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Chemist Job Description

A chemist is a scientist with an expert knowledge of chemistry- the science of molecules and their transformations. Chemists perform experiments to study the make-up, structure, properties and reactive characteristics of chemicals and materials, and to develop new chemicals and materials.

A chemist should be curious, observant, methodical, analytical and persistent, and have the ability to handle chemicals. They should also have numerical and technical skills, and the ability to communicate effectively.

Famous chemists include Antoine Lavoisier (considered the father of modern chemistry), John Dalton (atomic theory), Dmitri Mendeleev (created the periodic table), Marie Curie (discovered Radium and Polonium), Alfred Nobel (invented the dynamite), and Joseph Priestley (Invented soda water).

Pursue a career in chemistry if you have aptitude for science and enjoy studying chemical elements and compounds and performing experiments with them in the laboratory.

What does a Chemist do?

Chemists may do some or all of the following:

Where does a Chemist work?

Places of work for chemists include:

Working Conditions

Chemists usually work normal office hours, but may sometimes work evenings and weekends to finish up experiments or to meet project deadlines. They work in laboratories, classrooms, and offices.

Chemists are required to wear protective clothing such as lab coats, gloves and goggles when handling hazardous chemicals.

What is Required to Become a Chemist?

To become a chemist, you will need a bachelor’s or master’s degree in chemistry or a related discipline. A PhD is required for administrative positions and to conduct independent research.

Secondary school students interested in studying chemistry should take preparatory subjects such as English, biology, physics, chemistry, algebra, calculus, and statistics.


Just to give you an idea, some of the classes that you’ll be taking in college may include:


A chemist may specialize to become any of the following:

Knowledge, Skills and Attributes

Chemists need to have:


Alternative Careers

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