Careers advisor from the RSC answers your questions

As part of our “How to build a career in the chemical industry” webinar we have had some follow up questions from the audience and also pre submitted questions that we did not have enough time to answer on the day. In order to answer these questions, we will publish written answers to these questions from the different panel members over the next couple of weeks.

Charlotte Ashley-Roberts a Careers Consultant at the Royal Society of Chemistry has provided us with very informative answers to your questions:

I‘m a graduate of Industrial Chemistry. I started my career in the lubricant industry and I have over 4 years experience in this field. I need to further my education to boost my career and I can’t seem to find any post graduate course in my field. What advice do you have for me?

I would say that further education is unlikely to help in most cases. If the roles you are applying for specifically ask for a qualification you don’t have then it might be worth pursuing but this isn’t normally the case. I would advise that you have your application checked by an experienced professional as it is more likely you aren’t selling your skills well enough. If you do decide to go for a postgraduate course then it doesn’t always matter if it’s not in the ‘right’ field – choose one which interests you.

I work in Nigeria and my family is in UK. I had my PhD in the UK. I have been looking for job in the UK both as a lecturer/research assistant or postdoc and in the industry as an Analytical/Environmental chemist but have not been able to get one mainly because I don’t have UK working experience. Please what can I do to be considered for a job in the UK. I do not have visa problem and I will be grateful for any advise.

I would speak to your network already based in the UK in academia as they will be best placed to answer your question. I would also look at which gives information on how to apply (and what to include) for academic applications. There are 4 main things they will look for: teaching experience, independent research, publications and revenue generation. It may be that interviewing you when you are abroad is tricky? Finally, I would say that it is an extremely competitive environment so it may just be a matter of time.

How can we ensure that employers are not losing valuable skilled potential employees trying to return to a more-flexible employment situation after extended parental leave?

Wow, that’s a big question, one I don’t have a solution for I am afraid. I am not sure we can, it will come down to the employer and their strategy, flexibility and willingness to employ parents. Many employers allow flexible working and there are laws in place to support parents at work. I think we need to ensure they see that parents bring value to the workplace and we (as parents) have some responsibility to demonstrate our skills to the employer too.

What maximum age is considered for a job in a chemical industry?

There is no maximum age, age discrimination is illegal in the UK and you are allowed to work until you don’t want to. We don’t see any problems at any age (in my experience).

If you would like to watch the webinar click here

If you are looking for a scientific job, search our latest job here


Posted in Industry News, NewsTagged in , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

If you are considering a career move and are unsure of your options click here to contact us



Posted in Chemical CareersTagged in , , , , , , , , , ,

Chemical Careers launch two new surveys

CK Science’s Chemical Careers campaign was launched last week with the aim to highlight the chemical sector to job seekers and new entrants from all training and academic backgrounds. Using a range of tools such as case studies, infographics and a history of the sector we intend to promote science jobs in the chemical sector. As part of the activity we are now pleased to release 2 industry surveys.

Aimed at both employers and new entrants, these surveys are tailored to highlight the types of roles being recruited for and the skills in demand, as well as the disciplines new entrants favour. CK hope the results will identify trends or predict future gaps.

If you would like to contribute to one of our surveys please click on the relevant link below:

Or if you would like to visit the Chemical Careers website click here

Posted in Industry News, NewsTagged in , , , , , ,

Chemical careers kicks off

This week CK Science, alongside sister divisions CK Engineers and CK IT, is launching ‘Chemical Careers’ – a 12 week campaign targeting students and those just entering the industry to highlight the variety of careers available to them.

With the chemical sector continuing to grow, the demand for new talent and multi-skilled professionals continues unabated. CK has chosen to proactively raise the profile of the industry and combat potential recruitment shortages.

Please watch our video to find out more


With support from the Chemical Industry Association, the Royal Society of Chemistry and a number of employers who have provided business and employee case studies, CK hopes to join the chemical industries together to attract the vital new skills and talent needed.

If you would like to get involved in our campaign contact Gail Whittle on or visit our chemical careers website


Posted in Industry News, NewsTagged in , , , , ,

‘Chemical careers’ launched

This week the CK Group is launching a 12 week schedule of activity called ‘Chemical Careers’ to highlight the chemical industries as an option for those looking for a dynamic and interesting career.

Starting on Monday 26th January this activity will include case studies from employers and those working in the industry, links to industry bodies, surveys, fun infographics and video advice. With a vast range of roles available in the chemical sector this activity aims to help young people and those working in the industry gain a better understanding of what career options are available to them.

‘Chemical careers’ concludes in April with a webinar which will explore “How to Get a Job in the Chemical Industry” and give participants the opportunity to interact with relevant industry experts.

If you would like to get involved you can:

Posted in Chemical CareersTagged in , , , , , , , , ,

Production Day Shift Coordinator Job

Alex Tosney is recruiting for a Production Day Shift Coordinator for a major chemical manufacturer based near Halifax.

Primarily this role will involve managing raw materials in production building, organising maintenance work and issuing permits to work as well as participating in improvement projects and ensuring safe operations for the other aspects of the job.

Experience of plant operations and SAP is necessitated for this position.

For more information on this role, or to apply, please click here


Posted in Job News, Mobile News, NewsTagged in , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sales Manager – UK / Germany

Andrew Bolton at CK Science is currently recruiting for a Sales Manager to join a world leading Chemical Manufacturer specialising in products for the Fine Chemical, Pharmaceutical & related industries at  their sites in either the UK or Germany.


As a Sales Manager, you will be part of a European Sales Team responsible for:

  • Technical sales of the organisations range of chemical & related technology products.
  • Identifying new customers and markets and carrying out business development.
  • Key account management of an established customer base.
  • Working closely with customer’s technical, purchasing and manufacturing teams to identify products to suit their requirements & offering problem solving

Qualifications and skills:

As a Sales Manager, you will have the following qualifications, skills & experience:

  • A qualification in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or equivalent industrial experience (or equivalent).
  • Demonstrated experience in a Sales Manager or related Commercial function gained within a Chemical
  • Manufacturing, Technology Organisation, Pharmaceutical or relevant industry.
  • Fluent written and verbal English.

The following would be advantageous but are not essential:

  • Additional language skills including German, Italian or other European languages.
  • Experience specifically in the Fine Chemical industry.


As a Sales Manager, you will be joining an industry leading Chemical Manufacturer who in return offer a salary of between £40,000 – £50,000, coupled with excellent benefits including a bonus scheme, company car, mobile, laptop and pension.

Andrew Bolton - Chemical Recruitment

Please contact Andrew for more details.

How to apply:

Apply online:

For more information or to apply to the role of Sales Manager, please contact Andrew Bolton at CK Science on 01438 723500 or email   Please quote reference ST25875 in all correspondence.


Are you looking for a new science job?

Click here to see our latest science jobs




Posted in Industry News, NewsTagged in , , , , , , , , , ,

Latest Science Jobs 23.7.2012

Here’s a list of the latest science jobs which CK Science is recruiting for in the UK. Please click on the links below to find out more and apply.


Biotechnology Jobs

Pharmaceutical Jobs

Laboratory Jobs

Latest Science Jobs from CK Science

Biochemistry Jobs

Fast Moving Consumer Goods Jobs

Latest Science Jobs from CK ScienceEnvironmental Science Jobs

Production Jobs

Latest Science Jobs from CK Science

Chemical Jobs

Latest Science Jobs from CK ScienceEngineering Jobs

Analytical Chemistry Jobs

Latest Science Jobs from CK Science

Medical Devices Jobs


Science Jobs - CK ScienceRegulatory Affairs Jobs



Posted in Jobs, NewsTagged in , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Looking for a job in the chemical sector? Click here to search our current chemical jobs now.

Posted in Jobs, NewsTagged in , , , , , , , , , , ,

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.

Are you looking for a new job in science? Click here to search our current science jobs online now.

Posted in Industry NewsTagged in , , , , , , , , , , , ,