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Career Ideas for Chemistry Majors

Perhaps you have worked towards getting a chemistry degree or you’re still considering your career options. In any case, there are vast opportunities in the chemistry career field and sometimes the decision may be overwhelming. 

Depending on the skills and abilities you have as well as your preferences, there are several careers you can choose from. The opportunities vary according to the job description, salary and qualifications required. What are these opportunities? Here are 4 career ideas for chemistry majors that they can pursue:

Chemical engineer

The chemical engineering field is responsible for designing and developing products from raw materials. The responsibilities of a chemical engineer are gathering data on raw material and determining if it is fit to be transformed into another state. 

For example, making aluminum from bauxite ore requires the oversight of a chemical engineer. Job vacancies of chemical engineers may arise in any industry where they can help the research and development team. 

Wherever raw materials are involved in creating certain objects, the need for a chemical engineer arises. You can study chemical engineering in a good accredited educational institution to build a promising career and advance in your life.

Forensic Scientist

Chemical majors can also be forensic scientists that are required in police department labs and other facilities where biological substances need to be analyzed. Part of the analysis includes DNA, bodily fluids, hair strands and also non-biological substances such as ink and paint. 

Some forensic scientists work for the FBI identifying ink used to write falsified suicide notes. The analysis of forensic scientists is used as admissible evidence in court and sometimes they may be asked to testify or present the evidence. They can also collect evidence themselves from a crime scene and then analyze it at their labs to help investigating officers crack the case.

Hazardous Waste Chemist

If your idea of the best career is wearing a ‘hazmat’ suit, it means the hazardous waste chemist job is for you. Above wearing the interesting personal protective equipment (PPE) when doing their jobs, these chemists work hard to ensure that dangerous chemicals don’t get airborne or waterborne. 

For example, if there is nuclear waste that could be dangerous to human beings, hazardous waste chemists will prevent it from spreading and negatively affecting them. 

Their core job description is containing hazardous gaseous or liquid chemicals and disposing of it safely. 

They can be asked to work for organizations such as the CDC and other government entities involved in collecting and destroying chemical Weapons of Mass Destruction.


Pharmacologists have the responsibility of developing and testing various drugs that are intended for human use. The tests they conduct include testing how certain drugs react with biological entities that involve testing drugs on animals and human volunteers

Being a pharmacologist requires a pure passion for this because you might need to work irregular hours monitoring the test subjects. Vacancies of pharmacologists might open up in pharmaceutical companies that develop and test drugs before distributing them. 


Toxicologists have a job description that is similar to those of pharmacologists because they also study the effect of chemical substances on biological subjects. However, they differ because they don’t only study man-made chemicals like pharmaceutical drugs, but they also determine the effect of natural substances and biochemical compounds. 

When they do these tests, they determine how dangerous these chemicals are and also rule out the dosages that could be deadly. Toxicologists also work at a lab and monitor the experiments and interpret the results. The work of toxicologists also helps other people determine how to avoid those toxic substances.

Posted by Emily Dawson on Feb 1, 2020 2:20 AM Europe/London

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