Chemist | Selby College
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Chemists study chemicals and materials and how they behave under different conditions.

Potential salary

£18,000 to £50,000

Employment by 2024


Working hours

39 to 41 a week

  • knowledge of chemistry including the safe use and disposal of chemicals
  • maths knowledge
  • science skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

Depending on your role, you could be:

  • inventing and developing new medicines and products
  • investigating environmental issues
  • diagnosing and treating illness and disease
  • analysing forensic evidence
  • teaching, lecturing and carrying out academic research

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • designing and conducting laboratory experiments
  • making observations and noting results
  • writing reports and presenting your findings
  • supervising the work of support staff such as laboratory technicians
  • carrying out other administrative work

You may need to wear protective clothing.

You could work at a research facility or in a laboratory.

You'll usually be able to find work with a wide range of employers including the NHS, public health laboratories, research institutes and government agencies.

As a chemist working in industry, you could be involved in research and development, patent work, health and safety or forensic science.

You could also move into teaching or a career in the media.

As an experienced chemist you could work towardschartered status like Chartered Chemist (CChem) and Chartered Scientist (CSci).

You can get more advice about becoming a chemist from A Future in Chemistry and the Science Council.

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