Career Tips

Is Major Chemicals a Good Career Path in 2022? [Check Pros & Cons]

There is never a shortage of work for chemists and chemical engineers. Experts in chemistry are required in many fields, including manufacturing, engineering, the generation of energy, and research, because the degree provides access to such a wide variety of talents. And because of the depth of expertise that is required to work in this industry, the salaries are always competitive.

There is merit in pursuing a career in major chemicals. You can easily spend your entire working life as a chemist so long as you have an eye for detail and an excellent memory for information. Because there are many different kinds of employment available in the industry, it is possible to switch to a different career path while still being able to put your previous skills to good use.

A job in chemistry is an excellent choice for individuals who take pleasure in seeing scientific progress. You are going to have to put some thought into it and put some pressure on yourself to come up with new approaches to completing tasks.

And even if the development of novel materials isn’t your thing, there are a lot of rewarding occupations that are closely related to this field, including being a toxicologist or a pharmacist. Both of these activities benefit other people while also putting your expertise to good use.

You should undoubtedly pursue a career as a chemist if you find the specified jobs and prerequisites to be something that you are capable of and that interests you.

What do People Who Graduate With a Chemical Major do?

The position of chemical scientist is widely regarded as the most desirable career path for chemistry graduates seeking employment in the UK after graduation. Chemists and laboratory technicians are two of the top 15 jobs, and both of these jobs are related to chemistry in some way. Biochemists and biomedical scientists are also notable members of the scientific community.

Best Paying Jobs in Chemical Majors

There is a wide variety of work available for chemistry graduates to pursue. Some of these companies operate within the chemical industry and other related fields, such as:

1. Pharmacologist

A pharmacologist is a medical chemist, so you need to know biochemistry, and most require a degree in medicine or an advanced degree in pharmacology. Schooling and requirements are rigorous, but pharmacologists are tremendously well compensated as a result.

The goal of research conducted by pharmacologists is to get an understanding of the ways in which chemical compounds interact with the body. They are a member of a research team that is responsible for the screening of substances, the development of pharmaceuticals, as well as the carrying out of controlled tests and clinical trials in laboratories.

The average salary for a Pharmacologist is $82,434.

2. Analytical Scientist

In the field of chemistry, an analytical scientist is a chemist who employs a variety of laboratory testing techniques in order to investigate and get a deeper comprehension of the chemical components of various substances or materials. Although the specifics of your job obligations may vary significantly from industry to industry, the fundamental aspects of your job will never change.

The average annual pay for an Analytical Scientist in the United States is $77,666 a year.

3. Materials Scientist

Materials Scientist applies their knowledge of chemistry, physics, and mathematics to solve practical problems of increasing complexity for their employer.

They research, design and develop new materials or material combinations. They also test materials’ physical properties like strength, elasticity, conductivity, chemical stability (non-reactivity), and surface reactivity to chemicals they may come into contact with.

A Materials Scientist’s knowledge improves processes and saves money by helping companies make more vital products that last longer. 

The average salary for a Materials Scientist is $90,568.

4. Quality Assurance Engineer

This is a job that is in demand for many companies. It can range from making sure products meet standards to making sure food and drugs are pure. Many companies have contracts with quality assurance firms, but some hire quality assurance scientists directly. They oversee every phase of design, development, testing and delivery to verify if the product meets the quality standards and requirements, and they work with a team and report to a manager.

The average salary for a Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer is $72,987. Data indicates that the highest pay for a Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer is $101k / year.

5. Chemical Process Engineer

Chemical Process Engineers construct equipment such as tanks, pumps and pipes. These types of equipment are used in oil refineries, gas plants, and other industrial settings. The average salary for this position is $90,000 per year. Some analysts specialize in specific aspects of the industry, such as food additives, plastics production or wastewater treatment. Other specialities include forensics chemistry, nuclear chemistry and analytical chemistry.

The base salary for Chemical Process Engineer ranges from $103,261 to $126,607 with an average base salary of $114,586.

