Chemistry is a broad field, and those who study it can engage in many educational and career paths related to the subject. Read on to learn about the career options and requirements in the chemistry sciences.
Inside Chemistry Sciences
Chemistry is the study of matter, its properties and its mutations. Chemistry students take courses in molecular science, chemical principles, organic chemistry and thermodynamics. General chemistry programs do not typically require students to specialize, so a wide range of chemistry concepts are covered. Because this is such a broad subject, students who study chemistry are able to enter a variety of different professional fields, including academia, the medical field or chemical industries.
Educational requirements vary by profession, but generally a bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement for career in chemistry. For those who choose to pursue careers as teachers at the K-12 level, the appropriate teaching licensure can be obtained through the state after completing the necessary prerequisites, which could include a bachelor's degree in chemistry and a separate educational experience in teaching. To teach at the college level, a graduate degree in chemistry is required.
Individuals who major in chemistry may also wish to enter the field in hands-on positions as chemists. Chemists work in a variety of settings, including laboratories and factories, researching new chemical compounds and properties or monitoring chemical processes to ensure safety. Work as a chemist requires at least a bachelor's degree in chemistry.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), finding employment as a chemist is highly competitive, so an advanced degree will help prospective employees when looking for a job (www.bls.gov). Job prospects for teachers are better, with postsecondary teacher employment expected to increase by 15% from 2008-2018. The BLS reported that chemists earned a median annual salary of $68,320 in 2010, while postsecondary teachers earned a median of $70,520. In comparison, elementary school teachers earned a median of $51,660, while high school teachers earned a median of $53,230. Because chemists tend to work in groups, the ideal candidate will have excellent communication skills. All students who study chemistry should possess the curiosity and analytical skills necessary to draw conclusions from their research.
Learn More about Chemistry Sciences
Because so many education and career paths are available for students interested in studying chemistry, it is important to do your research. Education-Portal.com has many articles available with information about everything you need to know about studying chemistry.
The level of education needed to enter the field can vary greatly depending on career choice. However, a graduate degree can increase chances of employment, regardless of the industry.
Listed below are some career possibilities for chemistry students.
Distance Learning Options
For those who would like to study online, some options are available. Some colleges and universities offer entire degree programs through the Internet, while others offer a few courses online. Free online courses and material are also available, but these do not offer credit.
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