Check Out These Chemistry Career Options Before You Get a Degree

Jobs That Use a Degree in Chemistry

Science laboratory
sanjeri/Getty Images

The career options in chemistry are practically endless. However, your employment options depend on how far you have taken your education. A 2-year degree in chemistry won't get you very far. You could work in some labs washing glassware or assist at a school with lab preparation, but you wouldn't have much advancement potential and you could expect a high level of supervision.

A college bachelor's degree in chemistry (B.A., B.S.) opens up more opportunities. A four-year college degree can be used to gain admittance to advanced degree programs (e.g., graduate school, medical school, law school). With the bachelor's degree, you can get a bench job, which would allow you to run equipment and prepare chemicals.

A bachelor's degree in chemistry or education (with a lot of chemistry courses) is necessary to teach at the K-12 level. A master's degree in chemistry, chemical engineering, or related field opens up far more options.

A terminal degree, such as a Ph.D. or M.D., leaves the field wide open. In the United States, you need at least 18 graduate credit hours to teach at the college level (preferably a Ph.D.). Most scientists who design and supervise their own research programs have terminal degrees.

Chemistry is involved with biology and physics, and there are many career options in pure chemistry as well.

Careers in Chemistry

Here's a look at some of the career options related to chemistry:

  • Agrochemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Astrochemistry
  • Atmospheric Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Catalysis
  • Ceramics Industry
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemical Information Specialist
  • Chemical Sales
  • Chemical Technology
  • Chemist (chemist profile)
  • Colloid Science
  • Consulting
  • Consumer Products
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Law
  • Ethnobotany
  • Food Chemistry
  • Forensic Science
  • Geochemistry
  • Government Policy
  • Hazardous Waste Management
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Science
  • Medicine
  • Metallurgy
  • Military Systems
  • Oceanography
  • Organic Chemist
  • Paper Industry
  • Patent Law
  • Perfume Chemistry
  • Petroleum and Natural Gas Industry
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Plastics Industry
  • Polymer Industry
  • R&D Management
  • Science Writer
  • Software Design
  • Space Exploration
  • Surface Chemistry
  • Teaching
  • Technical Writing
  • Textile Industry

This list isn't complete. You can work chemistry into any industrial, educational, scientific, or governmental field. Chemistry is a very versatile science. Mastery of chemistry is associated with excellent analytical and mathematical skills. Students of chemistry are able to solve problems and think things through. These skills are useful for any job.

Also, see 10 Great Careers in Chemistry.

mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Check Out These Chemistry Career Options Before You Get a Degree." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2023, April 5). Check Out These Chemistry Career Options Before You Get a Degree. Retrieved from Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "Check Out These Chemistry Career Options Before You Get a Degree." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 7, 2023).