Chemistry is a science that focuses on the composition and reactions of physical matter. Read more to determine if a career in the chemical sciences may appeal to you.
If you're good with math and science and would like to work in a laboratory setting, then you might want to consider a career in the chemistry sciences, which include the areas of inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry and biochemistry.
Chemistry sciences professionals, often referred to as chemists, analyze the internal structure and composition of substances and come up with ways to manipulate them to accomplish a specific objective, such as combining two elements into a new type of substance. Due to the different fields influenced by the chemistry sciences, including medicine and biology, you may choose to focus your career on a particular specialty, such as pharmaceuticals, chemical manufacturing, food production, healthcare, the environment or education.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job prospects for chemists may not expand as fast as the average expected occupation growth during the 2008-2018 decade; however, the best employment opportunities within the field will be for candidates with graduate education, especially in the areas of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reported in May of 2010 that biochemists had an average annual income of $86,580, while chemists earned $73,240. Meanwhile, chemistry professors earned $80,070 and chemical technicians earned $44,200 in that same period.
A career in chemistry sciences might be a good fit if you are both interested enough and educationally prepared to fulfill the tasks that laboratory and scientific work demands.
If you wish to become a chemical lab technician, you may want to consider completing a certificate or an associate's degree in chemical technical training, chemical technology or chemical processes. If you hope to become a chemist, then enrolling in a degree in chemistry or biochemistry might be a better option for you.
A bachelor's degree in chemistry should qualify you for entry-level jobs at production facilities, research groups and laboratories. It could also qualify you to become a chemistry teacher at the high school level, if you take additional steps to become a certified teacher. A master's or a doctoral degree in chemistry would allow you to become a research chemist in either the private or public sector. If you wish to become an academic, you would at least need a Ph. D. in chemistry in order to teach at the university level.