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What do Chemist do?

#chemistry #science When you go into the Chemist occupation, what do the chemist do in their job.


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Brienne’s Answer

It depends on the role or specific field you enter into to. After obtaining my Bachelor's in Chemistry, I worked as a Quality Control Chemist in a chemical manufacturing plant. Day to day activities involved calibrating all the instruments and then testing samples per test methods and standard operating procedures (SOPs). If you are in a laboratory setting, your daily tasks will generally involve completing tests, whether on an analytical instrument or via a wet chemistry method (a.k.a. using glassware, tools, reagents, and chemicals to get a reaction), and then writing up your results on a quality record or within the electronic laboratory information management system (LIMS).

This is just one role a chemist can take on. The responsibilities or activities can defer depending on your focus (e.g. food science or biochemistry) or the field you enter into (pharmaceutical, toxicology, or forensic science).

The American Chemical Society (ACS) organization offers additional insight on the various jobs a chemist can be employed in:
https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/careers/college-to-career/chemistry-careers.html

I would recommend checking it out.

Some other general possibilities, just to give you a sense of the range without going through all the ACS entries: * Teaching and/or supporting teaching (writing labs, preparing chemicals for instructional labs, etc.) * Hazard management (dealing with chemical spills, hazardous waste, etc.) * Chemical instrumentation repair / instruction / installation * Writing (instruction manuals for instrumentation, explaining science to the public, etc.) * Public sector chemistry (water quality testing, wastewater treatment, etc.) Some of these jobs won't involve any direct interaction with chemicals, but most will. Some will be outdoors and/or fast-paced, but most will be indoors and methodical. Robert Rossi

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Jeff’s Answer

I hate to say it but it depends :-) I have an MS in Analytical Chemistry and initially worked in a drug metabolism laboratory, using mass spectrometry to detect novel drug metabolites. I then moved to quality control and method validation, still in the lab. Both of these positions involved using analytical instruments (tandem MS, HPLC-MS, GC-MS) in a laboratory. I then moved to a Quality role working with lab personnel, helping them with validations and ultimately auditing their work. So it is likely you would start in a lab setting and either evolve from there within the lab or eventually move out, using your technical background for other types of jobs. The American Chemical Society, of which I am a member, does a very good job in explaining what various paths chemistry careers can take. Good luck! Jeff

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