Tap to Read ➤

Chemist Job Description

Mayuri Kulkarni
The job of a chemist is very vital as well as interesting. Read on to know the basic and important information about this job profile.
A chemist is a science professional who deals with properties and structures of different chemical substances.
The job outlook for a chemist is very vast, since he/she can work in various fields like pharmaceuticals, research and development, mining, food processing, sewage treatment, etc. There are different types of chemists that include analytical, organic, inorganic, medical, and material chemists.

Educational Requirements

  • Thorough knowledge of chemistry, mathematics, and computers are some of the basic requirements to become a chemist.
  • He should also have ability to plan and solve queries, good numerical and practical skills.
  • Good communication skills are necessary for interaction with other professionals.
  • He should have good knowledge about composition of all chemicals, their structures, properties and the chemical processes through which they get transformed to other substances.
  • To be a chemist, you need a bachelor's degree in chemistry. You can acquire a job in technical sales and service with this degree.
  • You may opt for teaching chemistry in high schools or provide assistance to an experienced chemist.
  • A high pay will demand a master's degree in this field, which can be obtained in a couple of years after graduation.
  • Some students also obtain a doctoral degree in chemistry, which requires four years of rigorous study. A doctoral degree in chemistry can give you career opportunities to become an administrator or even as a teacher in a university.

Job Description

  • As mentioned earlier, a chemist is a scientist who studies and analyzes composition of different chemical elements.
  • He can work with a private industry that deals with production of textiles, cosmetics, or plastics. He can also work in conjunction with a government firm for pollution control, agriculture, and sewage treatment.
  • A chemist who specializes in inorganic chemistry, deals with inorganic substances like metals and minerals.
  • An organic chemist analyzes and researches on matters that contain carbon, like plastic.
  • Medical/pharmaceutical chemists develop medicines for health purposes.
  • An analytical chemist analyzes composition of various chemical substances, like analyzing the composition of material obtained from a planet.
  • The duties of a chemist, thus, depend on the area he specializes in. However, there are some general responsibilities, which are performed by most of the chemists, irrespective of the field.
  • He has to plan and synthesize new elements.
  • He has to find out different ways to optimize the quality of an existing chemical product.
  • Preparing test solutions, chemical compounds, and performing various laboratory tests are also his duties.
  • He has to carry out various analysis test and find out the physical and chemical properties of various chemical compounds.
  • He has to interact and discuss with other professionals, like chemical engineers and scientists.
  • He must prepare test reports, technical papers, and standard specifications for the chemical product.
  • He needs to analyze and study effects of various processes on composition of a chemical substance.
  • Utilizing computer software for processing the obtained information is also a part of his job.

Salary Range of Chemist

  • The salary of a chemist is governed by various factors like education, experience, type of employer, and type of specialization.
  • The ones working for federal government sector earn around USD 108,000.
  • Private firms and enterprises pay around USD 120,000.
  • The chemical manufacturing industries pay around USD 73,500.
  • Those working in testing laboratories earn around USD 60,200.
  • Freshers and those with 1 to 4 years of experience earn between USD 33,000 to USD 70,500.
  • A chemist having an experience between 5 to 9 years may earn between USD 42,000 to USD 84,000.
  • An experience of around a decade will fetch between USD 45,000 to USD 102,000.
  • Around 2 decades of experience will fetch between USD 46,000 to USD 122,000.
The post of a chemist is quite challenging, and may also demand to work in poisonous and explosive environment. A chemist has to follow strict rules and regulations, to avoid injuries and accidents. Moreover one needs to have lots of patience while analyzing and solving various chemical problems.