Many students earn college degrees in chemistry or a closely related field of study. Chemistry careers range from teaching positions at high schools and universities to innovative field laboratory research. Many chemistry-related careers have good earnings potential featuring some of the field's highest annual wages.
Biochemists are scientists who study the chemical and organic makeup of living organisms, including individual cells, bacteria, plants, animals and other lifeforms. These professionals conduct research programs on living organisms' growth cycles, metabolism, reproductive habits, genetic change and heredity According to MyPlan.com, a career informational website, biochemists must hold advanced degrees in chemistry and have at least five to seven years of work experience in the chemistry and biology fields. These professionals earned an average annual salary of $88,550 as of May 2008.
Like other professionals in the chemistry field, chemical engineers must have extensive knowledge of chemistry and mathematics. However, these individuals work in the practical application of chemistry rather than theory and research. To work as a chemical engineer, a person must hold at least a four-year university degree in chemical engineering and must have a minimum two to four years of related work experience. As of May 2008, the average annual salary for a chemical engineer was $91,670, according to MyPlan.com.
Federal Government Chemist
The federal government hires professional chemists to perform research and develop new products and tools. To work as a chemist, an individual needs at least a four-year degree in chemistry or a related field; some jobs may require an advanced degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, chemists working for the federal government earned an average annual salary of $101,687 as of March 2009.
College Professor of Chemistry
College chemistry professors teach students, perform independent research, write textbooks and develop educational curricula for collegiate chemistry departments. Depending on the institution that employs her, a college chemistry professor may focus exclusively or primarily on teaching or may concentrate on research in addition to teaching. To work as a college chemistry professor, a candidate must hold at least a bachelor's degree in a related field, although many institutions require professors to have master's or doctorate degrees. Additionally, most chemistry professor jobs require at least five years of related work experience. According to MyPlan.com, the average annual salary for a college chemistry professor was $77,350 as of May 2008.
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