Careers in Chemistry

What does a chemist do? Unlike a lot of other fields where careers paths are more obvious, many students and the public at large are unaware of the diverse paths available to students with chemistry degrees. This is at least partially due to the fact that chemists do so many different things. Understanding chemistry prepares students many careers, such as those listed below:

See also:  American Chemical Society Careers  - This page has information on different types of chemistry-related careers, skills required, salary information, plus helpful areas for job seekers (resume help, etc.) and a nation-wide job posting site.


Click to enlarge:

Chemistry Degree Infographic

UST Chemistry Graduates

‌Where have recent chemistry graduates gone after graduation?

  • Approximately 1/3 of UST Chemistry graduates go to medical or professional schools to pursue degrees in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, law at the University of Minnesota, Loyola, Creighton University, and the University of Wisconsin among others.
  • Approximately 1/3 of UST Chemistry graduates pursue graduate studies in chemical fields.  These programs include full scholarships and stipends of ~$25,000.  Students attended programs at the University of Minnesota, Iowa State, MIT, Purdue, and others.
  • Approximately 1/3 of UST Chemistry graduates are employed immediately after graduation with their bachelors degree.  These students work in a great variety of industries around the region and beyond.

Click on the links on this page to see profiles of UST Chemistry alumni in some of these roles.

Jobs of Some UST Chemistry Alumni:

  • Brewing Group manager at Anheuser-Busch
  • Developer of new biodegradable plastics at Cargill
  • Forensic scientist with the Minneapolis Police Department
  • Developing food ingredients from fermentation processes at General Mills
  • Designer of novel compounds for photographic, agrochemical, and clinical diagnostic applications at Kodak.
  • Member of the technical team that implants pacemaker devices for Medtronic.
  • Adhesives and coatings developer at H.B. Fuller
  • Professor and Dean of Biomedical Sciences at U of Texas Health Science Center

Employment with companies such as 3M, Eli Lilly, General Mills, Cargill, Dow, EcoLab, H.B. Fuller, Cima, IBM, Kodak, and more.

Employment Statistics

Employment of Chemists by Industry

(source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Research and Testing Laboratories   17.8%
Pharmaceuticals (Drugs)   17.2%
Basic Chemicals   8.0%
Education / Outreach   7.4%
Instrument Development   6.1%
Food Products   4.9%
Management Services   4.9%
Soaps / Hygiene / Cleaning Products   4.1%
Polymers / Materials   3.7%
Public Util. / Transportation   2.5%
Paints   2.2%
Textiles   2.2%
Paper   1.5%
Agric./Timber/Mining/Drilling   1.5%
Petroleum Refining   1.2%
Agricultural Chemicals   0.6%
OTHER   14%