$71k $71k
91k 91k
2.6% 2.6%
3.5/5 3.5/5
Bachelors Bachelors

Chemist Education Requirements

The basic requirement for becoming a professional chemist is a bachelor's degree in chemistry or a related field. Computer science, physics, mathematics and biology classes along with coursework in organic, inorganic and physical chemistry equip future chemists with the knowledge needed for a successful career. Individuals with an undergraduate chemistry degree qualify for assistant, associate or other entry-level positions. Traditionally, they perform tasks related to quality control and testing of chemical compounds or directly assist senior chemists in their research.

More advanced positions in the field of chemistry require the completion of a master's or doctoral degree. Upon enrolling in an advanced degree course, students have the option of specializing in niche areas of the discipline such as biochemistry, nuclear chemistry or forensic chemistry. Chemistry students should be careful, however, since too much specialization can limit career options after graduation.

A chemist must also possess strong competency in computer science, since computers are used in almost every application to analyze data and create mathematical formulations relating to chemical research. In addition, chemists must exhibit strong interpersonal and team skills since most chemical scientists work as part of a larger group of researchers. Leadership skills and strong oral and written communication abilities are also important for success in this career field. Moreover, a chemist must be extremely analytical and demonstrate a high degree of dedication to their research.

Education History of Chemists

The most common degree held by chemists is Chemistry. 27 percent of chemists had a degree in chemistry before becoming chemists. That is over 34 times the average across all careers. Biology graduates are the second most common among chemists, representing 4 percent of chemists in the Sokanu user base, which is 1.7 times the average.

Chemist Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Chemist, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of chemists % of population Multiple
Chemistry 27.0% 0.8% 33.6×
Biology 4.3% 2.6% 1.7×
Biochemical Sciences 3.0% 0.5% 6.5×
Chemical Engineering 2.3% 0.5% 4.8×
Environmental Science 1.3% 0.8% 1.7×
Business Management And Administration 1.3% 5.0% 0.3×

Chemist Education Levels

88% of chemists have a bachelor's degree. 7% of chemists have a master's degree.

No education 0%
High school diploma 0%
Associate's degree 4%
Bachelor's degree 88%
Master's degree 7%
Doctorate degree 1%

How to Become a Chemist

Think you might be interested in becoming a Chemist? Here are your next steps.

  1. Take the Sokanu Career Test

    Would you make a good chemist? Sokanu's free assessment reveals how compatible you are with a career across 5 dimensions!

    Take the free career test
  2. Get the Education

    • Delaware Technical Community College-Stanton/Wilmington | Wilmington, DE
      Offers: Associates
    • Delaware State University | Dover, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
    • University of Delaware | Newark, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
    • Wesley College | Dover, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
    • Wilmington University | New Castle, DE
      Offers: Bachelors
  3. Get Hired
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Further Reading

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