Video:Careers for Chemistry Majorswith Jonathan Stewart
Chemistry majors enjoy a versatile and highly sought-after job market after undergraduate study. Here are a few great careers for chemistry majors.See Transcript
Transcript:Careers for Chemistry Majors
Concocting a career for a chemistry major is really quite easy and doesn't actually require that many ingredients beyond a degree and a passion for tackling challenges and developing a solution. Here are a few options for you, once you have that chemistry degree under your belt.
Working in a Lab Is a Good Career for Chemistry Majors
The obvious chemistry careers involve donning one of those white lab coats and working in a laboratory environment. There are many types of process and quality control positions that involve specific skills related to coordination, attention to detail, high levels of analytical thinking and ongoing thinking outside of the box. You may need to also know specific types of chemistry theory if you are going to take on a QC job like analytical chemistry and a wide range of mathematical knowledge.
These jobs can be within manufacturing companies or strictly for those organizations that conduct research. For this career path, job titles include bench chemist, analytical chemist, biochemist, associate chemist, chemical engineer, molecular biologist, pharmacy technician and polymer chemist.
Working in Sales Is a People-Oriented Career for Chemistry Majors
However, not everyone likes to be stuck in the lab. Others like to combine their scientific passion with a more people-oriented job like working in sales. You can work as a pharmaceutical sales representative or as a sales rep for other types of end products related to chemical applications. These types of jobs demand that you have core knowledge but are also able to exude interpersonal skills and salesmanship to close deals and persuade people to buy products from you.
Forensic Scientist Is a Growing Career for Chemistry Majors
Those that watch CSI and are studying chemistry can also think about careers in forensic science. This is a growing field that has been enabled by those working in labs to develop new solutions for solving crime-related mysteries. Job titles include forensic scientist or technician, crime lab assistant, and fiber technologist.
Teaching Is an Ongoing Career for Chemistry Majors
There is also an ongoing need for those chemistry majors that enjoy working with others to become teachers. Whether you choose to teach young ones in elementary and middle schools or to take on more complex instructional roles at the college and university level, this is an important and admirable career to consider. Watching others explore and learn through lab work, demonstrations, and theoretical instruction can be very fulfilling.
Other Great Careers for Chemistry Majors
But, wait, I haven't even made a dent in the available types of jobs for chemistry majors. Standout potential careers include helping with intellectual property law where you combine legal and chemistry study; an energy conservation technician working on environmental issues; food science roles to protect and research food production; a geochemist working with the natural world and chemical applications; a water plant technician making sure we can have potable water; and a genetic scientist learning more about how we are made through studying the elements from within.
Qualifications for Careers for Chemistry Majors
In terms of qualifications, many of these jobs need more than an undergraduate degree and may require years of further education and training. However, with all that studying come some sizable salaries that vary by job and industry. Or you might choose to go the non-profit route, and work for a company like Chemical Abstracts Service of the American Chemical Society. Just like my mom. Hi mom.
I'm Jonathon Stewart, with About.com.