"Chemistry is the study of transformation." -Unknown 

After the various years of higher education have been completed at a qualified university for a topic such as chemistry, the next required step is finding a job. Unfortunately, even though university graduates may boast a degree in some form of chemistry, the process of finding and keeping a job that is relevant to your field of study can be an extremely stressful experience.

So, without further delay, in today's article, we shall highlight some of the potential pathways that chemistry graduates may go down to enjoy a prosperous career successfully.

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Working in Research as a Chemistry Graduate

Many individuals with a chemistry degree consider working in the field of research and development. Jobs in this field usually take place in a laboratory setting and require employees to search for and examine findings and attempt to develop them into new theories and products.

Most research chemists have either a Bachelor's, Master's, or PhD from a qualified university and may find employment in the following sectors:

  • Chemical companies
  • Government labs, 
  • Privately owned and run labs, 
  • Environmental agencies, 
  • Public funded research councils, 
  • Universities,
  • Food and drink manufacturers,
  • Material companies, 
  • Consumer goods manufacturers, 
  • Pharmaceutical companies.

No matter where chemistry graduates with a specialisation in research decide to encounter work, their job duties are pretty similar and include the following:

  • Setting up laboratory equipment and conducting tests, 
  • Recording and analysing data, 
  • Researching and writing papers and reports, 
  • Keeping up to date with relevant scientific and technical developments. 

Research chemists will be mainly laboratory-based, either in top universities or in research labs. Examples of companies hiring are Mitsubishi Chemical, Sika Corporation, John Innes Centre, the University of Bath, and the University of Strathclyde. The starting salary of a research chemist graduate in England would be between £18,000 to £25,000. However, the salary increases with a PhD or at a more senior level to £40,000.

If you are looking to become more skilled and successfully work as a research chemist, it is essential to practice your skills in a lab and hire a private tutor to guide you.

What is Pharmaceutical Chemistry?

Since both the terms "pharmaceutical" and "chemistry" are included in the phrase "pharmaceutical chemistry", it's safe to say that both topics are discussed. Pharmaceutical chemistry, or medicinal chemistry, as some like to call it, deals with the production, properties, and synthesis of drugs used to treat ailments.

Pharmaceutical chemistry is different from pharmacology which deals directly with medicines and drugs. It's worth stating that pharmaceutical chemistry is related to other biological areas such as biochemistry, molecular biology, and toxicology.

To become a qualified pharmaceutical chemist, a person needs to go through years of schooling and be emotionally and mentally stable, have an affinity for scientific disciplines such as biology and physics, and be ready to learn transferrable skills.

As for the required education, it is highly recommended that pharmaceutical chemists do all they can to get good grades across all subjects to be admitted to higher education programs at university in the secondary school years. At university, a BSc or MSc degree is needed to work as a pharmaceutical chemist. Also, in some cases, a PhD might be necessary for research jobs.

Pharmaceutical chemists usually find work at government agencies, biotechnology companies, education centres dedicated to teaching others, and private research labs for pharma corps.

What are some of the daily work tasks of pharmaceutical chemists? The following are a few employment responsibilities that most individuals working in medicinal chemistry will complete:

  • Looking for natural and synthetic materials to determine their chemical properties, 
  • Conduct quantitative analysis to determine how much of one substance should be mixed with another, 
  • Use measures to provoke changes in the composition of materials,
  • Prepare reports based on scientific research and hypothesis' that are formulated. 

To successfully study or start work as a pharmaceutical chemist, it's essential to break more prominent, more complex topics into smaller ones, practice skills in the lab, and seek the assistance of others, such as a private instructor.

What Does an Analytical Chemist Do?

reading the periodic table
Analytical chemistry deals with a lot of the topics we think about when we hear the term chemistry. (Source: Unsplash)

When it comes to chemistry, analytical chemistry is one of the most popularly discussed and analysed subdisciplines. Analytical chemistry can be defined as the science of obtaining, processing, and communicating information about the composition and structure of matter.

A lot of research is required in analytical chemistry, and the following methods are implemented to get to the bottom of the results:

  • Separation, 
  • Identification,
  • Quantification.

A vast understanding and knowledge of chemistry and other scientific disciplines are required to work in the field of analytical chemistry.

The process of becoming qualified to work as an analytical chemist takes a long time. However, the following list mentions a few of the steps required to work as a professional analytical chemist:

  • Good Grades: before the university years, above-average test results are required at GCSE and A-Levels for topics such as chemistry, physics, maths, and biology to become eligible for analytical chemistry courses.
  • University Degrees: a BSc in a relevant chemistry programme is the minimum qualification required by most employers who wish to hire an analytical chemist. For some jobs in research, a Master's degree or higher is necessary.
  • Experience: by completing internships and accepting entry-level job positions, you receive training from experienced ones that will significantly help you as an analytical chemist.

After a degree has been acquired, amateur analytical chemists can start applying for new jobs. But, what are some employment sectors that hire and need analytical chemistry majors? The following are some fields where analytical chemists may find work:

  • Food inspection, 
  • Pharmaceuticals, 
  • Water purification, 
  • Legal jobs,
  • Medicine, 
  • Research and development,
  • Academia. 

For a lot of persons, working as an analytical chemist has opened up various opportunities and possibilities. To become better familiar with the employment responsibilities of an analytical chemist, the following list highlights some of the most critical employment tasks:

  • Performing qualitative and quantitative analysis,
  • Sampling, defining, isolating, concentrating, and preserving different types of samples,
  • Performing separations based on differential chemical properties that have been observed, 
  • Interpreting data in a proper context,
  • Communicating results and conclusions to other scientists.

