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Chemistry: What Can I Do With This Degree?

Analytical

  • Research
  • Development
  • Analysis and testing
  • Consulting
  • Environmental
  • Forensics

Employers

  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Federal agencies including National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • Manufacturing firms including textile, petroleum, food, electronics, glass, paper, packaging, machinery, cosmetics, paint, drug, and chemical industries
  • Industrial production and inspection agencies
  • Research laboratories and organizations
  • Environmental protection organizations
  • Colleges and universities

Information & Strategies

  • Familiarize yourself with federal, state, and local government job application process.
  • Gain experience in a laboratory setting.
  • Develop proficiency with high-tech scientific equipment.
  • Take electives in your area of interest.

Biochemical

  • Research
  • Development
  • Analysis and testing
  • Consulting
  • Quality control
  • Medical
  • Environmental
  • Industrial health and safety
  • Hospital administration

Employers

  • Research laboratories and organizations
  • Pharmaceutical and medical research firms
  • Biotechnology firms
  • Plant and animal breeders and growers
  • Food processors
  • Industrial production and inspection agencies
  • Environmental protection organizations
  • Federal, state, and local government, such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
  • Colleges and universities

Information & Strategies

  • Take additional courses in biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, cytology, and physiology.
  • Develop excellent laboratory and computer skills.
  • Get involved with undergraduate research with professors.
  • Join related professional organizations.
  • Complete a related internship with an organization in the area of your interest.

Organic

  • Research
  • Development
  • Analysis and testing
  • Quality control
  • Consulting

Employers

  • Industries related to petroleum, coal, wood products, plastics, textiles, and food
  • Manufacturing firms developing new synthetic materials and new production processes
  • Research organizations
  • Federal and state government
  • Colleges and universities

Information & Strategies

  • Gain additional laboratory and research experience through internships and summer jobs.
  • Get involved with undergraduate research with professors.

Geochemistry

  • Environmental remediation
  • Research and development
  • Analysis and testing

Employers

  • Research laboratories and organizations
  • Industries involved in mining, electronics, and synthetic materials
  • Federal and state government
  • Colleges and universities

Information & Strategies

  • Take geology and environmental science electives.

Inorganic

  • Research
  • Analysis and testing
  • Quality control
  • Consulting

Employers

  • Environmental organizations
  • Water processing plants
  • Natural resources organizations

Information & Strategies

  • Choose appropriate coursework to specialize in an area.
  • Develop additional laboratory skills and experience.

Polymer Chemistry

  • Analysis and testing
  • Research and development

Employers

  • Industries involving textiles and plastics

Information & Strategies

  • Gain research experience through internships, part-time employment, and summer jobs.

Physical

  • Research
  • Development
  • Analysis and testing
  • Quality control
  • Consulting

Employers

  • Research laboratories and organizations
  • Industries involving electrical, nuclear, gas, heat, or light energy
  • Federal government
  • Colleges and universities

Information & Strategies

  • Take related courses in social sciences and economics.
  • Develop strong mathematical background.

Education

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Administration

Employers

  • Private and public secondary schools
  • Colleges and universities

Information & Strategies

  • Obtain certification/licensing for teaching in public schools.
  • Acquire a master's degree for community college teaching and a PhD for colleges and universities.
  • Take courses in public speaking.

Business

  • Technical sales/Marketing
  • Pharmaceutical sales
  • Management
  • Consulting
  • Industrial quality control
  • Research and development

Employers

  • Manufacturing firms
  • Drug stores
  • Medical/Pharmaceutical supply companies
  • Industries including textiles, petroleum, food, electronics, glass, paper, packaging, machinery, cosmetics, paint, drugs, and chemicals
  • Agricultural product companies
  • Environmental management organizations
  • Waste management firms

Information & Strategies

  • Obtain a minor in business.
  • Develop strong verbal and written communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills.
  • Hold leadership positions in campus organizations.
  • Join related student organizations, e.g. American Marketing Association, Financial Management Association, Public Relations Student Society of America, etc.

Technical Writing

  • Writing
  • Editing

Employers

  • Research product development departments and organizations
  • Publishing firms including books, scientific and research journals, technical press, large newspapers, and wire services
  • Internet sites

Information & Strategies

  • Take advanced technical writing courses.
  • Develop word processing and desktop publishing skills.

Law

  • Patent Law
  • Legislation and lobbying

Employers

  • Manufacturing firms
  • Research and development firms
  • Law firms
  • Private practice
  • Environmental agencies

Information & Strategies

  • Obtain law degree to become an attorney.

Information Specialists,

Technical Libraries

    Employers

    • Special libraries
    • Research organizations
    • Colleges and universities
    • Large manufacturing firms, especially chemicals and pharmaceuticals

    Information & Strategies

    • Obtain master's degree in library and information science.
    • Develop computer retrieval skills.
    • Join Special Libraries Association, Chemistry Division.

    General Information

    • Undergraduate degree sufficient for entry-level positions such as lab coordinator, research assistant, product testing or analysis, technical sales, or service representative.
    • Maintain high grade point average and secure strong recommendations for graduate school.
    • Master's degree sufficient for most applied research positions, industrial work, and some community college teaching.
    • Find research opportunities with professors and other experts in the field to gain experience.
    • PhD degree required for university teaching and advanced positions in management and research and development. Postdoctoral experience is preferred for research positions in industry, universities, and government.
    • Advanced degrees help speed career advancement.
    • Develop strong computer, mathematics, and science skills/knowledge.
    • Obtain part-time, volunteer, co-op, internship, or summer experience.
    • Obtain practical experience using various laboratory equipment and high-tech scientific equipment and data.
    • Complete an undergraduate research project.
    • Consider electives in computer science, engineering, business, public speaking, and writing.
    • Join related student professional organizations.
    Download a PDF of this chart for easy printing.

    Next Steps

    Learn about North Park's chemistry program.

    Students work in a North Park laboratory.