Chemist: Educational Requirements for a Career in Chemistry
Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a chemist. Get a quick view of the requirements, degree programs and job duties to find out if this is the right career for you.
Chemistry is a wide occupational field that encompasses research and product development. Chemists manipulate chemicals to produce better products or create new ones. Other careers in this field include chemical technician and chemistry professor.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree|
|Other Education||Master's degree or Ph.D.|
|Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)||6%*|
|Average Salary (2013)||$77,740*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Educational Requirements for a Career in Chemistry
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), those entering the field of chemistry must complete at least some postsecondary education (www.bls.gov). Some positions in the field require only an associate's degree, but to work as a chemist, a person needs at least a bachelor's degree; for advanced work in the field, a master's or doctoral degree is required.
Associate's Degree Programs
A two-year associate's degree program in chemical technology might include introductory courses in chemistry, physics and mathematics. These programs usually include some lab work to give students hands-on experience with chemicals and basic lab procedures. Students might analyze chemical compounds, learn to use laboratory instruments and study theories such as electrochemistry. Graduates might work as chemical technicians or chemist's assistants, analyzing various substances or performing quality control procedures.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
A bachelor's degree program in chemistry covers fundamental topics in the subject and provides instruction on molecular and material science. Aside from core courses in organic and inorganic chemistry, students might choose electives ranging from molecular biology to quantum mechanics. Educational requirements also include chemistry lab work, such as spectroscopy and instrumental methods. Research projects are usually part of a program and might involve working with electrochemical reactions, polymers and advanced organic chemistry.
Advanced Degree Programs
Careers involving advanced research, teaching and specialization in a field usually require completing a master's or doctoral program in chemistry. Typically, students at this level must complete an independent study and research project on a chemistry-related topic, like organometallic chemistry. Students also might be required to complete a thesis or dissertation, which might need to be defended in the form of an oral exam in front of a panel of professors.
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
According to the BLS, chemist positions were projected to increase by six percent from 2012-2022, which was slower than average. The BLS also reported that those with advanced degrees like a Ph.D. should have the best job opportunities. Chemists made a mean yearly salary of $77,740 as of May 2013, according to the BLS.
Related to Chemist: Educational Requirements for a Career in Chemistry
- Recently Updated
An online bachelor's degree program in chemistry is not common because the study of chemistry usually involves extensive work...
Read about educational training programs in clinical chemistry. Get details on educational prerequisites, program coursework...
Standalone physical chemistry courses are available online or in a hybrid format. Hybrid classes include a mix of online study...
A physical science, chemistry is often required by many college degree programs. Online education allows students to complete...
- 110 Years of Awarding Excellence: The Nobel Foundation Announces the 2010 Nobel Laureates
- 7 Universities Offering Free Natural Sciences Courses Online
- Best Universities for Pre-Med Students: List of Top Schools
- What Education Do I Need to Become a Clothing Designer?
- Top School in Richmond for Becoming a Medical Assistant
- Top Computer Animation School - Sacramento, CA
- Top School in Phoenix for CAD Drafting Courses
- Life Scientist: Job Description, Duties, Salary and Outlook
- Biomedical Mathematics Education and Training Program Information
- Top School in Albuquerque for an Architectural Drafting Degree
- Securities Lawyer: Job Description and Education Requirements
- Top University in Alexandria, VA, for a Computer Science Major