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Become A Research And Development Chemist

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Working As A Research And Development Chemist

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

  • $74,531

    Average Salary

What Does A Research And Development Chemist Do

A Research and Development Chemist conducts qualitative and quantitative chemical analyses and experiments in laboratories to develop new products or knowledge, or for quality or process control. They may work in public laboratories or for private organizations.

How To Become A Research And Development 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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Research And Development Chemist jobs

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Real Research And Development Chemist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior R&D Chemist Interfashion Cosmetics Corp. Teterboro, NJ Jan 14, 2015 $116,200
Process Development Manager, Senior R&D Chemist CVC Specialty Chemicals, Inc. Maple Shade, NJ Sep 07, 2013 $116,050
Analytical Research and Development Chemist Perrigo Pharmaceuticals Company Allegan, MI Aug 18, 2015 $111,755
R&D Chemist Celanese Corporation Florence, KY Sep 20, 2013 $105,000 -
$115,000
R&D Chemist Celanese Corporation Irving, TX Jan 28, 2014 $105,000
Senior R&D Chemist/Manager Belzona Global, LLC Miami Lakes, FL Jul 02, 2014 $102,000
Senior R&D Chemist Belzona Global, LLC Miami Lakes, FL Jul 02, 2014 $102,000
R&D Staff Separations Chemist Ut-Battelle, LLC (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) Oak Ridge, TN Jan 04, 2016 $100,200
R&D Staff Separations Chemist Ut-Battelle, LLC (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) Oak Ridge, TN Apr 01, 2016 $100,200
Senior Research & Development (R&D) Chemist SNF Holding Company Riceboro, GA Aug 30, 2016 $100,000 -
$120,000
R&D Chemist W.R. Grace & Co. Columbia, MD Dec 09, 2016 $96,000
R&D Chemist Air Liquide Advanced Materials Inc. Branchburg, NJ May 09, 2016 $95,000
Research and Development Chemist Actega Kelstar, Inc. Cinnaminson, NJ Dec 15, 2015 $76,840
R & D Chemist-Aerospace Hentzen Coatings, Inc. Milwaukee, WI Sep 06, 2014 $75,000
Senior R&D Chemist The Sherwin-Williams Company Chicago, IL Sep 15, 2016 $75,000 -
$85,000
Senior R&D Chemist The Sherwin-Williams Company Columbus, OH Aug 08, 2016 $75,000 -
$85,000
Analytical R&D Chemist Ascent Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Central Islip, NY Jun 11, 2016 $75,000
Senior R&D Chemist-Analytical Services Lehigh Valley Technologies Inc. Allentown, PA Nov 25, 2014 $74,000 -
$80,000
Senior R&D Chemist-Analytical Services Lehigh Valley Technologies Inc. Allentown, PA Nov 14, 2014 $74,000 -
$80,000
R & D Chemist Pharmaceutics International, Incorporated Huntingtown, MD Jun 17, 2016 $73,133
Senior R&D Chemist Belzona Global, LLC Miami Lakes, FL Aug 16, 2014 $61,800
Research and Development Chemist Cardolite Corporation Monmouth Junction, NJ Sep 04, 2014 $61,500 -
$65,500
R&D Chemist NEOS Therapeutics, LP Grand Prairie, TX Jan 09, 2016 $61,000
Research & Development Chemist Carolina Liquid Chemistries Corporation Brea, CA Jun 13, 2014 $61,000
Research & Development Chemist Carolina Liquid Chemistries Corp. Brea, CA Dec 11, 2014 $61,000
Research & Development Chemist II Mayne Pharma LLC Greenville, NC Oct 26, 2016 $60,000
R&D Chemist Allure Labs, Inc. Hayward, CA Aug 28, 2013 $60,000
Research & Development Chemist II Mayne Pharma Inc. Greenville, NC Apr 25, 2016 $60,000

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Top Skills for A Research And Development Chemist

NewProductDevelopmentLaboratoryEquipmentNewRawMaterialsAnalyticalMethodsRHplcProceduresStabilityStudiesMethodDevelopmentUv/VisGc/MsSafetySynthesisFDAQCFtirTestMethodsTechnicalSupportChromatographyISO

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Top Research And Development Chemist Skills

  1. New Product Development
  2. Laboratory Equipment
  3. New Raw Materials
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Worked with clients on new product development.
  • Serviced, maintained, and troubleshot laboratory equipment in order to maintain optimal functionality and reliability of equipment and resources.
  • Research and development of new raw materials and products (printing inks and pigment pastes) that meets specific consumer requirements.
  • Key Responsibilities and Accountabilities: Developed analytical methods for process development.
  • Develop and establish lab procedures and processes for product quality and conformance.

Top Research And Development Chemist Employers