Career Opportunities

Chemists and materials scientists held about 91,000 jobs in 2002. About 44 percent of all chemists and material scientists are employed in manufacturing firms-mostly in the chemical manufacturing industry, which includes firms that produce plastics and synthetic materials, drugs, soaps and cleaners, pesticides and fertilizers, paint, industrial organic chemicals, and other chemical products. About 15 percent of chemists and material scientists work in scientific research and development services; another 13 percent work in architectural, engineering, and related services. In addition, thousands of persons with a background in chemistry and materials science hold teaching positions in high schools and in colleges and universities.
A bachelor's degree in chemistry or a related discipline usually is the minimum educational requirement for entry-level chemist jobs.