(Last Updated On: 13/03/2017)

What Can I Do With a Major in Chemistry?

Chemistry majors learn to think creatively, troubleshoot complex problems, perform detailed analyses, and make decisions based on research. These skills are highly valuable in any workplace, and have applications in virtually every field.

About 25% of students who major in chemistry work as chemists. Chemists develop products that we rely on each day. Without chemists, we wouldn’t have clean water and medicines. Some of the fabrics that we wear wouldn’t exist without chemists, and believe it or not, neither would many of the foods in our refrigerators. If you want to pursue a career where you can have an impact on the lives of people throughout the world, then a chemistry degree can provide the background that you need to do so.

Not all graduates from chemistry programs go on to work as chemists, though. While many do work in a field closely related to chemistry, others choose to take a completely different path. Sales and teaching positions are among the most common career choices for those who pursue a career in an unrelated field.

It’s very common for chemistry majors to attend graduate school after they complete their undergraduate studies. These graduates make great candidates for medical school, optometry school, dental school, pharmacy school, and veterinary school. Since chemistry majors develop strong research skills, they are also successful in law school, and many go on to work as patent lawyers.

Careers for Chemistry Majors

Below is a list of common career choices for graduates with a degree in chemistry. This is not a comprehensive list (chemistry majors do many different things!), but it should give you a good idea of the types of careers that would be available to you with a chemistry degree.

Occupation Median Salary Median Hourly Current jobs Outlook Required Education
Biochemist $79,390 $38.17 25,100 Good Doctoral degree
Biomedical Engineer $83,340 $40.07 16,050 Good Bachelor’s degree
Chemical Engineer $90,300 $43.41 31,660 Normal Bachelor’s degree
Chemist $68,320 $32.85 84,350 Normal Bachelor’s degree
College Professor $62,050 $29.83 1,756,000 Good Graduate Degree
Dentist $146,920 $70.63 120,180 Normal Doctoral Degree
Elementary School Teacher $51,660 $24.84 1,549,520 Good Bachelor’s Degree
Food Science Technician $32,760 $15.75 21,300 Normal Associate’s Degree
Food Scientist $58,450 $28.10 13,900 Normal Bachelor’s Degree
Forensic Science Technician $51,570 $24.79 13,000 Good Bachelor’s Degree
High School Teacher $53,230 $25.59 1,109,500 Good Bachelor’s Degree
Kindergarten Teacher $48,800 $23.46 179,520 Normal Bachelor’s Degree
Laboratory Technologist $56,130 $26.99 169,400 Good Bachelor’s degree
Medical Scientist $76,700 $36.88 100,000 Good Doctoral Degree
Middle School Teacher $51,960 $24.98 659,460 Good Bachelor’s Degree
Occupational Health Specialist $64,660 $31.09 58,700 Normal Bachelor’s Degree
Pharmacist $111,570 $53.64 269,900 Good Doctoral Degree
Physician Assistant $86,410 $41.54 74,780 Good Master’s Degree
Radiologist $166,400+ $80.00 661,370 Good Doctoral Degree
Registered Nurse $54,910 $26.40 2,618,720 Good Associate’s degree
Surgeon $166,400+ $80.00+ 661,370 Good Doctoral Degree
Veterinarian $67,090 $32.25 59,700 Good Doctoral Degree
Veterinary Technician $39,340 $18.91 79,610 Good Associate’s Degree