Chemistry and Biochemistry

The list below contains a sample of some of the common career paths chosen by chemistry majors. The skills you develop as an undergraduate (i.e., communication, analytical/problem solving, teamwork) may be used in many different occupations. However, most chemistry majors tend to seek work in the science/health fields (some fields may require additional education).

COMMON CAREER PATHS:

Health Fields 
Physician 
Pharmacist 
Optometrist 
Nurse
Dentist 
Nutritionist 
Epidemiologist 
Physical Therapist 
Occupational Therapist
Cardiorespiratory Therapist 
Physician Assistant 
Nurse Practitioner 
Chiropractor 
Veterinarian 
Medical Technologist 
Public Health Specialist 

Environmental 
Environmental Policy Planner 
Hazardous Waste Specialist
Impact Specialist 
Environmental Health & Safety Manager 
Hydrologist 
Toxicologist 
Chemical oceanographer 
Soil Chemist 
Wastewater Treatment Chemist
 

Government
Research
Science Policy
Regulation

Teaching
High School Teacher
Community College Teacher
Professor

Research/Development/Manufacturing 
Analytical Chemists
Organic Chemists
Inorganic Chemists
Physical & Theoretical Chemists
Macromolecular Chemists
Medicinal Chemists
Materials Chemists
Biochemists
Polymer Chemists

Biotechnology/Pharmaceutical
Research Scientist
Clinical Trials Director
Marketing/Sales

Technical Writer

Patent Attorney

SAMPLE EMPLOYERS:

Government 
Agriculture Department 
NASA 
Environmental Protection Agency 
National Science Foundation 
Manufacturing
Centers for Disease Control 
Department of Defense

Forensic Labs
Petroleum Companies
Cosmetic Companies
Biotechnology/Pharmaceutical Firms
Textile, Wood, Plastic Manufacturing
Electronic Firms

INFORMATION WEBSITE:

Occupational Outlook Handbook

JOB WEBSITES:

Hire Life Science
Chem Jobs 
Chemistry Jobs 
Nature Jobs
Hire Chemists 
Science Jobs 
The New Scientist 
Medzilla 
Biospace 

PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS (includes job opportunities)

These are only a few of the associations for chemists. For a complete listing, go to theUCSC McHenry website, click on “online journals” under Quick Links, type “Associations” in the journal search, and click on Encyclopedia of Associations. Many professional organizations have student memberships for a very reasonable fee ($20-$25 annual membership).

American Chemical Society (job listings for members)
American Institute of Chemical Engineers (job listings for members)
Association of Consulting Chemists and Chemical Engineers 
Americana Association for Clinical Chemists 
American Institute of Chemists

JOB PREPARATION STRATEGIES

  • Develop public speaking skills and writing skills
  • Obtain lab and field experience via coursework and internships
  • Get involved in a faculty lab or complete an independent research project (Chem 180)
  • Develop strong computer skills
  • Obtain an internship, summer or volunteer work (see SlugQuest)
  • Learn about federal, state and local government job applications process
  • Join a student branch of a professional association