March 22, 2021

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What to Do With a Chemistry Degree

2 min read

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.

OccupationMedian SalaryMedian HourlyCurrent jobsOutlookRequired Education
Biochemist$79,390$38.1725,100GoodDoctoral degree
Biomedical Engineer$83,340$40.0716,050GoodBachelor’s degree
Chemical Engineer$90,300$43.4131,660NormalBachelor’s degree
Chemist$68,320$32.8584,350NormalBachelor’s degree
College Professor$62,050$29.831,756,000GoodGraduate Degree
Dentist$146,920$70.63120,180NormalDoctoral Degree
Elementary School Teacher$51,660$24.841,549,520GoodBachelor’s Degree
Food Science Technician$32,760$15.7521,300NormalAssociate’s Degree
Food Scientist$58,450$28.1013,900NormalBachelor’s Degree
Forensic Science Technician$51,570$24.7913,000GoodBachelor’s Degree
High School Teacher$53,230$25.591,109,500GoodBachelor’s Degree
Kindergarten Teacher$48,800$23.46179,520NormalBachelor’s Degree
Laboratory Technologist$56,130$26.99169,400GoodBachelor’s degree
Medical Scientist$76,700$36.88100,000GoodDoctoral Degree
Middle School Teacher$51,960$24.98659,460GoodBachelor’s Degree
Occupational Health Specialist$64,660$31.0958,700NormalBachelor’s Degree
Pharmacist$111,570$53.64269,900GoodDoctoral Degree
Physician Assistant$86,410$41.5474,780GoodMaster’s Degree
Radiologist$166,400+$80.00661,370GoodDoctoral Degree
Registered Nurse$54,910$26.402,618,720GoodAssociate’s degree
Surgeon$166,400+$80.00+661,370GoodDoctoral Degree
Veterinarian$67,090$32.2559,700GoodDoctoral Degree
Veterinary Technician$39,340$18.9179,610GoodAssociate’s Degree

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