Careers and Employment Outlook

Careers and Employment Outlook

Chemistry for Majors

Why would I choose to major in chemistry? Because chemistry reacts in ways no other science does!

Chemistry as a Science

Chemistry is the science of matter. One's comprehension of the natural world is greatly enhanced by studying and learning chemistry. The quality of life as we know it and the quality of life for future generations depends upon even greater depths and application of the knowledge gained in the chemical sciences.

Areas of Chemistry

Chemistry has multiple sub-disciplines/categories:

Inorganic chemistry is the branch of chemistry that deals with properties of inorganic compounds. A key focal point of inorganic chemistry is that of the Periodic Table.

Organic chemistry is the study of carbon and carbon-containing compounds. This is an incredibly massive field that embodies the structural elucidation, characterization and synthesis of carbon-backboned compounds.

Analytical chemistry, as this term implies, deals with the quantitative analysis of composition of samples - samples of all sorts. Analytical chemists make use of various forms of instrumentation to characterized samples (e.g. water, air, soil, blood, etc.). Forensic chemists are for the most part analytical chemists.

Physical chemistry is a collage of chemistry as well as physics. This area applies dynamics, energy, force, motion, statistical mechanics, thermodynamics, time, and quantum theory to chemical behavior. Physical chemistry is a highly mathematically-oriented discipline.

Biochemistry, as the term implies, deals with the chemical aspects of biological systems of living organisms. Biochemistry is predicated in the structure as well as function of biomolecules (e.g. proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids). This field offers an increase of knowledge for biologist.

There is a great deal of overlap in each of the major sub-disciplines/categories of chemistry.

Chemistry as an Integrated Science

Chemistry is an integrated science that embodies other fields of science. As practitioners of chemistry, chemists themselves are multidisciplinary scientists who combine use of computer science, physics, biology, geology, mathematics and environmental science.

Chemistry as a Discipline

Many chemists work in laboratories, outdoors, as well as both. Industrial chemists make work with refineries or chemical-processing facilities. Pharmaceutical chemists work with companies that develop/manufacture drugs. Environmental chemists spend most of their time in the field; their work can be broad-ranged and usually involves analyses of the air, water and soil. Chemical educators are employed by public and private schools; there is a demand for chemistry and general science teachers. Other areas where chemists gain employment include: government agencies, law firms, consulting, entrepreneurialism, sales, etc.

Chemistry Careers

A career in chemistry can be most competitive with higher-than-average starting salaries. Please explore the Web (we suggest the American Chemical Society or American Chemical Council) to gain further insight regarding salaries and other aspects associated with jobs in the field of chemistry.

Page last updated November 29, 2017.

Contact Information

Natural Sciences
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(361) 698-1240