Choosing a Career in Chemistry

A career in chemistry can be very rewarding if you like science.

Chemists can work in a variety of fields, including teaching.

Chemists work in pharmaceutical companies, medical labs, cosmetic firms and environmental assessment companies. You can expect to earn anywhere from $20,000-100,000 a year, depending on your education level.

An environmental consultant will check the chemical makeup of products and make recommendations as to how to keep things green. A cosmetic lab worker will be responsible for combining ingredients to achieve specific results, such as anti-aging lotions.

Start with a major in Chemistry. After this, depending on the career path you've chosen, you can move on to other courses. Biochemistry is required for those wishing to work in pharmaceutical companies and medical labs, toxicology and forensic science courses can be useful for those looking to work in forensics, and food chemistry courses will aid the chemist looking for a position in food labs. Other courses include industrial hygiene and fabric/textile chemistry.

Most undergraduates with a Bachelor of Science degree will have access only to entry level jobs such as quality control in a lab. A M.S. is required for teaching at 2 year colleges and a Ph. D. is necessary for higher positions in a lab, as well as teaching chemistry in universities. You will also need a Ph. D. in a specialty, such as forensics, if you plan to go into a medical career or work in food or textile labs.

You can start preparing for a career in chemistry in high school by taking as many science related courses, as possible. Chemistry classes will be most valuable, but educational institutions will also look at an overall interest in science.

Becoming a chemist isn't for everyone. However, if you enjoy science and are interested in chemistry, then this could be the ideal career for you.

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