Table of Contents
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.
What are Chemists like?
Based on our pool of users, chemists tend to be predominately investigative people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.
Industrial Designers by Strongest Interest Archetype
Based on sample of 343 Sokanu users
Are Chemists happy?
Chemists rank among the least happy careers. Overall they rank in the 36th percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.
Industrial Designer Career Satisfaction by Dimension
Percentile among all careers
Education History of Chemists
The most common degree held by chemists is Chemistry. 26% of chemists had a degree in chemistry before becoming chemists. That is over 30 times the average across all careers. Biology graduates are the second most common among chemists, representing 4% of chemists in the Sokanu user base, which is 1.6 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|
|Business Management And Administration||1.1%||5.3%||0.2×|
Chemist Education Levels
|High school diploma||0%|
How to Become a Chemist
Take the Sokanu Career Test
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Get the Education
Delaware Technical Community College-Stanton/Wilmington | Wilmington, DEOffers: Associates
Delaware State University | Dover, DEOffers: Bachelors
University of Delaware | Newark, DEOffers: Bachelors
Wesley College | Dover, DEOffers: Bachelors
Wilmington University | New Castle, DEOffers: Bachelors
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How Many Years Of School Does It Take To Become A Chemist?
Chemists study matter and energy and reactions between them. You'll need advanced courses to become a chemist. Here's a look at how many years of school you'll need.
How To Become A Chemist Or Materials Scientist
Chemists and materials scientists need at least a bachelor’s degree in chemistry or a related field. However, a master’s degree or Ph.D. is needed for many research jobs.