6. Validation Specialist

People who do this test equipment. Knowing chemistry is necessary as you have to know how various objects will react to heat and stress, as well as how they perform under various conditions. It’s also very math-heavy.

The average salary for a Validation Specialist, Drug/Chemical is $73,772.

7. Research and Development Scientist

Research and Development (R & D) engineers are heavily involved in both inventing new materials and testing them to make sure that they meet requirements. This is a job at many major well-known companies, such as Boeing, Du Pont, and General Electric.

The salaries of Research and Development Scientists in the US range from $49,086 to $121,500, with a median salary of $76,700.

8. Chemistry Professor

This will vary a great deal depending on what university you get hired by and whether or not you have tenure. But being a professor allows for both teaching and research, as well as publishing papers.

While ZipRecruiter is seeing annual salaries as high as $157,000 and as low as $19,500, the majority of Chemistry professor’s salaries currently range between $43,500 (25th percentile) to $79,000 (75th percentile) with top earners (90th percentile) making $110,500 annually across the United States.

9. Chemical Engineer

Processes for the manufacture of chemicals are devised and designed by chemical engineers. Chemical engineers employ concepts from chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics to devise solutions to issues that arise during the manufacturing or consumption of a wide variety of goods, including fuel, pharmaceuticals, food, and many others. 

They troubleshoot processes that are used in the manufacture of a wide variety of goods, including but not limited to chemicals, fuels, foods, pharmaceuticals, and biologicals. Large-scale manufacturing plants are the most common place to see them deployed because of their ability to maximize production and product quality while simultaneously reducing costs.

The median annual wage for chemical engineers was $105,550 in May 2021 according to BLS.

10. Water Treatment Technician

While not seen as glamorous, water treatment is absolutely necessary. This can range from treating sewage to making sure water is safe to drink to cleaning up chemical spills. It’s an essential job with possibilities for advancement. 

The responsibilities of a water treatment technician involve day-to-day plant operations, including equipment maintenance, service, and calibration. They take water samples, analyze data to determine the effect of water on agriculture or the environment, and assist with the installation of compliance measures.

The average annual pay for a Water Treatment Technician in the United States is $39,804/year.

11. Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

This is less directly related to pure chemistry but would be good for those who don’t want to do research. A knowledge of chemistry is essential to understanding pharmaceuticals, but you also spend a lot of time talking to people and selling.

Your main duties are to serve customers by selling pharmaceutical products and meeting customer needs. Services existing accounts, obtains orders, and establishes new accounts by planning and organizing daily work schedules to call on existing or potential sales outlets and other trade factors.

The average annual pay for a Pharmaceutical Sales Representative in the United States is $89,862 a year.

12. Toxicologist

This focuses on testing tissue samples, so it’s not for the squeamish. However, it helps with solving crimes and detecting what might be making people sick. It’s very much a laboratory environment, but it’s a way to help people without having to interact with the public.

The base salary for a Toxicologist ranges from $67,762 to $99,243 with the average base salary of $82,180

13. Environmental Technician

While most people in this career study environmental science, this job works a lot with cleanups and checking natural environments, which are heavily focused on chemistry. If the environment is important to you, this is something you can do to merge your personal and career interests.

The average salary for an Environmental Technician is $21.29 per hour in the United States.

14. Pharmacist

Pharmacology is actually a different degree, but chemists have much of the necessary knowledge for it. Especially if you studied biochemistry, it’s a very customer-facing job, so it’s a good choice if you like interacting with the public and educating people.

Pharmacists are responsible for:

  • the quality of medicines supplied to patients.
  • ensuring that the supply of medicines is within the law.
  • ensuring that the medicines prescribed to patients are suitable.
  • advising patients about medicines, including how to take them, what reactions may occur and answering patients’ questions.

The base salary for Pharmacists ranges from $136,367 to $154,157 with the average base salary of $144,732.

15. Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Becoming a professor isn’t easy, so this is a good way to get your foot in the door if this field interests you. It’ll give you experience in research and teaching. Not to mention the important contacts you’ll make in the university system.

