Chemistry is the science of substances and interactions. Why does it matter? (smile) Because chemistry defines our world — it literally involves everything. There are many areas of study that fall within the five main branches of chemistry: analytical chemistry, physical chemistry, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry and biochemistry. We’ll explore some of the most common chemistry majors and the jobs associated with each major.
Calling all chemists! Ever wonder why things are the way they are? Chemistry majors learn what makes up the world we live in, and work in a variety of fields and industries conducting research, testing substances and solving problems.
Chemical plant and system operator, chemical technician, chemist, chemistry professor, climate change analyst, crime scene investigator, high school teacher, hydrogeologist, materials scientist, pharmacist.
Environmental chemistry (Environmental engineering)
Environmental science is the study of human interactions within natural systems. Environmental chemistry focuses on the chemical phenomena that occur in water, air and soil, and the effects of human activity on those natural environments. Environmental chemists tackle the problems of pollution and seek to improve environmental health and safety. Graduates work in labs, offices and the field; in academia, business, government and private organizations.
Chemical technician, chemist, climate change analyst, college professor, crime scene investigator, environmental protection specialist, hydrogeologist, meteorologist, park ranger, soil scientist, environmental engineer, engineering manager, fire protection engineer, industrial safety engineer, product safety engineer, water/wastewater engineer.
Bio is short for biological. Biology is the study of living things, while chemistry is the study of matter. So biochemistry majors study the matter of living things. Boom! Many biochem majors earn this degree on their path to medical school, but biochemistry offers a wide range of career options within science, medicine, research and academia.
Dentist, high school teacher, medical doctor (MD), medical lab technician, medical scientist, optometrist, pharmacist, physician assistant (PA), biochemist, veterinarian, academic researcher, analytical chemist, biomedical scientist, biotechnologist, clinical research associate, clinical scientist, forensic scientist, medicinal chemist, nanotechnologist, pharmacologist, physician associate, research scientist, scientific laboratory technician, health and safety inspector, medical science liaison, neuroscientist, patent examiner, science writer, toxicologist.
Forensic scientists perform the scientific analysis for detectives as part of a crime scene investigation. Typically, a forensic science degree includes basic sciences like biology, chemistry and physics, plus classes in pharmacology, statistics, computer modeling, biochemistry and criminal justice. Strong written and oral communication skills are a plus, since the job can include preparing written reports and testifying in court. Case closed.
Analytical chemist, biomedical scientist, crime scene investigator, detective, forensic scientist, scientific laboratory technician, toxicologist, border force officer, forensic computer analyst, professor, lecturer, police officer, science writer, teacher.
Pharmacology and toxicology
Pharmacology is the study of chemicals or drugs and their effect on living systems. More specifically, toxicology studies the adverse effects that occur in living organisms due to chemicals. Pharmacology is an innovative field that makes a difference in people’s lives in the treatment of disease and suffering. Related disciplines include biochemistry, chemistry, physiology and medicine.
Biological sciences professor, clinical trial manager, health sciences manager, medical scientist, molecular biologist, veterinarian, pharmacologist, pharmacist, toxicologist, clinical research coordinator, laboratory technician, research scientist, medical assistant, chemist, laboratory assistant, quality control analyst.
Chemical engineers develop processes to transport, transform and produce materials using physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics. Chemical engineering touches everything from food and electronics to health care and manufacturing.
Biochemical engineer, biofuel development manager, chemical engineer, chemist, fuel cell engineer, nuclear engineer, petroleum engineer, pharmacist, project manager, process engineer, chemical plant and system operator, manufacturing production technician, food scientist, biotechnologist, environmental and health care engineer.
Geochemistry (Geological science)
Also known as earth science, geoscience is the study of Earth. Geochemistry majors study the Earth’s natural resources and chemical processes of the structures of the planet. Using chemical analysis, geochemists examine how natural geological events, like volcanic eruptions, impact ocean systems and the atmosphere. Such research serves as the groundwork for innovative approaches to minimizing the impact of geohazards on society and the environment.
Forester, geologist, geology professor, hydrogeologist, hydrologist, park ranger, soil conservationist, engineering geologist, geochemist, geophysicist, geoscientist, geotechnical engineer, medlogger, wellsite geologist, drilling engineer, environmental consultant, environmental engineer, minerals surveyor, quality manager, sustainability consultant, atmospheric scientist, environmental compliance inspector, environmental protection technician, geographer, geophysical data technician, natural sciences manager, seismologist.