Career Guide: 21 Amazing Careers In Chemistry In 2023

by | May 23, 2024 | Career | 0 comments

These days, there are countless career options to choose from, and with more and more people going to college and graduate school than ever before, your educational choices really do matter. Whether you’re looking to gain some experience or begin your career, there are loads of employment opportunities in the chemistry field — so many that you’ll have a tough time deciding which one is right for you! Here are 20 amazing careers in chemistry that should be on your radar in 2022.

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Chemistry is the study of matter and its interactions. The matter is anything that has mass and occupies space. Matter can be solid, liquid, gas, plasma, dark energy, etc. The matter is composed of atoms and subatomic particles. Atoms are the building blocks of chemistry, they are the fundamental unit of chemical elements. They consist of protons (positively charged), neutrons (neutral) and electrons (negatively charged). There are 118 known naturally occurring elements, but many more have been created through nuclear reactions. Chemistry deals with the properties of matter and how it changes over time. Chemistry is the science of change.

How does a scientist use chemistry to solve problems?

Scientists use chemistry to solve problems. They may use chemistry to find out how something works, what makes something work, or how to make something better. Scientists often use chemistry to help them understand things about nature. This includes using chemistry to study the human body, the environment, and other natural phenomena.

Careers In Chemistry

Many careers exist in chemistry. Some of these include; chemists, chemical engineers, physical chemists, pharmacists, etc. These jobs can be found at different companies like pharmaceuticals, oil refineries, pulp and paper mills, and even food processing plants. Most of these positions require a bachelor’s degree in chemistry along with additional training.

21 Amazing Careers In Chemistry
21 Amazing Careers In Chemistry In 2022

1. Analytic Chemist

Analytical chemists are responsible for testing chemical substances to determine their composition and purity. They may work to identify new or improved products, or they may be involved in quality control and assurance. Analytical chemists use a variety of techniques to determine the composition of a substance. Analytical chemists work in a variety of industries. 

Salary of  Analytic Chemist:

Although analytical chemistry is typically a lab-based job, some jobs may require travel to other facilities or countries. The median annual wage for analytical chemists was $74,230 in May 2015.

2. Organic Chemist

Organic chemistry is a branch of chemistry concerned with the study of the structure, properties, composition, and reactions of organic compounds. Organic chemistry is the chemistry of carbon compounds. Organic chemists study the chemistry of life. The field includes many sub-disciplines including medicinal chemistry, materials science, polymer science (plastics), chemical biology and green chemistry. The main difference between organic and inorganic chemistry is that organic molecules are made up of long chains or rings of carbon atoms bonded to each other by single bonds only. 

Salary of  Organic Chemist:

Salary range from $30,000 – $200,000+.  To become an organic chemist you need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in chemistry or another related area. Once you have your degree you can apply for jobs like research assistant positions which will help you gain experience. You will also need some knowledge of computer programs such as Word and Excel as well as good writing skills.

3. Environmental Chemist

Environmental chemists study the effects of human activities on the environment. They might analyze samples from water sources to determine if a pollutant is present, or they might examine soil samples to see how much nitrogen is available for crops. If you have an interest in protecting our planet and enjoy chemistry, environmental chemistry could be a great career path for you.

Salary of Environmental Chemist:

Salary  $85,000 – $150,000 (average). Entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree; PhD is preferred by employers. Contract & Grant Writer: Contract and grant writers work for private companies and nonprofit organizations to create contracts and grants for funding. They also write reports about their findings after the research is completed.

4. Neurochemist

Neurochemists study the chemical processes that occur in the brain and nervous system. The field is expected to grow by 18 per cent between 2012 and 2022, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is due to a rise in research on Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and other neurological disorders. 

Salary of Neurochemist:

Salary: A neurochemist can earn an average salary of $106,000 per year.

5. Physical Chemist

If you want to be an expert on why materials and matter behave a certain way, then a career as a physical chemist may be right for you. Physical chemists study the fundamental properties of matter by making observations and conducting experiments that can answer some of life’s biggest questions. While most people think of scientists as lab-coat-wearing individuals working alone, a team effort is often required to bring their research from concept to reality. This means that many physical chemists spend time with engineers and computer scientists working together on projects such as improving solar cell efficiency or creating new types of batteries. This type of collaboration is one reason why many people choose careers in chemistry over other science fields because it allows them to work closely with others while still having time to conduct their own research.

Salary of Physical Chemist:

A  Physical Chemist is expected to earn $87,040 (10th percentile) to $121,550 (75th percentile) per year.

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6. Materials Chemist

Materials chemists study how chemical elements and compounds react with one another, and they look for ways to improve products through better combinations of materials. They do a lot of work with polymers, ceramics, plastics, metals, pigments, lubricants and coatings.

Salary of Materials Chemist:

Salary: A Materials Chemist can earn $87,030 per year (2015 median).


