Hindi

7.8%

Mandarin

7.8%

Chinese

7.8%

Gujarati

4.2%

Arabic

4.2%

Japanese

3.6%

Korean

2.4%

Bengali

1.8%

Russian

1.8%

Cantonese

1.8%

Italian

1.8%

German

1.8%

Urdu

1.8%

Vietnamese

1.2%

Marathi

0.6%

Indonesian

0.6%

Hungarian

0.6%

Lithuanian

0.6%
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Quality Control Chemist Education

Schools

Temple University

9.0%

Fairleigh Dickinson University

7.1%

University of California - Irvine

6.1%

University of California - Davis

5.9%

Stevens Institute of Technology

5.5%

New Jersey Institute of Technology

5.3%

University of Illinois at Chicago

5.3%

University of Cincinnati

5.1%

University of Phoenix

4.9%

University of Florida

4.7%

University of California - San Diego

4.7%

Ohio State University

4.5%

Pennsylvania State University

4.5%

Purdue University

4.3%

University of California - Los Angeles

4.1%

Drexel University

4.1%

University of California - Riverside

3.9%

Northeastern University

3.9%

Kean University

3.7%

Saint John's University - New York

3.7%
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Majors

Chemistry

48.8%

Biology

15.1%

Pharmacy

8.6%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

7.0%

Business

4.1%

Chemical Engineering

3.4%

Biotechnology

1.8%

Environmental Science

1.4%

Food Science

1.3%

Management

1.0%

Microbiology

1.0%

Materials Sciences

0.9%

Education

0.8%

Project Management

0.8%

Chemical Technology

0.7%

Criminal Justice

0.7%

Health Care Administration

0.7%

Clinical/Medical Laboratory Science

0.7%

General Education, Specific Areas

0.7%

Pharmacology

0.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

56.5%

Masters

28.7%

Other

5.8%

Doctorate

3.8%

Associate

2.2%

Certificate

2.1%

Diploma

0.9%

License

0.1%
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