Are you about to graduate from university with a Chemistry degree, but still unsure about what to do next?
At CK we understand how difficult it is to get your head around all the different jobs available to Chemistry graduates. To help you get inspired, we have asked a variety of professionals in the chemistry field to describe their roles, their experience and how they got to where they are now.
A R&D Chemist
A R&D Chemist will typically work on multiple projects at once, and is the ideal role for someone looking for variety in their day-to-day life. It would particularly suit someone who is practical and enjoys problem solving.
To find out more, we interviewed a R&D Chemist working on the development of new products for a chemical company. On a daily basis they develop formulations in the lab, carry out testing and report on the results. Once suitable systems are found the process is scaled up to a production trial. The job also involves liaising with customers and suppliers, to understand their different requirements.
Prior to becoming an R&D chemist, this expert completed a PhD in organic chemistry. Their advice to anyone looking to pursue a career in R&D is to gain as much hands-on experience as possible, either through work placements, industrial internships, or through summer work.
An Analytical Chemist
Another career path for chemistry graduates is a role as an Analytical Chemist.
Jacob is an Analytical Chemist for a company who creates gardening and hydroponic growing products. He is responsible for testing products, raw materials and intermediates. He then advises if adjustments are required. He explains that the job requires you to be patient, calm and hard working.
He chose this role as, after finishing his masters in chemistry, he wanted to apply his chemistry knowledge on a daily basis in industry.
If you love pure chemistry, then this could be the right career path for you.
A Laboratory Analyst
Chemistry is also a way into the pharma industry. Anthony is a Lab Analyst, working for a pharma company who develops vaccines and healthcare products.
He is responsible for conducting all quality testing on products, writing up data and reporting the results. These results are then used to determine the quality of the product, and make decisions on whether the product is deemed safe to be used by patients.
Anthony finds his job particularly satisfying, knowing that he is contributing to helping people’s quality of life.
Interested in this role?
To apply to this type of job, you would be expected to have a chemistry qualification as well as specific experience in the use and maintenance of HPLC systems. Anthony gained his qualification and relevant experience through an Apprenticeship scheme, proving that the typical university route is not the only way to a successful job in chemistry.
R&D Food Technologist
Interested in Biochemistry? Amanda is a R&D Food Technologist, working in a lab developing and producing an extensive range of high-quality ingredients to the world’s food and pharmaceutical industries. A typical day would involve carrying our technical research projects and reporting on the findings. She also works closely with the quality control technicians, understanding which products pass and fail inspection.
Prior to working as a Food Technologist, Amanda completed a BSc in Biochemistry and worked as a Lab Analyst.
According to Amanda, this role is a good combination of lab work and administration, and would suit someone willing to learn new things.
Compound Development Technician
Last but not least we interviewed a Compound Development Technician, working for a world leading silicone manufacturer. Day-to-day they work directly with Production and QC to implement new materials and product formulations. They are also responsible for matching products to specific customer requirements. They particularly enjoy their job as their contribution has a real impact on the company’s success.
This type of role is ideal for someone with a Chemistry degree as well as an interest in Material Science and technology.
Feeling inspired? Why not read the interviews in full, as well as many others on our careers section. You can also have a look at available jobs or create a CK+ account, to find jobs tailored to your experience.