What does a Chemist do?

A Chemist works with elements and compounds that are found in nature or are human-made. Chemists can be employed by a wide variety of employers including pharmaceutical, industrial, biological, manufacturing and oil companies to name just a few. A Chemists primary job function is research interactions between different chemicals to discover beneficial compounds that can be used for the betterment of the human race.

Most employers require a minimum of a bachelor's degree with most preferring an advanced degree such as a Masters of Doctorate. These degrees can be obtained through local colleges, universities or accredited educational institutions. Chemists frequently process chemical equations. Having a firm grasp on advanced computation is a must in the field. Depending on the type of employer, a chemist may be required to travel to site locations to perform chemical testing.

  • Coordinate with senior management to identify an area of interest
  • Through modeling, form hypothetical chemical compounds to attain
  • Utilize lab equipment to synthesize compounds
  • Keep inventory of all chemicals with zero variance
  • Assist fellow chemists with larger projects
  • Travel to different locations for testing when requested
  • Identify improvements that can be made to existing lab processes
  • Observe all company and lab safety protocol
  • Advanced Degree (preferred)
  • Excellent computational ability
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • An understand of organic, inorganic, physical or biochemistry
  • Familiarity with common lab equipment
  • Full knowledge of hazardous material disposal laws
  • Ability to work safely around hazardous materials
  • Willingness to occasionally travel
  • Basic knowledge of the Microsoft Office Suite
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.4 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.2 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Chemist Salaries

Average Base Pay

$71,324 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
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Median: $71K
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Chemist Career Path

Learn how to become a Chemist, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Senior Chemist
Lead Chemist
No Salary Reports
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Chemist Insights

Read what Chemist professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Analytical Chemist
5 Dec 2021

“Very good orientation process and if you're willing to learn will let your career grow.”

Chemist II
4 Jan 2022

“Human resources feels disconnected and it is difficult to find information on all benefit programs.”

smartData EnterprisessmartData Enterprises
2 Sep 2019

“I got many opportunities to work with new things and develop on a broader scale.”

Analytical Chemist
1 Oct 2021

“It was a mostly stress free experience outside of a couple of days where I had twice as many analyses to do.”

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer ServicesFlorida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Chemist III
14 Aug 2021

“Poor salary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .”

Senior Research Chemist
27 Nov 2021

“Good and experienced teams.”

15 Mar 2021

“People are nice and understanding.”

2 Oct 2020

“People are good and respectful.”

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Chemist Interviews

Related Careers

Formulation Scientist
No skills overlap
Qc Chemist
25% skills overlap
Materials Scientist
No skills overlap
Research Scientist
13% skills overlap

Chemist jobs

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of a chemist

When working as a chemist, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Hplc, Written Communication, FTIR, Calculus and Microsoft Office Suite.

The most similar professions to chemist are:
  • Formulation Scientist
  • Qc Chemist
  • Materials Scientist
  • Research Scientist

The most common qualifications to become a chemist is a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.