Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
There are several ways to look at the different types of chemistry jobs there are. One can look at the main branches of chemistry, as well as different or industries that chemists work in. One can also look at the specialized careers in which chemistry jobs are offered.
Chemists may choose to study analytical chemistry, biochemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, to name some of the main areas of the field. Analytic chemists reveal the composition and structure of substances. Biochemists study living organisms and their chemical composition. Inorganic chemists focus on compounds composed of elements other than carbon, while organic chemists analyze the chemistry of carbon compounds, that is, the compounds that make up living things.
Chemistry jobs are offered in some standard locations. Chemistry work is often done in laboratories, as one might expect. But chemists may also work in offices, schools, manufacturing plants, and sometimes outdoors if, for example, their specialty involves the environment or water.
One area for chemistry jobs is in academics. High schools, community colleges, four-year colleges, universities, and online programs employ chemists to teach chemistry and its subspecialties. Instructors in a four-year college or university program will probably need a Ph.D., but the requirements may be less for online instruction, community colleges, and high schools. A high school teacher may be hired with only a bachelor of science degree in chemistry.
Chemists may also work in research and development, investigating the properties of matter and its behavior and working to create new products and processes, as well as synthesize products that occur naturally. Some chemistry jobs are in manufacturing plants in which production and quality control are both areas in which chemistry is Combinatorial chemistry jobs, for example, are involved with testing and analysis, while medical chemistry jobs are involved with identifying the structure of compounds in the service of the pharmaceutical industry. Chemistry jobs that involve other skill sets in addition to chemistry are also available including jobs in science writing, sales, and consulting.
According to the American Chemical Society, industry specialties for chemists include food and flavor chemistry, chemical technology, chemical engineering, oil and petroleum chemistry, polymer chemistry, pulp and paper chemistry, textile chemistry, and water chemistry. Chemists also go on to take positions as forensic chemists, environmental chemists, and geochemists. Chemists may also add credentials to be able to work as pharmacists, toxicologists, medical doctors, and biochemists.
@Darrien - I don't think one specific type of chemist exists that checks for longer term effects. Instead I would imagine that certain kinds of chemists perform different long term studies within their field.
When they were checking the safety of artificial sweeteners in the long term, well that was a medicinal chemistry job. And when they were checking the effects of Agent Orange on plants, well that was an environmental chemistry job.
Hope that helps.
With all the productions of chemicals in the world, many people often worry that some could potentially be harmful. In the long run I believe chemistry has done way more good than bad, but what kinds of chemist jobs exist that examine the long term conditions of this work?
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!