Careers from Chemistry

A chemistry qualification could open doors to all sorts of jobs that you may have never even imagined! The food we eat, the clothes we wear and the technology we use all depend on chemistry. Chemists develop new medicines, safeguard our food supply and monitor and protect our environment. Read on to find out how a chemistry qualification could set you on track towards your future.

People who study chemistry work in a huge variety of careers both in and out of the lab, including many you might not have thought about before. The Royal Society of Chemistry offer guidance for your next steps in their booklets, ‘options at 14-16’ and ‘options at 18’, and on their careers website, ‘a future in chemistry’. The website includes employee profiles which offer an insight into the jobs of people who use their qualification in chemistry in a wide range of careers.

Remember, doing a chemistry degree does not mean you will have to work in a lab – of course you can if you want to – but there are so many routes available for you. About a third of chemistry graduates decide to pursue a career in the laboratory, but many do not. A chemistry degree can provide you with a whole range of useful skills that are highly valued by employers of all kinds, such as team work, analytical, problem solving, communication and numeracy skills.

Chemistry graduates work in a wide range of settings including education, finance, forensics, health & safety, industry, lab work, law, consultancy, media, and sales & marketing.

What could I earn?

A degree in chemistry could increase your lifetime earnings by £190,000 compared to what you could achieve with two A Levels. This was one of the findings of research carried out in 2005 by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the RSC and the Institute of Physics. The research showed that chemistry graduates are amongst the highest earning graduates and earn on average 30% more than those with two A Levels but no degree.

If you want to find out more about salaries in a particular career area, current job advertisements are a good source of information. Newspapers, career and recruitment websites and magazines focussing on topics relevant to your area of interest are good places to start. Remember that salaries depend on a large number of factors, including qualifications required, geographical location, experience and age of applicant, size and type of company/organisation etc.

RSC ChemNet

If you are aged 14-18 and are interested in taking chemistry further, then why not join the RSC as a ChemNet member to receive regular information about cutting edge chemistry, careers from chemistry and careers events in your area. Click here for more information.

Useful websites

Royal Society of Chemistry

A Future in Chemistry (For parents)


Read More