Chemists

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Also known as:
Agricultural Chemist, Analytical Chemist, Bench Chemist, Food Chemist, Formulary Chemist, Industrial Chemist, Inorganic Chemist, Laboratory Chemist, Nuclear Chemist, Organic Chemist

ABOUT CHEMIST CAREERS
Video transcript

Chemicals make up our world. Some are natural. Some are made by humans - synthetic. But each chemical has its own particular way of behaving under changing conditions, such as heat, exposure to light, and combination with other substances.

Chemists study how chemicals affect each other and how they interact with the environment. Usually they specialize in a particular kind of chemistry. They use their knowledge to contribute to many deferent fields, from energy development to medicine and food processing. The list of products invented either through the direct involvement of chemists, or through their basic research goes on and on - drugs, fibers, paints, adhesives, cosmetics, and electronic components, to name just a few.

Along with research and product development, chemists also work at chemical manufacturing plants, in production and quality control. To find employment as a chemist, you will almost always need at least a bachelor's degree in chemistry or a related science. Many working chemists have master's degrees or Ph.Ds.

In the years ahead, more openings for chemists are expected in drug manufacturing and firms that provide testing services. For any chemistry position, curiosity, the ability to focus on details, and painstaking follow-through are essential "elements" of success.

SNAPSHOT
Conduct qualitative and quantitative chemical analyses or experiments in laboratories for quality or process control or to develop new products or knowledge.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
HIGH
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Evaluate laboratory safety procedures to ensure compliance with standards or to make improvements as needed.

Write technical papers or reports or prepare standards and specifications for processes, facilities, products, or tests.

Develop, improve, or customize products, equipment, formulas, processes, or analytical methods.

Confer with scientists or engineers to conduct analyses of research projects, interpret test results, or develop nonstandard tests.

Direct, coordinate, or advise personnel in test procedures for analyzing components or physical properties of materials.

Analyze organic or inorganic compounds to determine chemical or physical properties, composition, structure, relationships, or reactions, using chromatography, spectroscopy, or spectrophotometry techniques.

Prepare test solutions, compounds, or reagents for laboratory personnel to conduct tests.

Compile and analyze test information to determine process or equipment operating efficiency or to diagnose malfunctions.

Induce changes in composition of substances by introducing heat, light, energy, or chemical catalysts for quantitative or qualitative analysis.

Purchase laboratory supplies, such as chemicals, when supplies are low or near their expiration date.

Maintain laboratory instruments to ensure proper working order and troubleshoot malfunctions when needed.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Chemistry Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
TOP SKILLS
Science Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Mathematics Using mathematics to solve problems.
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Complex Problem Solving Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Writing Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.