What Does a Chemist Do?
Chemists typically work on research teams for certain manufacturing companies or educational institutions. They often conduct complex research and experiments to develop new products. They’ll also test various methods to help improve the safety or functionality of these products. Chemists typically create products like medications, cosmetics or synthetic fibers, but it often varies depending on their industry and the area they specialize in.
Once they develop a solution to create or improve a product, they’ll test it to ensure it’s chemically safe for consumer use. They then build a comprehensive technical report and present these findings to other colleagues, like Engineers or Scientists.
Chemist Skills and Qualifications
A great Chemist has the following skills and qualifications:
- Good communication: Good communication skills are key since a Chemist usually works with a team, thus, communicating with others effectively is crucial. Written communication skills are necessary for publishing findings.
- Critical thinking and problem-solving: A Chemist identifies problems and comes up with possible solutions. Before choosing a solution, they need to evaluate each option and chose the most effective solution.
- Time management: In Chemistry, there are many deadlines, so being able to manage time well to meet those deadlines is a key skill.
- Analytical: A Chemist analyzes a lot of data, thus, having an analytical mind is essential to their success.
- Organizational skills: Keeping track of data and documenting all processes and finds calls for strong organizational skills.
- Patience and determination: Finding a solution can take a lot of effort, time, repeated experimentation and determination, all of these are key skills for a Chemist to posses.
- Scientific and numerical skills: A Chemist must be good at mathematics to correctly apply formulas in experiments and document them correctly.
Chemist Salary Expectations
The average salary in the U.S. for a Chemist with 1 to 3 years of experience is $62,662 per year. This salary information has been collected from 1,269 employees, users and job posts on Indeed over the past 36 months. Depending on the location and job requirements, the salary expectation may vary.
Chemist Education and Training Requirements
A Chemist must at least have a bachelor’s degree in chemistry or a similar field, such as engineering or physics. Employers may also prefer a candidate to have a master’s degree or Ph.D., especially for senior-level Chemist positions. Postdoctoral research, laboratory work experience and practical research experience are all useful and often required for an academic position.
Chemist Experience Requirements
Experience requirements may vary from role to role. However, a Chemist with advanced education, such as a doctorate, can become a lead researcher or obtain another high-level position. Additional experience may include working on complex research projects.
Job Description Samples for Similar Positions
This is a great sample job description for a Chemist, but you may be looking for something else such as the following: