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


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CK hosting career workshop at CWJL

CK Science are exhibiting at the upcoming Chemistry World Jobs Live events that are being held in Manchester and London this November. However they are taking their industry expertise on step further, for the first time ever and will be hosting a workshop at the London event!

Taking place on 25th November our workshop will focus on ‘how to build a career in the chemical industry’ and will feature a panel of 6 distinguished chemical professionals who will guide you through their own experiences, give advice and answer your career related questions.

However if you are unable to attend the London event and would still like to be part of and participate in our workshop, then register here to watch it as a live streamed webinar.

 Find out more about Chemistry World Jobs Live:


18th November – Manchester

Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel, Manchester M1 4PH  Register here

25th November – London

Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BA  Register here


The events, which are free to attend, will include opportunities to:

  • Meet with a selection of employers
  • Discover a huge range of career opportunities
  • Participate in round table discussions and workshops
  • If you are a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry, you will also have the opportunity to have a 1-2-1 CV Clinic with one of the RSC careers specialists (limited spaces apply).

This event is ideal if you are:

  • Looking for your first chemistry job
  • Seeking a new challenge …
  • Dealing with redundancy
  • Exploring the idea of a career change


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Analytical Chemistry Jobs Market – 8th June 2015

Each week, CK Science is providing a snapshot of the Analytical Chemistry jobs market. Over time, we aim to give you a picture of how it changes and evolves, and most importantly, how this may impact on you depending on overall demand and seasonal changes. So whether you are an Analyst looking for a new science job or an employer seeking new Chemist to join your team, we hope that this market snapshot helps you with your decision making.

Our tracking is based on each week screening some of the UKs leading vacancy boards for how many Analytical Chemistry jobs have been advertised within the previous week.

This summary was completed on Monday 8th June and relates to adverts posted for Analytical Chemists on:

  • New Scientist
  • Monster
  • CV Library
  • Emedcareers
  • Pharmiweb
  • Willey job network
  • Access Science jobs.

Our results showed that from these job boards a total of 696 Analytical Chemistry vacancies were published last week, which is an increase on our last figure of 620, with:

  • 588 permanent roles
  • 108 temporary or contract roles

This week we have seen a significant rise in permanent roles in comparison with last weeks results, however they are not quite high enough to compete with other some of the record highs that we have experienced this year. This weeks results are really positive and show that the job market is recovering from the recent school holidays.

If you are interested in CK Science helping you find your next science job please search our vacancies


If you would like CK Science to help you find your next Analyst, then please get in touch


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Chemical job of the week: 12/03/2015

This week’s top chemical job of the week is Service Chemist.  This  job has been selected as it is:

  • At a growing water treatment company who are bringing in a new member of staff as a result of increased workloads
  • The company have recently won awards for staff development
  • Responsible for the delivery of onsite water treatment services, water and system testing and legionella management.
  • Field based – not in the lab
  • Opportunity to work with a range of clients across a breadth of industries including chemicals, pharmaceuticals, food, energy, automotive and materials
  • This role is best suited to an experienced service chemist, who has proven experience in the servicing and maintenance of cooling towers, wastewater treatment, closed systems and dosing systems. Experience of legionella management would be beneficial for the position.
  • For those interested in this role but without the required experience, it would be recommended to gain experience in the water industry, ideally in a chemistry position.


Find out more about this job here

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Have you seen our chemical industry infographic?

We have created a timeline infographic that presents highlights of the history of the chemical industry from 1660 to where we are today. Beginning with the creation of the Royal Society, to Joshua Ward commencing small scale production of sulphuric acid to the formation of British Dyestuffs Corporation in 1919, to today where the chemical industry is forecast to turnover £56 billion by the end of 2015.

It also spotlights key achievements of the chemical industry and how we benefit from these today in a “do you know” format. Such as “the pantheon in Rome was built over 2000 years ago and is still the world’s largest, unreinforced concrete dome, the Romans were largely responsible for for what we think of as modern concrete” and “for every tonnes of greenhouse gases the emitted by the global chemistry industry, its technologies and products enable over 2 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions” amongst others.

See the chemical industry infographic here


This infographic is part of our Chemical Careers campaign.  The chemical industry is the UK’s top exporter, and growing at a rate of 3% the chemical industry’s demand for new workers has grown exponentially, along with the need for multi-skilled employees. As such this campaign aims to promote the benefits of working within the chemical industries to new entrants, and also those who already work within the science, IT or engineering profession and do not realise how transferable their skills are.


Find out more about the campaign here




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Chemical jobs of the week: 23/02/2015

This week’s chemical job of the week is a Technical Manager job. This has been chosen as it is:

  • At a very specialist manufacture of polymer products
  • A unique managerial role where they will still be able to work hands on.
  • A fantastic opportunity for someone who wants to progress to the next level in their career
  • There will be exposure to other areas of the business then just R&D
  • Offers a competitive salary and company car
  • Based in Warwickshire

Read the full job description for this chemical job here

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Chemical Careers Job of the Week: 12/02/2015

Andrew Bolton at CK Engineers is recruiting for an Engineering Manager. This job has been chosen as it is:

  • At a leading, award winning chemical manufacturer
  • Part of a new division within the organisation
  • The successful individual the opportunity to grow their own team from scratch.
  • Offers a salary of between £40-45,000


 Find out more about this job here

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Shift Chemist – Teesside, UK

Barney Smith at CK Science is recruiting for a Shift Chemist to join a global inspection company to work in an analytical laboratory in Teesside.


The Shift Chemist role involves analytical testing of Oil, Gas and Chemicals using GC, GC-MS, AA, IC, UV, IR and wet chemistry. The role will also involve working on site, at heights and in confined spaces.


As a Shift Chemist you must be qualified to minimum degree level in chemistry or related subject or possess equivalent industrial experience. A flexible approach to working will be required as you will be working around shipping itineraries.

The company:

The company are a global inspection company with offices worldwide.  The company culture is to promote from within so with flexibility on location there will be opportunities to progress your career.

Barney Smith - Manager at CK ScienceHow to apply:

Apply online:

For more information or to apply for these contact Barney Smith on 0191 384 8905 or email Please quote reference DH24897 in all correspondence.


 Click here to see our latest jobs in the North East


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Process Development Chemist – North West

Hannah Milward at CK Science is currently recruiting for a Process Development Chemist to join a chemical manufacturer who specialise in the application of novel enzymatic systems and flow technologies join their team for the duration of 3 months with the view to go permanent. This role is based in the North West


To be considered for this Process Development Chemist position you will have a good degree/PhD or equivalent in science, have sound knowledge of organic chemistry and be familiar with HPLC, GC and NMR techniques.

How to apply:

Apply online now

For more information or to apply for this Process Development Chemist role please contact Hannah Milward on 0114 2839956 or email Please quote reference SH23939 in all correspondence.

Click here to see our other chemical industry jobs

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