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What are some good career paths for people that like chemistry?

What career paths are good options for people who like chemistry and are good at solving problems?

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Jazmin’s Answer

Hey McKenna!

I did science (including chem) during my undergraduate degree and then I did a PhD in computational chemistry. I'm currently working in a tech company as a data analyst because I learned a lot of scripting and data science whilst doing my PhD. I think there's a lot of career pathways for people who enjoy chemistry and are good at analysis. It depends on whether you actually want to continue in chemistry - if so, there's lab technician and research assistant positions available at universities. If you enjoy problem solving and don't mind branching out then there are plenty of companies that hire people with STEM backgrounds who have strong analytical skills. You may need to pick up a couple of coding languages (e.g. Python, R, SQL) along the way to get these roles.

Hope this helps :)
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Robert’s Answer

This is a great question, but it is tricky! I'd say there are actually distinct problem-solving skills, and they are key to different fields related to chemistry. If you are creative, research and invention will be up your alley. (But I know of one creative chemist who makes a living coming up with names for new drugs, another who writes science fiction: there are many ways to manifest creativity, especially if you have skills in other areas, like communication!) On the other hand, if you are like me and are better at optimizing and finding ways to make things work better, using what already exists (known things), repair and engineering will be more attractive to you. I do instrument repair, write a chemistry lab manual, and help make chemical systems work better...and I found my way to doing these types of things after frustrating efforts in invention-focused areas like research and fiction writing. (I'm a far better editor and non-fiction writer than I am a fiction author or researcher...but creative types value my editing and optimizing...and I need their creative output!)
Truth be told, both chemistry and problem-solving are very broad: ask yourself what you like most about each of them! Index that against what you are good at (there is often a lot of overlap, but not always), and try to find a career path that will have you doing a lot of what you like and are good at, and not much of things you detest and/or find very hard (for me, that's interacting with other people and doing the same thing over and over).
p.s. There are chemistry-related career paths that don't require problem solving (mostly in chemical analysis and line synthesis), but the vast majority do. So to get a better, more focused answer, specify what you like and/or are good at within chemistry, and what you like and/or are good at within problem solving.
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Corey’s Answer

I started off with a Chemistry degree myself and decided to branch out into pharmacy. It was sort of a natural transition for me, and I believe my background in chemistry has absolutely helped me in my work as a clinical and a retail pharmacist. It’s something to consider.
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Britni’s Answer

You could go down the career path as a chemist, chemistry teacher or professor, chemical engineer, work in a chemistry laboratory, etc.!
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Mary’s Answer

Chemical Engineer: Chemical engineers use chemistry and other sciences to design and develop new products, processes, and materials. They work in a variety of industries, including pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, and materials science.

Analytical Chemist: Analytical chemists use their knowledge of chemistry and analytical techniques to study and identify the chemical composition of substances. They work in a variety of industries, including pharmaceuticals, environmental science, and forensic science.

Materials Scientist: Materials scientists use chemistry, physics, and other sciences to study the properties of materials and develop new materials for a variety of applications. They work in industries such as electronics, aerospace, and energy.

Pharmacologist: Pharmacologists study the effects of drugs and other chemicals on biological systems. They use their knowledge of chemistry and other sciences to develop new drugs and treatments for diseases.

Environmental Scientist: Environmental scientists use chemistry and other sciences to study the environment and identify and solve environmental problems. They work in areas such as pollution control, natural resource management, and sustainability.

Food Scientist: Food scientists use their knowledge of chemistry and other sciences to develop new food products and improve the safety and quality of existing food products. They work in industries such as food manufacturing, agriculture, and biotechnology.
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T.J.’s Answer

Hello McKenna!

Chemistry teaches you a lot of skills besides science: Researching, analyzing data, and handling various materials. You can apply these skills to various fields.

You could work in:
- Pharmaceuticals: work with producing + studying medication. Titles: Pharmacist or Pharmacologist.

- Food & Agriculture: working with food products + help with making food last longer, nutritious, and safe to eat. Titles: Agricultural Scientist or Food Scientist.

- Instrumentation: working in a lab doing samples, testing, and analysis. Titles: You might be called simply a Chemist or Analytical Chemist.

- Toxicology: work on studying chemicals in the environment to make sure they're free of toxins. Titles: Toxicologist.

- Materials: help develop man-made materials for other industries. Titles: Materials Scientists

There's many more jobs available too! Here's some more in this link:
Careers with a Chemistry Degree | https://www.academicinvest.com/science-careers/chemistry-careers

Overall, chemistry has many opportunities for you!

Sending you the best as you explore chemistry :)
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