A bachelor’s degree is required for most entry-level jobs. Materials chemists with a master’s degree can qualify for more senior positions. Most employers prefer candidates who have completed a PhD, but that isn’t necessary to find work as a junior chemist.

7. Biochemist

A biochemist studies biochemical processes within cells to understand how organisms grow, develop, and react to their environment. Biochemists may investigate human health and disease or environmental issues like pollution and climate change. Biochemists can be at any level of education from undergraduate students to full professors at colleges or universities. Research is often conducted inside laboratories, where biochemists might use microscopes, bioinformatics software, and lab animals for their experiments.

Salary of Biochemist:

The salary range for biochemists with a bachelor’s degree is $50,000 to $75,000. A biochemist with a master’s degree can earn between $60,000 and $80,000. A PhD will usually increase your salary to between $70,000 and $100,000. Some biochemists work as lab technicians or laboratory assistants at colleges or universities while they are studying to get their degrees; these positions pay around $25,000 per year.

8. Food Chemist

Food chemists study food and food products, as well as their properties and structure. Their role is to ensure food quality and safety. They focus on studying how foods can be made safer for human consumption. Food chemists might also research how substances may be added to food products to preserve them or make them more nutritious, stable, or visually appealing. They may also work to improve ways of producing foods.

Salary of Food Chemist:

Salary: $63,420 – $115,700 per year.


Typically requires a bachelor’s degree and at least 4 years of work-related experience. May require an advanced degree. Some positions may require certification or license. Work experience in food science or chemistry is often required. Licenses or certifications may be required for some positions (e.g., state license to practice as a chemist). Many jobs require continuing education and professional development to keep up with advances in food science and technology.

9. Fuel Chemist 

Fuel chemists perform laboratory research to develop, test and analyze new products like petroleum chemicals, polymers and additives. They also test equipment for leaks, corrosion and wear.  Petroleum Engineer: Petroleum engineers use their extensive knowledge of physics, geology and other sciences to find new sources of oil. They also develop methods for extracting oil from existing wells in ways that are cost-effective but environmentally friendly.

Salary of Fuel Chemist :

Median salary: $66,065

10. Toxicologist

With a median salary of $93,360, toxicologists study chemical hazards. They may participate in product safety testing and evaluation, help write laws related to pollution control and be involved with legislation on hazardous chemicals. Many toxicologists work for government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or Food and Drug Administration (FDA). To become a toxicologist you will need at least a bachelor’s degree; you can get an advanced degree if you want to teach or do research.

Salary of Toxicologists :

With a median salary of $93,360, toxicologists study chemical hazards. 

11. Cosmetic Chemists and Perfumers

Cosmetic chemists and perfumers are professionals who specialize in creating delicious fragrances for products such as air fresheners, soaps, shampoos, deodorants, lipsticks and colognes. Much like fashion designers, these professionals must be capable of designing from scratch a product’s look and smell.

Salary of Cosmetic Chemists:

Salary $83,700 per year (median salary)


You can expect to need a bachelor’s degree for entry-level positions. Most chemists with a degree work as lab technicians, while those with advanced degrees may teach at universities or do research. Perfumers usually start out as perfumer assistants and only advance once they have mastered certain skills and proven their talents. Advancement to senior perfumer is usually dependent on experience rather than education level.

12.  Entomologist

As more people begin to move into high-rise apartment complexes, and countries like China continue to urbanize, we’ll likely have a steady demand for exterminators. The population of pests will continue to rise, giving ample opportunity for entomologists and ecologists. As people start to relocate into areas where they weren’t previously found, these scientists will help identify new species of insects that appear in those regions.

Salary of Entomologist:

Salary $63,000 to $98,000 (median annual salary)

Entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree or higher; master’s degree may be required for some positions.

13. Research Chemist

Chemistry is a field that requires constant research and development. People who study chemistry are usually very inquisitive people who want to find out more about how things work, what makes them tick, and how to make changes to allow for different outcomes. The field of chemistry will become more important than ever as technology advances, and chemists are expected to be needed more than ever, too. Currently, there are just over 40 thousand chemists in America alone. By 2022, there should be a little over 45 thousand American chemists!

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 30,100 research chemists were employed in 2011. 

Salary of Research Chemist:

The median salary for research chemists was $82,390.

14. Industrial Chemist

Industrial chemists work for manufacturing companies to help ensure that production processes run as smoothly and effectively as possible. As an industrial chemist, you’ll work with a variety of products, chemicals, and processes, making sure everything is properly coordinated. It’s a very important job – not just for helping those companies reach their goals, but also for keeping those products safe when they go to market.

Salary of Industrial Chemist:

Salary $55,700/year (median for all chemists)


A bachelor’s degree is required for most industrial chemist positions. It may be possible to enter into an apprenticeship or internship after high school, which can lead to a full-time position upon graduation. This field does require additional training beyond your undergraduate degree – many industrial chemists go on to get a master’s degree, and some even pursue a PhD.

