I am a Chem Major….what about jobs after school? Part 1

So, the most recent questions I have received is about chemistry majors getting a job.

Specifically: 1) What type of jobs are out there and how do they pay?  2) do I need a graduate degree?  and 3) are they dangerous?  Today, we are going to answer question 1.

First, there are a vast number of jobs available to someone with a BS in chemistry.  In fact as recently as 2007, there were 110 jobs right now for every 100 graduates.  Even with the economy slowing and the uncertainty of the situation in Washington, the industry is still hiring in healthy numbers.

There are a wide range of jobs that someone with a chemistry degree could apply for.  The most obvious are in the pharmaceutical industry.  While in some jobs you may just be a pair of hands running experiments for someone else if you have a BS, the job can still be challenging.  Further, BS chemists have the most room in a company to grow.  PhD chemists suffer in industry because there  is only so high they can go in management without a business degree.  BS chemists on the other hand can advance, get raises and even go into supervisory roles without an advanced degree.  Moreover, BS chemists are highly competitive to get into most graduate schools if they have a few years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry.

Pay and benefits are “Big Pharma” are great too.  The average pay for a BS chemist with over 20 years of experience is well over $100K, according to the most recent ACS employment survey of chemists.  Starting salaries are very good, with young BS chemists starting around $65-70K.

Overall, the whole thing just makes sense.  From personal experience, I would highly recommend this job to anyone who is interested in chemistry or even the sciences in general.

Hope that helps.  Good luck with finals and keep a chemistry major in mind for the future.

Dr. Michael Pa got a bachelors degree in chemistry from Binghamton University, a masters degree in organic chemistry from the University of Arizona and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Arizona. His research focus was on novel pain killers which were more potent than morphine but designed to have fewer side effects. There may even be a patent or two that came out of it. Prior to all of this, he was a chemist at Procter and Gamble. After all of that, he (briefly) worked as a post-doctoral assistant at Syracuse University, working on novel organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). In between, he did NOT compete at the 1996 Olympics, make the Atlanta Braves opening day roster, or become the head coach of the Indiana Pacers, as he had intended. #fail During this entire time, he always loved helping students, especially if they were struggling with organic chemistry. In 2006, Dr. Pa founded AceOrganicChem.com in order to make learning organic chemistry fast and easy. 14 years and about 60,000 students later we are still helping students to learn organic chemistry one reaction at a time at https://www.aceorganicchem.com