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Careers in Chemistry



Since chemistry is a central science because of its multidisciplinary nature, therefore, chemistry students can persue their careers in the field of industries, education, research work, government agencies and other non raditional fields. Some of the careers  opportunities, that a student with degree in chemistry can have are as follows:

1.     Industries. Chemical industries employ about 66% of all the chemists. The majority of them find opportunity in research and product development (Rand D), sales, or marketing. Many of them work in quality control analysis and testing products. Other find work in areas like industrial hygiene and safety or regulatory work for environmental compliance.

*pharmacognosy is a study of medicines derived from natural

2.     Academic Institutions. Educational institutions employ about 26% of the chemists. Ph. D. degrees are required for most of academic positions at the colleges and universities. Some of chemists having graduation degree in education take up teaching assignments in high schools.

3.     Government Agencies. Government-employ about 7Cfr: of all the chemists. Federal, local and state Government agencies hire chemists for variety of jobs including basic research, testing work required to enforce government regulations, technical program managers, authors/ editors of technical documents and government regulations.

4.     Non-traditional Fields. A small percentage of chemists (about 1%) find work in non -traditional fields. They get opportunities to become patent lawyers, science writers, information specialists, technical librarians, technical consultants or business owners.

 Group Discussion

Identify two applied chemistry professions and explain the chemistry they practice.

Hints: For reference, the two important professions associated with applied chemistry are being discussed as follows: 

  1. Analyst: Analysts find jobs in chemical industry,  food industry and pathological laboratories. In chemical industries, they control the quality of final product through chemical analysis of the product. In food laboratories, they analyse the food items to detect adultration. In pathological labs they carry out chemical tests on sample of blood or urine to help the doctor for diagnosis of disease.
  2. Research scientist. Research scientists find jobs in pharmaceutical companies where they can use their knowledge of chemistry in developing more convenient and economical methods for the synthesis of drugs. They can also help in designing new drugs.

Different career options in chemistry are summarized in Fig. 11

Fig. 11 Various careers associated with chemistry. 

Chemistry is the study of matter, its composition, its properties and changes which it undergoes in composition as well as energy during various transformations. Chemistry is a central science discipline which correlates various important branches of science. Chemistry can be divided into pure and applied chemistry. Pure Chemistry has three main branches viz organic, inorganic and physical chemistry while chemistry applied has branches namely biochemistry, analytical

chemistry, radiochemistry, geochemistry, petro chemistry, environmental chemistry and biotechnology.




I. Objective Type Questions

Select the most appropriate choice from the options given as (a), (b), (c) and (d) after each question:


l. Which branch of pure chemistry deals with the study of compounds associated with non-living sources?

(a) Physical chemistry             (b) Organic chemistry

(c) Biochemistry                      (d) Inorganic chemistry


2. Which of the following is not a applied chemistry?

(a) Geochemistry         (b) Biochemistry

(c) Radiochemistry      (d) inorganic chemistry.


3. In order to design new drug, a chemist has to seek the help of

(a) Engineer                 (b) Geologist

(c) Zoologist               (d) Physician.


4. The branch of chemistry which deals with the study of hydrocarbons is called

(a) Organic chemistry              (c) Radiochemistry

(b) Inorganic chemistry           (d) Nuclear chemistry.


II. Fill in the Blanks

5. Complete the following sentences by supplying appropriate words:

(i) Ecologist and chemist work together to ….. .

(ii) The branch of pure chemistry which deals with study of fundamental laws and principles is called  …..

(iii) Qualitative analysis deals with  ….. .

(iv) Radiochemistry deals with the study of  …..  substances.

(v) The phenomenon of metamorphosis of rocks is studied by ….. branch of chemistry. m.


Discussion Questions

6. Define chemistry and its various disciplines.

7. Comment on the statement that chemistry is a central science discipline.

8. Write the names of various disciplines of applied chemistry. Define any two of them.

9. Name and define various branches of pure chemistry.

10. Give a brief account of various career options of degree holder in chemistry.