Chemists are highly sought after by many companies in many types of industries. Medicine, petroleum production, environmental sciences, and nuclear energy, just to name a few. Because of that, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be stuck looking for a job outside your field.

The base salary for Asst. Professor – Chemistry ranges from $53,247 to $98,574 with an average base salary of $66,294.

Why is Major Chemicals a Good Career Option?

The chemical industry is so varied and is always undergoing changes; it offers a great deal of room for professional advancement over the course of a lifetime. The future of the industry is difficult to predict with any degree of accuracy. On the other hand, the following advantages will instil self-assurance in you regarding your career choice to enter this area.

1. Job Security

This line of work provides the kind of stability that is essential in today’s job economy. Chemistry is involved in everything from the production of the air we breathe to the creation of the things we buy and everything in between. In addition, because output levels at chemical businesses have been going up, there are now a great deal more work prospects available than there were in the past.

2. Evergreen Industry

Because chemistry is an evergreen business, there has always been a strong demand for chemists and there will continue to be a high demand for chemists in the years to come. The Bureau of Labor Statistics of the United States projects that the number of jobs available for chemists will expand by 9% between the years 2020 and 2030, placing it among the occupations with the highest rate of growth in the United States.

3. Pay Rates That are Competitive

A prosperous wage is possible for those who pursue a career in chemistry. For instance, the annual compensation for chemical engineers is approximately $98,000 on average. On the other hand, the annual salary for biochemists and biophysicists is typically around $102,000. In addition, research chemists make an average yearly salary of $75,000, whereas organic chemists make an average annual salary of $85,000. Both of these figures are based on national averages.

Chemists that are qualified to occupy managerial positions within their firm can typically expect to receive much greater salaries. In addition to this, they are dependent on the amount of education and professional qualification that the chemist has obtained.

4. Employment Opportunities for Professional Growth

There are numerous employment and educational options available to chemists, which is another factor that contributes to the field’s attractiveness as a potential career path. For instance, there is a huge demand for positions that are either temporary or part-time and offer flexible working hours. If at some point in the future they decide they want a different line of work, chemists also have the option of moving into related sectors such as medicines, oil refining, environmental protection, or polymer chemistry.

5. Career Advancement Opportunities

If you decide to pursue a career in chemistry, you will open up a lot of doors for personal development and advancement. In addition, you have the opportunity to study environmental engineering in order to combat pollution and work as a research scientist in order to discover novel approaches to the synthesis of materials.

The Cons of a Career in Chemical Engineer

Potentially Dangerous Working Conditions: Like any other employment, working as a chemical engineer comes with its fair share of negatives, including certain potentially dangerous working conditions. In their line of work, chemical engineers are occasionally put in potentially hazardous situations. Accidents are not uncommon in mining sites, manufacturing industries, and chemical processing activities, despite the extensive safety procedures that are taken at these locations.

Is Major Chemicals a Good Career Path?

There is merit in pursuing a career in large chemicals. Because there are many different kinds of employment available in the industry, it is possible to switch to a different career path while still being able to put your previous skills to good use. A job in chemistry is an excellent choice for individuals who take pleasure in seeing scientific progress.

For instance, between the years 2020 and 2030, the number of jobs for chemical engineers is expected to increase by 9%, which is about the same rate of growth as the average for all occupations. Over the next ten years, an average of approximately 1,800 new jobs for chemical engineers are expected to become available each year.

A degree in chemistry can prepare students for work in a variety of fields, including medicine, research, the chemical industry, and others. Students who earn a degree in chemistry can find work in a variety of fields, including the research and development of antibiotics and the assistance of law enforcement in conducting investigations.

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Oladoyin Falana

Oladoyin Falana, a graduate of OAU, is an SEO Specialist, and IT business developer. He is the owner and content editor of, a platform that focuses on providing information on career, recruitment updates, exams, and admission updates, including general (How-to) information.
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