Salary Median (2020)


Projected Job Growth (2019-2029)

+6.3% (as fast as the average)


What Chemists Do

Conduct qualitative and quantitative chemical analyses or experiments in laboratories for quality or process control or to develop new products or knowledge.

Other Job Titles Chemists May Have

Analytical Chemist, Chemist, Forensic Scientist, Research Chemist

How Leaders Describe a Typical Day at Work

Chief Science Officer ,

Avicenna Biosciences, Inc.

Reading, lots of reading. My work involves the intersection of chemistry, mathematics, and medicine in that we use machine learning to accelerate small molecule medicinal chemistry. As a consequence, I read a lot of scientific work to try and carve out new opportunities for drug discovery and development. I also spend a fair amount of time in meetings with other scientists to ensure we are moving our projects as quickly as we can.

Water Chemist ,

City of Santa Monica

The day begins at 6:00 AM and starts with prepping the lab for samples. Turning on instruments and making calibration standards are the first step. Then I go out in the field and collect water samples in various containers that have different preservatives that are test specific. Once the samples are back in the lab, we run a battery of tests on a fixed schedule that meets health department regulations.

Tasks & Responsibilities May Include

  • Analyze organic or inorganic compounds to determine chemical or physical properties, composition, structure, relationships, or reactions, using chromatography, spectroscopy, or spectrophotometry techniques.
  • Conduct quality control tests.
  • Maintain laboratory instruments to ensure proper working order and troubleshoot malfunctions when needed.
  • Prepare test solutions, compounds, or reagents for laboratory personnel to conduct tests.
  • Induce changes in composition of substances by introducing heat, light, energy, or chemical catalysts for quantitative or qualitative analysis.

This page includes information from theO*NET 26.1 Databaseby the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under theCC BY 4.0license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.