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How Do I Become a Chemical Scientist?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 24 November 2016
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To become a chemical scientist, consider a strong background in science and pursue the form of chemistry that best matches the field you wish to work in. Education is one of the most important requirements for you to enter any scientific field, including chemistry. There are different fields which employ chemical scientists, however, so look into the one that you find interesting and want to work in. If you wish to work in the pharmaceutical industry, for example, then organic chemistry is probably the area in which you should focus.

The education you need to become a chemical scientist is likely to take you quite a few years, depending on the exact field you are targeting. Virtually any type of chemical scientist is likely to require at least a bachelor's degree in chemistry. It is more likely, however, that you will need to have a graduate degree, such as a master’s degree or doctorate, to be a chemical scientist. This means that completing a four-year degree is only the first step in your education.

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Once you have the undergraduate degree you need, then consider the type of work you would like to be involved in. There are many different fields in which you can become a chemical scientist, and the requirements for each can be quite varied. One major division within the study of chemistry is the separation of organic and inorganic chemistry, which can have an impact on the type of work you can perform. Choosing the type of chemistry to focus on for your post-graduate work is vital to prepare you to work as a chemical scientist in your chosen field.

If you want to work in the medical or healthcare industries, for example, then organic chemistry is likely to be the subject on which you focus. This study of biochemistry and the ways in which chemicals are involved in the creation and development of life can help you become a chemical scientist in a wide range of fields. You can use a background in biochemistry, for example, to work with engineers in the development of synthetic chemicals that mimic bioluminescence to create roads that glow and illuminate on their own.

Inorganic chemistry is also a major focus for many scientists, and may be preferable for you if your interests lie elsewhere. If you want to become a chemical scientist and work on the development of new types of batteries, for example, then inorganic chemistry is likely to be your focus. There are many different industries in which chemistry is important; the one that interests you can often guide your education.

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