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Working as a Research Chemist

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a research chemist. For example, did you know that they make an average of $34.0 an hour? That's $70,716 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 Research Chemist Do

There are certain skills that many research 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 analytical skills, math skills and perseverance.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a research chemist, we found that a lot of resumes listed 12.3% of research chemists included analytical methods, while 7.9% of resumes included laboratory procedures, and 6.4% of resumes included hplc. 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 research chemist job title. But what industry to start with? Most research chemists actually find jobs in the manufacturing and non profits industries.

How To Become a Research Chemist

If you're interested in becoming a research chemist, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 36.6% of research chemists have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 31.5% of research chemists have master's degrees. Even though most research 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 research chemist. When we researched the most common majors for a research chemist, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on research chemist resumes include doctoral degree degrees or associate degree degrees.

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

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Average Salary$70,716
Job Growth Rate4%

Research Chemist Jobs

Research Chemist Career Paths

Top Careers Before Research Chemist

Chemist
14.9%

Top Careers After Research Chemist

Chemist
11.3%

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 Research Chemist

Research Chemists in America make an average salary of $70,716 per year or $34 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $95,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $52,000 per year.
Average Salary
$70,716

Best Paying Cities

Average Salary
Salary Range79k - 114k$96k$95,636
Salary Range70k - 101k$84k$84,442
Salary Range70k - 100k$84k$84,158
Salary Range66k - 95k$80k$79,654
Salary Range65k - 94k$79k$79,007
Salary Range59k - 103k$79k$78,733
$49k
$114k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Lab Research Chemist/Physicist/Engineer I
Lab Research Chemist/Physicist/Engineer I
Aerotek
Aerotek
10/26/2020
10/26/2020
$45,91410/26/2020
$45,914
Research Chemist I
Research Chemist I
Cortech LLC
Cortech LLC
09/25/2020
09/25/2020
$33,39209/25/2020
$33,392
Research Chemist
Research Chemist
Randstad
Randstad
09/18/2020
09/18/2020
$45,91409/18/2020
$45,914
Lab Research Chemist/Physicist/Engineer II
Lab Research Chemist/Physicist/Engineer II
Volt Workforce Solutions
Volt Workforce Solutions
03/18/2020
03/18/2020
$58,43603/18/2020
$58,436
Lab Research Chemist/Physicist/Engineer I
Lab Research Chemist/Physicist/Engineer I
Volt
Volt
03/03/2020
03/03/2020
$46,70703/03/2020
$46,707
See More Recent Salaries

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Research Chemist Demographics

Gender

male

60.9%

female

30.1%

unknown

9.0%

Ethnicity

White

61.6%

Asian

21.4%

Hispanic or Latino

7.7%

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

24.4%

Chinese

12.8%

Japanese

10.5%
See More Demographics

Research Chemist Education

Degrees

Bachelors

36.6%

Masters

31.5%

Doctorate

27.6%

Top Colleges for Research Chemists

1. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC

Tuition and fees
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

2. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA

Tuition and fees
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

3. University of California - San Diego

La Jolla, CA

Tuition and fees
$14,167
Enrollment
30,279

4. University of Georgia

Athens, GA

Tuition and fees
$11,830
Enrollment
29,474

5. SUNY at Buffalo

Buffalo, NY

Tuition and fees
$10,099
Enrollment
21,404

6. Illinois Institute of Technology

Chicago, IL

Tuition and fees
$47,646
Enrollment
2,924

7. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI

Tuition and fees
$15,262
Enrollment
30,079

8. Washington State University

Pullman, WA

Tuition and fees
$11,584
Enrollment
25,675

9. North Dakota State University

Fargo, ND

Tuition and fees
$9,414
Enrollment
11,182

10. University of California - Los Angeles

Los Angeles, CA

Tuition and fees
$13,226
Enrollment
31,568
See More Education Info

Entry Level Jobs For Becoming A Research Chemist

Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Research 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, 12.3% of research chemists listed analytical methods on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and math skills are important as well.

Best States For a Research Chemist

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a research chemist. The best states for people in this position are Rhode Island, Delaware, Maine, and Washington. Research chemists make the most in Rhode Island with an average salary of $97,890. Whereas in Delaware and Maine, they would average $95,390 and $91,331, respectively. While research chemists would only make an average of $89,874 in Washington, 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. Rhode Island

Total Research Chemist Jobs:
21
Highest 10% Earn:
$137,000
Location Quotient:
1
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. Washington

Total Research Chemist Jobs:
279
Highest 10% Earn:
$133,000
Location Quotient:
1.61
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. Delaware

Total Research Chemist Jobs:
14
Highest 10% Earn:
$133,000
Location Quotient:
0.72
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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Research Chemist Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a research chemist. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

At Zippia, we went through countless research 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 Write a Research Chemist Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless research 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.

View Detailed Information

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Top Research Chemist Employers

1. Merck & Co.
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$81,209
Research Chemists Hired: 
54+
2. DuPont
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$61,908
Research Chemists Hired: 
43+
3. BASF
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$51,741
Research Chemists Hired: 
39+
4. The Dow Chemical Company
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$66,153
Research Chemists Hired: 
35+
5. USDA
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$49,284
Research Chemists Hired: 
33+
6. PPG Industries
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$52,000
Research Chemists Hired: 
31+

Research Chemist Videos

Recently Added Research Chemist Jobs

Updated October 2, 2020