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Last Updated: December 11, 2022

High Paying Jobs in Chemistry

Chemistry is a branch of Physical Science that deals with matter and its transformation. It deals with the composition of matter at the molecular and atomic levels. Chemistry is the branch of Physical Science that deals with the properties, composition, and behavior of matter. Also called Central Science or Vital Science, Chemistry is vital to all the other branches of science at some level. Most scientists take at least a course or two in Chemistry during their academic period to supplement their major science degree.

Career Options in Chemistry Field

Career OptionMedian SalaryExpected growth in Employment by 2030
Hazardous Materials Chemist$110,0006%
Chemical Engineer$105,00014%
Environmental Engineer$93,0004%
Water Chemist$81,0007%
Environmental Scientist$80,0005%
College teacher$79,0009%
Forensic Analyst$62,00011%
Laboratory Technician$60,0007%


Pharmacologists work in pharma companies to research and come up with new drugs. They research how medications affect humans at the cellular level. They play a key role in clinical trials.

Where do Pharmacologists work?
Pharmacologists majorly work in laboratories in Pharmaceutical companies.

What are the academic qualifications needed for a Pharmacologist?
Pharmacologists primarily need a Ph.D. in Pharmacology, with Bachelor's and Master's involving subjects like Microbiology and Chemistry.

Hazardous Materials Chemist

Hazardous Materials Chemists are a type of Environmental Chemists responsible for analyzing waste materials and identifying the elements that prove hazardous to the environment and living beings. This includes land, water, and the air. They may work in conjunction with other scientists and help set up policies to keep the environment pollution-free.

Where do Hazardous Materials Chemists work?
Hazardous Materials Chemists work with Government agencies and waste management companies to help reduce environmental pollution.

What are the academic qualifications needed for a Hazardous Materials Chemist?
Hazardous Materials Chemists need an undergrad degree at the very least and preferably a post-graduate degree in Chemistry with a minor in Geoscience.

Chemical Engineer

Chemical engineers research or use the research performed by other scientists to create new products and equipment that help society. Depending upon their specialty, Chemical Engineers work in various fields where there is a need to design processes and devices on a large scale.

Where do Chemical Engineers work?
Chemical Engineers are employed by almost all industries that are looking to improve their processes and come up with solutions that comply with all the applicable policies. Chemical Engineers optimize the work process to make sure all the regulations are being followed.

What are the academic qualifications needed for a Chemical Engineer?
Most companies look for an undergrad in Chemical Engineering. Work experience is important and eventually adds to their value.


Biochemists use their knowledge of Chemistry and apply it to their Biology knowledge of living beings. Their goal is to study the Biology of living beings at the molecular level and try to conduct experiments and find solutions to biological problems.

Where do Biochemists work?
Biochemists may work in laboratories to formulate a new drug or treatment by performing applied research, or they may work in academia to conduct basic research to study and impart knowledge about a certain topic.

What are the academic qualifications needed for a Biochemist?
Graduate and undergraduate Biochemists can get entry-level jobs, but most Biochemists hold a Ph.D. in Biochemistry or a related field with a background in Biology, Chemistry, and preferably Mathematics.


Geochemists study the chemical properties of earth materials, for example studying the mineral composition in rocks. They also research to discover minerals or materials found on Earth.

Where do Geochemists work?
Geochemists work in the mining industry to analyze data and samples and discover mining places. They also work with architecture and building firms to advise on the building structure and any impact that any natural component may have. They may also work with NGOs to study the impact of the environment on the atmosphere and marine life.

What are the academic qualifications needed for a Geochemist?
Geochemists are required to have a degree in Chemistry and Physics along with subjects like Mathematics and Geology. Taking a degree in Geochemistry with a minor in Calculus or Statistics is also a great option. While undergrads are always in high need in this field, post-graduates have a high probability of getting into managerial positions.

Environmental Engineer

Environmental Engineers work on creating devices and instruments that can help maintain the integrity of the environment by containing pollutants and protecting the health of living beings. They differ from other Environment Scientists in that they engineer ways to combat the environmental threat instead of analyzing the data. They are also involved in formulating policies to help keep the environment clean.

Where do Environmental Engineers work?
Private industries hire environmental Engineers to assess their waste materials and their impact on the environment. Construction and architectural firms also hire Environmental Engineers to study the impact of their building on the environment and to make sure they comply with environmental rules and policies.

What are the academic qualifications needed for an Environmental Engineer?
Most companies prefer an undergrad degree in Environmental Engineering since it covers almost all the major subjects namely, Engineering, Chemistry, Geoscience, and Physics. Only high-level and academic positions require a post-grad degree and yet few require a Ph.D.

Water Chemist

Water Chemists are a type of environmental Chemists that analyze the quality of water to make sure it does not have any contaminants that may affect natural life. They may work with underground water, or water found in natural places or they may work at water plants. They also come up with solutions to decontaminate water.

Where do Water Chemists work?
Water Chemists can work in private companies like water filtration plants, or Government agencies to check the water quality in water bodies.

What are the academic qualifications needed for a Water Chemist?
A graduate degree is a popular requirement in this field. Since it is a very specific field, people who want to delve further into the research choose a broader topic.


Various types of Chemists study the behavior and reaction of chemical compounds with other elements in their respective fields. Some examples include biochemists and Organic Chemists. Chemist is a broad term that encompasses almost all the professionals that take up a degree in Chemistry. While most of these professionals go on to specialize in a particular field, some might choose to pursue a generalized career.

