A career in Chemistry can be an attractive and lucrative path for those who are interested in the subject. Individuals employed in this field often go on to work in research labs, hospitals, manufacturing companies and consulting agencies among other options. They can also go on to work for the government or continue in the field of education.
Career in Chemistry: Education
A career in chemistry will require that people successfully complete at least one academic program dedicated to this subject. Some of the common causes offered during chemistry programs include organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, general chemistry and analytic chemistry. Students may also be required to focus on science subjects such as biology and physics. Most chemistry programs also require that students engage in brief periods of lab work. Students who successfully graduate from a degree program may consider different career paths some such as;
- Doctorate Degrees: At the top of the career chain are individuals with doctorate degrees. Many of the leading scientists and heads of research departments have doctorate degrees. People with doctorate degrees will also find it easier branching into different fields in chemistry. Individuals with doctorate degrees may also wish to pursue a career in academics as professors.
- Graduate Degree: Individuals who have successfully completed a graduate program in related fields such as chemical engineering can go on to work as chemical engineer for manufacturing companies. Other graduate careers in chemistry include working in the pharmaceutical, textile or ceramic industry.
- Bachelors Degree: With a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, graduates can work in varying capacities within chemical industries. This includes working positions in the fields of analytical chemistry, agro-chemistry, chemical engineering/technology and chemical sales. Holders of a chemical bachelor degree may also wish to pursue specialized paths in fields such as environmental technology or food science.
- Associate Degree in Chemistry: Holders of an associate degree will find several working opportunities—although not as many as people with a bachelor degree. Within the chemical industries, associate degree holder typically work as assistants in the lab or research department. The growth potential for people with associate degrees is not very high. People seeking to become during their career in chemistry, will need to secure additional qualifications.
Career in Chemistry: Salary Level
Individuals pursuing a career in chemist typically earn salaries based on their field, experience and qualification.
For instance, the salary range for chemists is $45,000 to $85,000. Chemists working in testing labs earn the lowers margins while those within the executive branch earn the highest. Chemists employed in the manufacturing and research industries earn between $62,000 and $68,000.
On the other hand, the income range for chemical engineers is higher—between $67,000 and $105,000. According to estimates by the U.S Bureau of labor, entry level engineers typical earn between $50,000 and $66,000 while chemical engineers, with over a decade worth of experience, earn $74,000 to $101,000
Career in Chemistry: Growth Potential
The job opportunity available for people chasing a career in chemistry is expected to grow in the next decade by over 5%. Like most professional fields, people with advanced degrees and experience will likely have better prospects than those without.