The major responsibility of chemists is to conduct chemical researches, seek new information and develop a range of materials including drugs, adhesives, synthetic fibers, cosmetics, lubricants and paints among others. Right from food and medicine to computers and plastics, chemicals are used in almost everything we use in our daily life. Trained chemists are responsible for understanding the properties of all these chemicals and manipulate them.
Chemists are also involved in petrochemical processing and improved oil refining among others. They perform these tasks with a view to conserving energy and decrease pollution. Many of the professionals are involved in research and development work of chemicals. While conducting these researches, chemists study the composition and the properties of matter and the governing rules of the mixture of elements. One field of the research field is applied research where chemists are required to formulate new processes or make modifications to the existing ones.
To become a chemist, computer proficiency is also required. Computers are extensively used while performing experimental analysis, simulation and modeling. Very often, these professional choose to specialize in a particular field of their interest – analytical, macromolecular, medicinal, organic chemistry, physical chemistry, theoretical chemistry etc.
Educational Requirement & Training
The minimum requirement for entry level jobs is a bachelor’s degree in chemistry or a relevant field. Candidates who aspire to become a part of a research project should possess a master’s degree or a doctoral degree in chemistry. In addition to the degree, candidates also need to undertake courses in computer science and mathematics to make the most of their careers as a chemist. Today, there are numerous colleges and universities across the United States offering chemistry degree programs for aspiring candidates.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment growth rate for chemists’ job is expected to grow as fast as the average of all occupations, increasing at the rate of 9% between the years 2006 and 2016. Job prospects will be quite good for chemists with an advanced degree and a few years of working experience. Employment opportunities will be created even as a large number of chemists reach the age of retirement or leave the field for their own reasons.
The salary of chemists ranges between $41,053 and $51,288 annually. With a few years of working experience under the belt, chemists can earn around $57,000 annually or more. Salaries of professionals also vary depending on the geographical location.