What Are the Different Types of Chemical Industry Jobs?

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  • Written By: N. Kalu
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2019
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Chemical industry jobs are as varied as the chemical industry itself. The chemical industry is crucial to several other modern industries, including the automotive, medical, and manufacturing industries. Common chemical industry jobs include pharmaceutical research, petrochemical research and development, manufacturing, management, and sales. Many of the jobs in this field require specialized knowledge and advanced degrees.

Pharmaceutical research provides numerous chemical industry jobs. One of the more advanced jobs is biochemical research. Biochemists study chemical processes in plants and animals, including how those processes work, when they fail, and how various chemicals effect them. Based on this information, other pharmaceutical researchers can then attempt to synthesize and formulate new medications. Medical researchers then test the effects of these medications to determine safety and effectiveness.

The petrochemical industry also employs chemists. One example of something a researcher in the petrochemical industry might do is study and improve the processes that break crude oil into useful components. This task is critical, because unpredicted reactions can have disastrous effects on oil refinement plants. Other petrochemical researchers work to find new or more efficient uses of the portions of crude oil that are not used for gasoline.

Another aspect of the petrochemical industry is research into new sources for oil. While some sources, such as oil shale, have been found, cost-effective chemical extraction processes have not yet been fully developed. Several research groups have worked on this problem.


other chemical industry jobs can be found in the manufacturing industry. Many modern materials, such as plastics, electronic components, and synthetic rubbers, must be chemically synthesized. Manufacturers hire researchers and chemical technicians to improve and administer these processes.

Management plays an important role in all chemical industries. Modern chemical research and development is too complex to be completed by individual researchers. In addition to coordinating various aspects of the research and development process, managers are responsible for making decisions about which avenues of chemical research should be funded and pursued. As with other industries, managers are also responsible for standard management tasks, such as assigning specific tasks and maintaining the workforce.

While many people work hard to develop and produce chemical products, many others work in sales in this industry. Without sales, pharmaceutical firms, petrochemical firms, and other manufacturing firms would not exist. Chemical industry sales jobs require extensive knowledge of chemical uses and processes. Chemical salespersons can work at various levels ranging from retail to industrial sales.


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