9 Entry-Level Chemistry Careers
If you're a chemistry graduate, you're in luck. Of all the science degrees, yours may be one of the most practical. Chemistry students spend hours in the lab over the course of their bachelor's, gaining valuable hands-on experience in professional experimental techniques. They learn to use cutting-edge equipment and develop excellent numerical, analytical, and mathematical abilities. Chemistry majors graduate with a strong set of transferrable skills in research, communication, teamwork, time management, and more.
With these qualities, chemistry majors can succeed in a range of careers. But while there's no shortage of professional paths to consider, finding your first job after graduation can still be a challenge.
Let's take a look at some of the top entry level jobs for chemistry majors and whether they're a fit for you.
This article will be covering the following careers:
|Water Treatment Plant Operator
|Quality Control Inspector
|Graduate Teaching Assistant
|Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
|Food Quality Assurance Technician
|Forensic Science Technician
Are these careers suited to you? Our comprehensive career test measures your personality traits and interests and matches you to over 800 careers.
1. Chemical Technician
Chemical technician is one of the most common entry-level chemistry jobs. They are found in labs across the world, supporting chemists and chemical engineers in their research. These skilled professionals monitor, adjust, and clean laboratory equipment; help produce and test chemical products; and more. While there is no official educational requirement for becoming a chemical technician, a bachelor's in chemistry is an asset.
A chemical technician works in laboratories and industrial settings to conduct experiments, tests, and analyses related to chemicals and chemical processes.
2. Water Treatment Plant Operator
Water treatment plant operators play a vital role in society. They perform a range of tasks to help ensure our water is safe to drink and use. Daily duties can include inspecting treatment plant equipment; monitoring system operations, and adding chemicals, like chlorine or ammonia, to the water to disinfect it. As most of the training for this job is done on-site, no degree is required. However, a bachelor's in chemistry can improve your chances of getting hired.
Water Treatment Plant Operator
A water treatment plant operator is responsible for ensuring the safety and quality of drinking water supplied to homes and businesses.
3. Quality Control Inspector
Quality control jobs involve exactly what you'd expect: controlling product quality. Professionals in this field help maintain production equipment, conduct analytical tests on ingredients and materials, provide data reports, and more. Although quality control positions exist in many kinds of organizations, chemistry majors are ideally suited to pharmaceutical jobs. There, they'll help ensure new drugs and medications are safe and effective to use.
Quality Control Inspector
A quality control inspector plays an important role in ensuring that products and processes meet established quality standards and specifications.
4. Graduate Teaching Assistant
If your goal is to pursue a career in teaching or academia, this is the perfect entry-level job for you. Although you do need to be enrolled in a master's or PhD program to be hired as a teaching assistant (TA), there are few other requirements. In this role, you'll help teach undergraduate chemistry classes. This can involve marking exams and lab reports, answering student questions, leading tutorials, and more.
Graduate Teaching Assistant
A graduate teaching assistant (GTA) is a position commonly found in higher education institutions where graduate students provide instructional support and assistance to faculty members in undergraduate courses.
5. Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
Are you confident and outgoing, professional and approachable? A career in pharmaceutical sales might be for you! In this capacity, you'll play a vital role in the medical system. You'll teach doctors and other medical professionals about the latest pharmaceutical products and medications, connecting them with new drugs and treatments. Most pharmaceutical sales representatives hold a bachelor's of some kind, and chemistry is one of the most common ones.
Pharmaceutical Sales Representative
A pharmaceutical sales representative is responsible for promoting and selling pharmaceutical products to healthcare professionals, such as doctors, physicians, and pharmacists.
Becoming a professional chemist is an obvious next step for a chemistry major. Chemists conduct chemical experiments in research laboratories of all kinds. They typically specialize in a particular subdiscipline, such as biochemistry, nuclear chemistry, or neurochemistry, and can work in either the private or public sector. Although many chemistry positions require a graduate degree, some are available at the bachelor's level. To increase your chances of getting hired, gain some experience as an undergraduate research assistant during your studies.
A chemist studies the composition, structure, properties, and behavior of matter.
7. Food Quality Assurance Technician
Food safety and quality technicians play an essential role in the food production industry. They work in labs and other testing facilities, helping food scientists research and develop new food products. Typical tasks include analyzing and recording test results, maintaining laboratory equipment, and ordering supplies. There is no set educational requirement for this career; however, a degree in a relevant field—such as chemistry—is an asset.
Food Quality Assurance Technician
A food quality assurance technician is responsible for monitoring and maintaining the quality and safety of food products.
8. Forensic Science Technician
Forensic science is a fascinating profession, but it's not for the feint of heart. Technicians in this field use their knowledge of chemistry, biology, genetics, and other sciences to evaluate crime scene evidence. Strong laboratory research skills and a degree in a relevant field are required to pursue this position; supplementary training is often offered on the job. Chemistry majors, with their technical training and theoretical background, are a natural fit.
Forensic Science Technician
A forensic science technician, also known as a crime scene investigator (CSI), plays a vital role in collecting, analyzing, and preserving physical evidence from crime scenes.
9. Research Chef
Do you enjoy puttering around the kitchen? Is your love of chemistry rivalled only by your love of cooking? A career as a research chef might be for you. Research chefs are creative individuals who craft new recipes for restaurants, cafes, and food manufacturers. The job requires a solid understanding of science, culinary experience, and, of course, a passion for great food. Gain some experience in the restaurant industry while you study. With some hard work, you'll be cooking your way to success in no time.