To successfully work as an analytical chemist, tips such as being an active learner, taking advantage of online resources, and hiring a private tutor should all be applied.

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Working as a Chemical Engineer

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The combination of chemistry and engineering to create new products from raw materials. (Source: Unsplash)

A chemical engineer is someone who has a firm grasp of academic disciplines such as chemistry, physics, maths, biology, and economics and has a passion for combining both the fundamentals of chemistry and engineering to produce new products from raw materials.

Chemical engineers work in laboratories and can use a wide range of tasks such as nanotechnology and nanomaterials to large-scale industrial processes such as converting chemicals, living cells, and alternative energy sources.

To become qualified to work as a chemical engineer, good grades throughout secondary school are required; a BSc, MSc, or PhD degree is necessary, depending on the job. But, what are some of the work tasks of chemical engineers? The following list highlights a few job responsibilities of forensic scientists:

  • Use computer models and other processes to test the efficacy of these products and determine their safety for consumers and the environment.
  • Researching new methods of manufacturing chemicals,
  • Creating the process of which gas or liquid components are separated,
  • Gathering estimates of the cost of producing a new item, 
  • Implementing safety procedures for employees working with potentially hazardous chemicals.

It's worth highlighting that the previously mentioned job tasks are general; however, they may slightly or significantly change based on the company a chemical engineer is working for and who their employer is.

Some sectors of employment that hire chemical engineers may include energy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, private enterprises, and academia. Therefore, a degree in chemical engineering is precious, and most employers across all sectors are glad to have a chemical engineer join their team.

How to Get a Job as a Forensic Scientist

Do you want to help the police solve crimes through your excellent chemistry skills? If so, you should consider a career as a forensic scientist. Forensic science deals with aspects of chemistry and other science-related topics to solve criminal and civil crimes that have been committed.

Forensic science is also known as criminalistics. It would be challenging to gather biological evidence and learn how to deal with it correctly without forensic science.

To become a forensic scientist, an interest in all science subjects such as chemistry, physics, and biology is necessary. Also, throughout secondary school and university, fantastic grades are required. Additionally, it's worth mentioning that the grand majority of employers make it a requirement to have at least a Bachelor's degree in chemistry or forensic sciences or more to start work.

Getting experience by asking others and applying for internships is a great way to understand forensic science. The following are some of the most standard employment responsibilities of forensic scientists:

  • Gather relevant evidence from the scene of a crime to help prove a case, 
  • Testify in court about what they observed at the crime scene in question or share their expertise, 
  • Create reports based on the lab results, 
  • Find electronic data and analyse it with computers.

New forensic scientists usually find work in law enforcement, private companies that deal with pharmaceuticals, and academia.

To successfully work as a forensic scientist, it's crucial to constantly develop skills, hire a private tutor for tailored classes, and get acquainted with forensics and criminology beforehand.

Jobs in Waste Management

garbage bins
Waste management covers more than solely picking up garbage but rather the entire process of managing waste to its final disposal. (Source: Unsplash)

When you hear the term waste management, do you only think about rubbish collectors? If so, you need to educate yourself because waste management is a very diverse discipline with many job opportunities and sectors that employ scientific studies such as chemistry.

Waste management entails everything about rubbish, from the beginning to the end. Some aspects of chemistry are used in waste management to identify hazardous materials and find the most environmentally friendly ways to dispose of the toxins.

While most careers in waste management do not require further education, it's important to state that some positions such as waste management officer or chemical waste engineer do. The following are a few of the careers available in waste management that might pique your curiosity:

  • Solid Waste Engineer, 
  • Rubbish Collector,
  • Project Engineer, 
  • Waste Management Sales Executive, 
  • Chemical Waste Management, 
  • Technical Coordinators, 
  • Loaders. 

Having business skills highly benefits students looking for jobs in waste management. We strongly urge all of your readers to take a look at our article about waste management.

What Does a Geochemist Do?

For those who aren't familiar with the term, geochemistry is a field of study that analyses the earth's chemical composition, including its rocks and minerals. Thus, many say that geochemistry is a combination of two topics: geology and chemistry.

Through a comprehensive study of geochemistry, we can become more familiar with aspects of the natural world such as marine and coastal habitats, air, dust, petroleum systems, soil, and glaciers.

To work in geochemistry, excellent grades in scientific disciplines during secondary school are required, and a Bachelor's degree, or higher, from a qualified university.

The following are a few of the potential jobs that are open and available to those who boast a geochemistry degree:

  • Crystallographers,
  • Geologists,
  • Geophysicists,
  • Mineralogists,
  • Oceanographers,
  • Oceanologists,
  • Palaeontologists,
  • Petroleum geologists,
  • Stratigraphers,
  • Volcanologists.

Depending on their employer and the years of experience that they may have in the field, geochemists have the following work tasks:

  • Analysing the age, nature and components of rock, minerals, and soil, 
  • Conducting sample tests and checks,
  • Go out in the field at times to collect site samples, 
  • Conversion with other professionals in your area, such as geologists, petroleum engineers, and commercial managers, 
  • Work with databases that track and organise geological and chemic information, 
  • Write out technical reports and papers for investigative journals, 
  • Speak publicly about specific areas of geochemistry to others. 

If you love chemistry and you thoroughly enjoy geology, geochemistry is the perfect career for you!

In conclusion, it's important to state that there are plenty of potential jobs open for those specialising in chemistry; a fruitful and satisfying career is guaranteed.

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Brentyn

Avid movie-goer, reader, skier and language learner. Passionate about life, food and travelling.