Chemical careers: what jobs are available?

If you have decided you want to join the chemical industry, your next step will be identifying the type of role you want. Most people presume the natural entry point is working in a laboratory, perhaps as an Analytical Chemist or in Research & Development as these jobs use the education/training you have had so far. However, there are many routes into the chemical industry.

You could decide you would prefer to be more office based for which you should explore roles in regulatory affairs or chemical sales, to name a few.

Or if you prefer the thought of physically being involved in the production of the products you could work on the plant and operations side.

You may just want to work in a laboratory, so potential roles can cover the creation of new products or processes such as R&D Chemist or Process Chemist, or you may prefer to work on the development of new materials, such as Polymer Chemists and Coatings Chemist roles. The other area that features heavily in the chemical industry is the client service side such as Technical Support, Technologists and QA Microbiologists who will respond to the needs of customers.

If you would like further details about the responsibilities of these roles click here 

If you are already in the chemical industry but are unsure of how your skills can be transferred, the general rule of thumb is to follow the materials you work with rather than the function you perform. It’s far more challenging to change from organic synthesis, or ceramics to coatings than it is to move from formulations into coatings.

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Chemical sector could lead us out of recession

As reported by, the Chemical sector is the hidden part of the UK economy and could help lead us out of recession.

Taking a step back, it is clear to see that the Chemical industries provide all the materials that are used to power £880k of the UK economic activity. It is therefore important that the Government recognises the key role that the chemical industries plays by when considering investment in companies working in the sector. After all, dampening down investment in this sector could hamper the UK’s ability to innovate and discover new products which are key to our economy.

In addition, according to, the Government must consider the impact of it’s domestic energy and climate change measures on these energy intensive industries. The major chemical manufacturers are fully aware of their responsibility to play their part in increasing energy efficiency and climate change adaption, and as a result have made major steps to become more energy efficient. If inappropriate legalisation is enforced, it will undermine the government’s efforts to attract investment in the UK.

In a bid to tackle these issues, the CBI will be working with the chemical industry across Government departments to highlight the important role the sector plays in the UK economy and the steps required to help ensure it’s success.

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Pharma Company buys Scottish Chemicals Plant

As reported by the BBC News, the pharmaceutical company, Bakhu Pharma have acquired the chemical plant, Phoenix Chemicals in a deal which could create 50 jobs within 12 months.

Bakhu Pharma is the third owners of the plant in three years and speaking of the deal, their chief executive stated,

“This was a last-minute rescue plan that was put together very quickly,” said Mr Leece.

“Annan was about to be decommissioned but thanks to a huge effort by a few people, we have rescued the business from the ashes.”

The Merseyside-based Phoenix Chemicals originally bought the plant with the help of a grant from the Scottish government of £400,000. However, the company went into administration in January 2011.

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