If you’ve been looking through the what jobs can a chemistry major get list of potential employment opportunities, you might be thinking you don’t have many options. But think again. The right education can lead to a rewarding career in an industry that values your skills.
A chemistry major can work in a variety of fields, including medicine, environmental science, forensic science and law enforcement.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of jobs for chemists will increase 15% between 2014 and 2024. Chemistry majors who earn a graduate degree in chemistry may be able to find jobs as research scientists or professors at colleges or universities.
What jobs can a chemistry major get
There are many interesting jobs for people with a background in chemistry. Many chemistry majors pursue careers in research, medicine, education, law, or business.
Some of the most popular career fields for students earning a bachelor’s degree in chemistry include forensic science, patent law, and chemical engineering.
- Forensic science is a field of specialization for chemistry majors. Here, chemists analyze crime scene evidence to solve crimes. A background in physical chemistry allows them to analyze trace materials such as blood, hair, or glass.
- Patent law is another popular career path for chemistry graduates with a bachelor’s degree. The ability to understand the chemical processes behind inventions and innovations helps lawyers defend their patents from infringement by other companies who might try to steal them and use them as their own.
Forensic science is the study of evidence from crime and other legal matters. Forensic scientists work with the police to determine what happened in a crime scene, which can include analyzing fingerprints or DNA samples.
There are two types of forensic scientists: medical examiners and criminalists. Medical examiners work with autopsies and medical investigations; they’re responsible for determining cause of death and investigating suspicious deaths, like homicides. They may also perform toxicology tests on deceased bodies to determine whether drugs were involved in their deaths. Criminalists analyze trace evidence at crime scenes like hairs, fibers or soil samples—anything that might lead them back to the perpetrator’s identity.
A few careers you could pursue with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry include:
Forensic Scientist A forensic scientist uses his/her analytical skills to help solve crimes by collecting physical evidence such as fingerprints, blood spatter patterns and ballistics data at crime scenes. Chemical Engineer Chemical engineers design processes used in manufacturing everything from pharmaceuticals to chemicals.
https://www.bls.gov/ooh?specialty=chemical_engineering&labor_market=aerospace&occupation_code=299020″ target=”blank” style=”color:black; text:black”>https://www.bls .gov/ooh?specialty=chemical_engineering&labor_market=aerospace&occupation_code=299020
Research and development
Chemistry majors are sought after by research and development companies, which can offer a variety of rewarding careers. Chemistry graduates have the ability to analyze evidence at crime scenes, develop new products like medicines, create new materials for use in industry and more.
Chemical engineers are responsible for designing and implementing processes that convert raw materials into useful products. Some of the most common careers for chemical engineers include:
- Process development engineer (focusing on improving efficiency, safety and cost-effectiveness)
- Environmental engineer (working to mitigate pollution)
- Plant manager (overseeing all aspects of operations at a manufacturing facility)
Chemists are needed to analyze crime scene evidence to solve crimes.
Crime scene chemists analyze trace materials such as blood, hair, and glass. They must complete formal training in the use of firearms to participate in this line of work. Chemists work both independently and as members of university research teams.
A background in physical chemistry allows them to analyze trace materials such as blood, hair, or glass.
Physical chemistry is a branch of chemistry that studies the physical properties of matter. Students who major in physical chemistry may be able to find jobs with law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI and local police departments, where they could apply their skills to analyzing trace materials such as blood, hair, or glass.
Aspiring forensic chemists must also complete formal training in the use of firearms. This may be accomplished through a police academy program or local community college courses.
Aspiring forensic chemists must also complete formal training in the use of firearms. This may be accomplished through a police academy program or local community college courses. In addition to this specific firearm training, students will learn how to:
- Use a gun safely and effectively
- Aim at targets accurately in various situations
- Properly handle guns so as not to injure yourself or others
In both industrial and academic settings, chemists participate in research exploring the molecular structures of everything from plastics to polymers to proteins.
- In both industrial and academic settings, chemists participate in research exploring the molecular structures of everything from plastics to polymers to proteins.
- Chemists use their knowledge of chemical properties to understand how chemicals react with one another.
- Chemists also use their knowledge of chemical properties to understand how chemicals react with their surroundings
Chemists working at world-class research universities may focus on theoretical applications or testing hypotheses through controlled experimentation. They may work independently or as members of university research teams with researchers from other disciplines such as biochemists or biologists.
Whether you’re looking for a job as a chemist or considering further study in the field, it’s important to understand what chemists do and how they use their skills. Chemistry is not just about making stuff like bombs and cleaning products—many jobs in chemistry require knowledge of how different chemicals interact with each other and what those interactions mean for humans and the environment.
Chemists may work independently or as members of teams that include researchers from other disciplines such as biochemists or biologists. They often conduct research at world-class universities as part of longterm projects that are funded by government agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) or NASA, but some also work in industry labs where they test hypotheses through controlled experimentation.
Chemists employed by private industry spend much of their time validating theories and creating novel products for markets ranging from medicine to cosmetics to construction. Industrial chemists must possess excellent project management skills as well as strong interpersonal communication skills, particularly when collaborating with colleagues from other departments.
As a chemistry major, you will have the opportunity to explore a wide variety of career options. Chemists are needed in a wide variety of industries, including medicine and pharmaceuticals; food science; energy; chemical manufacturing; construction; and many more.
The most common types of chemist jobs include:
- Research chemist
- Analytical chemist (or “chemist”)
- Process engineer
The job market for chemists is expected to grow by 7% between 2014 and 2024. The best opportunities are open to those with advanced degrees in chemistry. A bachelor’s degree in chemistry provides a solid foundation for entry-level work as a chemist, but obtaining a master’s or doctoral degree will be required to advance into management positions and pursue employment at top research institutions.