There are currently an estimated 88,300 chemists in the United States. The chemist job market is expected to grow by 6.5% between 2016 and 2026.
How employable are chemists?
CareerExplorer rates chemists with a D employability rating, meaning this career should provide weak employment opportunities for the foreseeable future. Over the next 10 years, it is expected the US will need 12,000 chemists. That number is based on 5,700 additional chemists, and the retirement of 6,300 existing chemists.
Are chemists in demand?
Competition for chemist positions is expected to be strong. Those with the best prospects will have advanced degrees, especially Doctorates, and obtain certification from the American Institute of Chemists and/or the National Certification Commission in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Biotechnology firms are driving the demand for chemists, as research relating to the human genome has led to the development of new pharmaceuticals. Consequently, pharmaceutical firms and government agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have recently hired chemists in greater numbers. Additional job opportunities are being created in environmental and energy research, spurred by new government regulations and waste clean-up requirements. While the chemical manufacturing sector is expected to experience a decline in in-house chemist jobs due to outsourcing to research and development firms, this will result in job growth at those organizations. Some companies will conduct at least some of their research in lower-wage countries, impacting domestic employment growth. On the other hand, competition among pharmaceutical companies and an aging population will continue to accelerate the development of new drugs and potentially, the demand for chemists. During economic downturns, layoffs may occur in the field, though they are generally limited to industrial chemical companies which provide raw materials to the automotive and construction industries. Typically less vulnerable is the pharmaceutical sector which is characterized by longer development cycles. Chemists without advanced degrees, but with Bachelor’s Degrees, may find work as high school teachers or chemical technicians or technologists.
What’s the supply of chemists?
The chemist industry is concentrated in California, New Jersey, Texas
Chemist job market by state
|State Name||Employed Chemists|
|District of Columbia||260|