Where do Chemists work?
Depending upon their career choice, Chemists may work in a laboratory working on samples and collecting data, office in a more technical field, or field monitoring the work of other professionals.

What are the academic qualifications needed for a Chemist?
While some jobs may require an undergraduate degree, most of the specialized jobs require a Master's degree in Chemistry along with a minor in other required subjects. Very few high-paying jobs require a doctorate.


Like Pharmacologists, Toxicologists are also employed by big pharma companies to understand the effects of chemical compounds on living beings. Toxicologists identify harmful chemicals and their effects on the environment and living beings. They may work on identifying these harmful elements, come up with ways to deal with them, or make policies and regulations to avoid any harmful impact. A background in Biology is a big plus.

Where do Toxicologists work?
Toxicologists largely work in Pharmaceutical companies to research the impact of different medications on humans. Many Government agencies are also on the lookout for Toxicologists to help research and make policies and regulations. In addition, many research companies need Toxicologists for various projects that involve chemicals or by-products.

What are the academic qualifications needed for a Toxicologist?
Toxicologists primarily spend a lot of time on research which means that a Ph.D. in a related field is the most sought-after qualification for a Toxicologist. Some entry-based positions need a post-graduate, but it is hard to find a good job with just an undergraduate degree.

Environmental Scientist

Environmental Scientists research environmental changes and their effects on human life. They find out how humans affect the environment. Environment pollution and climate changes are the key topics of research. They find solutions to the factors that threaten the environment and life.

Where do Environmental Scientists work?
Environmental Scientists set up policies to curb the threat to the environment in Government agencies. They also work in the private sector to make sure their company is following the environmental policies and not causing any harm to the environment.

What are the academic qualifications needed for an Environmental Scientists?
Environmental Scientists are expected to have at least a Master's degree in Chemistry, Geoscience and preferably a minor in Mathematics and Physics. Roughly half of the employers look for a doctorate in Environmental Science, especially when it comes to setting up policies in the Government sector.


Epidemiologists are healthcare scientists that study the causes of diseases and work on containing the outbreak of an epidemic. They research to find the cause of the spread of an illness and work with the authorities to curb the spread of the illness.

Where do Epidemiologists work?
Epidemiologists work in healthcare settings in hospitals and medical universities. They also work in Government agencies to track and monitor any new diseases that might pose a threat. They track the causes of these diseases and ways to curb the spread of these diseases.

What are the academic qualifications needed for a Epidemiologist?
Epidemiologists are expected to have a Master's degree in Public Health or a Doctorate in Epidemiology.

College Teacher

Chemistry College teachers, also known as post-secondary teachers teach students who have completed high school. They have to be well-versed in theory as well as practical knowledge. Chemistry college teachers are always in demand because most of them take a sabbatical and move on to higher education and better career prospects. This is why new talent in this field is always in demand.

Where do Chemistry college teachers work?
Chemistry college teachers work in junior colleges, universities, and professional schools. Some may also opt to work in high schools as it is a popular place to start a career.

What are the academic qualifications needed for a Chemistry College Teacher?
Depending upon the type of course the college teacher is teaching, the educational qualifications can vary from a Master's degree to a Ph.D. in Chemistry. Some jobs may also require additional specialized courses or work experience, but that is rare at the entry-level. Strong understanding of the concepts, being able to explain the topic properly, ability to answer questions and strong communication skills are pertinent parts of the job requirement.

Forensic Analyst

They help study the chemicals and elements found in a crime scene and do lab work to help solve a case. They are also involved in the autopsy report which also requires them to have a background in Biology.

Where do Forensic Analysts work?
Forensic Analysts work with federal, state, and local governments to help provide details about a crime scene. They have to do fieldwork to collect samples and analyze them in laboratories. The type of work they do depends upon their work profile.
What are the academic qualifications needed for a Forensic Analyst?
Forensic Analysts need a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry, Biology along with Math. There are also specialized degrees available in Forensic Science at Bachelor's and Master's levels.

Laboratory Technician

Laboratory Technicians work in different kinds of laboratories to analyze the samples and record data. Depending upon their specialization and expertise, they can work in different fields.

Where do Laboratory Technicians work?
Laboratory Technicians may work in medical laboratories to analyze the samples collected during surgeries and diagnostic tests, or they may work in Geologic laboratories to analyze samples collected from the environment.

What are the academic qualifications needed for a Laboratory Technician?
In some cases, an associate's degree might be acceptable, but to advance in this field, a minimum Bachelor's degree in Chemistry and their chosen field is important.

Is Chemistry a Good Career Option?

There are a variety of career options in Chemistry. Most people tend to combine Chemistry with other subjects of their interest. This interdisciplinary approach gives them the option to keep their career options open. For example, a Pharmacologist has a background in Medicine and Chemistry. A Biochemist has a background in Biology and Chemistry. Many jobs require a minor or major in other subjects as well, like Mathematics and Astronomy. The list is endless.

Experienced Chemistry scientists are highly respected and well-known in their field, not to mention high in demand and very well paid. This field is very demanding and the coursework is very hard. Chemists have to spend a great deal of time learning theory and performing experiments in laboratories. It is not a field that one chooses lightly if their heart is not set on it.

Is There a Demand for Chemistry Majors?

As the table above suggests, the Chemistry field is expected to grow in the near future. There is always a demand for Chemistry majors because they are not easy to come by. Chemistry coursework is hard, hence few people choose it after high school and yet few pursue it for higher education. If pursued, this field is highly rewarding in terms of pay and job satisfaction.

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