Six careers in chemistry that may (or may not) surprise you

by Hannah Robinson | Aug 07, 2018

August 7, 2018

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While some students dream of making the next breakthrough as a world-class scientist, not all chemistry aficionados don white coats and safety goggles for a living. Luckily, in the field of chemistry, a career can look vastly different, depending on where your specific passion takes you. The Royal Society of Chemistry reports that only a third of chemistry program graduates will actually work inside a laboratory.


At Marian, we’re focused on building transferable skill sets and developing students to become professionals in a variety of settings. A bachelor’s degree in chemistry and physical sciences offers hands-on learning in every field of modern chemistry. When you graduate from Marian, you’re ready to apply your knowledge in and out of the laboratory, with stellar research and communication skills up your sleeve.


Choosing a concentration allows students to specialize their coursework.

  • Bio-organic chemistry focuses on a mixture of genetics, chemistry, and biology.

  • Chemical physics focuses on physics, physical chemistry, and inorganic chemistry.

  • Environmental chemistry focuses on toxicology, ecology, genetics, and chemistry.

Each of these concentrations uniquely prepare students to dive into traditional and nontraditional careers in chemistry.

If you’re considering pursuing non lab chemistry jobs, read about six careers that may interest you.

Science Writer

The title is rather self explanatory, but science writers are doing just that—writing about science. A talented science writer takes complicated subject matter and makes it easily understable for other scientists. This career strengthens the communication and problem-solving skills you developed during your undergraduate education, and averages $60,500 in annual earnings.

Chemistry Teacher

This career takes you right back into the classroom. Universities and colleges are hiring, and they’re compensating well for your expertise. If you’re passionate about continuing to learn throughout your life, as well as becoming a mentor for aspiring scientists, this career fulfills your personal and professional goals. The median salary for a chemistry instructor in higher education is $90,610.

Chemical Information Management Specialist

A career as a chemical information management specialist may suit you if you excel in the organizing and disseminating chemistry-related information. According to the American Chemical Society, this position is hired by libraries, consulting firms, chemical companies, market research firms and more, with growing demand. The average annual salary sits at $56,880.

Technical Sales and Marketing

If you’re a self-proclaimed people person and science lover, you may want to start a career in sales, with a chemistry product focus. You will serve as a necessary liaison between the scientists in the laboratory and the end user of the product you’re selling. The job opportunities for chemical sales continue to expand on a global scale, earning an average annual salary of $92,010.

Project Manager

This position in a chemistry-related industry oversees large-scale research projects, combining technical science and business skills with expert time management and prioritization. Project managers possess the master organizer gene, carefully paying attention to details that keep the big picture in check on often tight timelines. These highly desired skills earn a median annual salary of $120,160.

Environmental Scientist

This career mixes laboratory work with traveling to job sites to conduct research. Leading a site as an environmental scientist may include completing reports and maintaining data, while supervising field work of other scientists. Environmental scientists and specialists earn an average salary of $69,400.

No matter what career path you choose, we’ll provide the learning opportunities and resources to connect you to your next step.

Apply to Marian’s chemistry program.





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