Chemists and materials scientists study substances at the atomic and molecular levels and the ways in which substances react with each other. They use their knowledge to develop new and improved products and to test the quality of manufactured goods.
Chemists and materials scientists work in laboratories and offices. They typically work full time and keep regular hours.
How to Become a Chemist or Materials Scientist
Chemists and materials scientists need at least a bachelor’s degree in chemistry or a related field. However, a master’s degree or Ph.D. is needed for many research jobs.
In May 2012, the median annual wage for chemists was $71,770. The median annual wage of materials scientists was $88,990 in May 2012.
Employment of chemists and materials scientists is projected to grow 6 percent from 2012 to 2022, slower than the average for all occupations. Chemists and materials scientists with an advanced degree, particularly those with a Ph.D., are expected to experience better opportunities.