15. Pharmaceutical Chemist

Chemists who work for pharmaceutical companies typically take chemistry knowledge and apply it to drug development, but it’s a specific kind of chemistry. Pharmaceutical chemists typically deal with pharmacology (the effects of drugs on living organisms) and not organic or inorganic chemical reactions. A few years ago, I wouldn’t have expected pharmaceutical science to be one of our most amazing careers, but we’re starting to see new treatments emerge that target cancer-fighting proteins.

Salary of Pharmaceutical Chemist:

Salary $75,000 to $120,000 (mid-career)

16. Forensic Chemist

Forensic chemists have amazing jobs because they help identify substances found at crime scenes. This field is expected to grow by 13% by 2022. If you want to pursue a career as a forensic chemist, consider earning a degree in chemistry and a minor in criminology. Also, consider interning with local police departments or forensics labs. (BLS)

One of the benefits of being a forensic chemist is that your work can give closure to victims’ families and others who are connected to an unsolved crime. Many careers in chemistry require bachelor’s degrees and some postgraduate study for entry-level positions. 

Salary of Forensic Chemist:

Starting salaries for these positions are about $61,000 per year or higher depending on where you live. And as your career progresses, there are many opportunities for advancement and additional training.

17. Patent Agent/Attorney

Patent agents and attorneys are responsible for reviewing, researching, filing and prosecuting patents on behalf of their clients. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that there will be a 7% increase in employment opportunities between 2012 and 2022 for patent examiners, which translates to around 1,000 new jobs added per year. To become a patent agent or attorney you’ll need to earn a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with coursework that includes chemistry, biology and physics courses.

Salary of Patent Agent/Attorney:

Salary $89,000 per year (median salary) for patent examiners; $121,000 per year (median salary) for patent agents and attorneys. The BLS estimates that median salaries will increase by 5% between 2012 and 2022.

18. Chemical Sales Representative

This sales representative’s main focus is to sell chemicals to laboratories, hospitals, and corporations. Most of their time is spent travelling to different facilities within a territory and interacting with healthcare professionals and purchasing agents. In addition to travelling, a chemical sales representative spends much of their time working from home as they have made hundreds of connections with potential customers over phone and e-mail.

Salary of Chemical Sales Representative:

Salary $38,921 – $106,898 per year.

Entry-level education: 

Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience. Experience and success will lead to more responsibility, higher salaries, and larger territory for these sales representatives. Those who want to make a high income must be able to create relationships with potential customers and build trust over time. 

19. Technical Sales Representative (TSR)

TSRs sell raw materials and finished products to manufacturing companies. They usually handle a wide range of products, meaning that they must know about all aspects of chemistry before making a sale. It’s an exciting field with more than a few perks—for example, TSRs are often given trips around Europe or Asia as part of their sales incentive plan. Additionally, many companies offer benefits like 401(k) plans and bonuses for top-performing reps.

Salary of Technical Sales Representative:

Salary $73,250 (median salary)


While a bachelor’s degree is preferred, a high school diploma with relevant experience may be sufficient. Additionally, many companies require TSRs to complete an internship during their undergraduate years. This can help them gain valuable experience and learn about various career paths within chemistry.

20. Astronaut chemist

Astronauts are scientists who have spent time in space. They are often called astronauts but they can be called cosmonauts too. Astronauts are people who work in space exploration. They spend months at a time in outer space. Some astronauts stay in space for years. There are many different jobs that astronauts do. They may go into space to look at the stars, study the weather, search for life outside Earth, or just take pictures.

Salary of Astronaut chemist:

Salary $70,000 above per year.

NASA chemists are responsible for developing and maintaining the chemical processes that allow humans to explore space. They work closely with engineers, biologists, physicians, and other scientists to ensure the safe and effective use of materials and equipment. Their work involves designing experiments, analyzing data, and writing reports.

21. Agricultural chemist

Agricultural chemists are scientists who specialize in agricultural chemistry. They study the chemical properties of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and other chemicals used in agriculture. They work closely with farmers, pesticide manufacturers, and fertilizer companies to ensure that these products are safe for use on crops.

Salary of Agricultural chemist:

In the US are expected to earn $40,000 to $125,000 per year.

Chemistry is a broad field with many career opportunities. Chemists study everything from the composition of matter to the interaction between chemical substances and living systems, or even how these processes can be harnessed for human use. These different types of chemists are known as analytical chemists, physical chemists and organic chemists. Other types of scientists who work in chemistry include biochemists, bioinorganic chemists and organometallic chemists among others.


There are many different careers in chemistry, and I hope this article has helped you find one that you’re interested in. If not, don’t worry! There are plenty of other options out there for people who love science as much as you do. Good luck with your search for a job in chemistry!

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