Polymer Chemistry

Polymer chemistry involves the study and synthesis of macromolecules called polymers. Ph.D. programs in polymer chemistry are more common than master's degree programs, and a bachelor's degree in chemistry may be sufficient for entry-level positions in polymer chemistry labs.

Inside Polymer Chemistry

Polymer chemistry is a subfield of chemistry that involves the synthesis and study of polymers, which are macromolecules made up of individual subunits. Polymers have many industrial applications; starch, plastics and many synthetic fibers are examples of polymers.

Polymer chemists study the physical properties of polymers, including heat resistance and elasticity, in order to determine which types of polymers are best suited for which industrial applications. They also develop new types of polymers that have special properties, such as electrical conductivity, or design novel approaches to polymer synthesis.

Education Information

A bachelor's degree in chemistry is sufficient for entry-level lab technician positions. Aspiring polymer chemists may consider pursuing a master's or a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) in polymer chemistry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, graduates of an advanced degree program will enjoy the best job prospects, specifically those who have completed a doctoral program (www.bls.gov). Here are few articles about courses and degree programs that may be of interest to you.

Distance Learning Options

You can begin studying polymer chemistry today through online courses and degree programs. Read on to learn more about these options.

Career Options

You may be able to find employment in various industries as a chemist. Master's degree holders can work as research associates in chemical companies or with manufacturers of plastics, adhesives or other synthetic materials. Polymer chemists with Ph.D. degrees can hold senior-level positions, including those as research directors or senior scientists. Here are a few examples of chemistry positions.

Education Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for chemists and material scientists will grow by 6 percent from 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). In May 2013, chemists earned a mean annual wage of $77,740. That same year, materials scientists earned a mean annual wage of $91,160.

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