There are many jobs a person with a chemistry degree might take in industry, government and education. Some jobs in safety engineering and business consulting may seem to have little to do with chemistry on the surface. In addition to more obvious applications like research and development, a person might apply a chemistry degree as a consultant, analyst or supervisor.
Research chemists work with chemicals directly, performing experiments and documenting reactions, writing reports and using high-tech instruments. This may be in an industry or university setting.
Development chemists will work to make the most out of chemical processes developing new and improved applications. They work with others or may supervise employees to get improved results or develop procedures for industrial, medical or environmental applications.
Chemists working at the production end will often work at large manufacturing facilities, monitoring factory activities and working with engineers.
Marketing, Sales and Service
People with chemistry degrees can be helpful to sales people. Most sales people, managers and corporate executives do not have the background to answer technical questions or anticipate problems that may be handled easily by a chemist.
Depending on your level of degree, you might becoming a teacher. High school teachers need a B.S in chemistry while university-level teachers need a Ph.D. Research universities need chemists who can develop and monitor research programs and also perform in a classroom.
Many branches of the government need chemists, including military departments, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Chemical Safety Engineer
Safety is a high priority in most industries and being a chemical safety engineer is one way to apply your degree. Safety engineers create policies for dealing with hazardous waste, conduct drills and tests, and manage environmental programs.
A chemistry degree may be applied in an advisory or consultant role. Chemists can be independent consultants, working for a wide range of employers from hospitals and law firms to art museums and financial advisory groups. For example, a chemist can advise in legal issues regarding chemical contamination cases, evaluate chemical compatibility issues or help restore paintings.
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