Chemists

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About the Job

Conduct qualitative and quantitative chemical analyses or experiments in laboratories for quality or process control or to develop new products or knowledge.

It is also Called

  • Agricultural Chemist
  • Air Quality Chemist
  • Analytical Chemist
  • Analytical Specialist
  • Astrochemist
  • Bench Chemist
  • Cement Chemist
  • Ceramic Chemist
  • Cereal Chemist
  • Chemical Analyst

What They Do

  • Study effects of various methods of processing, preserving, or packaging on composition or properties of foods.
  • Purchase laboratory supplies, such as chemicals, when supplies are low or near their expiration date.
  • Direct, coordinate, or advise personnel in test procedures for analyzing components or physical properties of materials.
  • Develop, improve, or customize products, equipment, formulas, processes, or analytical methods.
  • Confer with scientists or engineers to conduct analyses of research projects, interpret test results, or develop nonstandard tests.
  • Write technical papers or reports or prepare standards and specifications for processes, facilities, products, or tests.
  • Compile and analyze test information to determine process or equipment operating efficiency or to diagnose malfunctions.
  • Evaluate laboratory safety procedures to ensure compliance with standards or to make improvements as needed.
  • Induce changes in composition of substances by introducing heat, light, energy, or chemical catalysts for quantitative or qualitative analysis.
  • Prepare test solutions, compounds, or reagents for laboratory personnel to conduct tests.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: IRC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests, but also prefer Realistic and Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Independence and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

LMI Region

Wages

In 2013, the average annual wage in Washington was $78,110 with most people making between $39,770 and $117,880

Outlook

1.22%
avg. annual growth

During 2008, this occupation employed approximately 1,560 people in Washington. It is projected that there will be 1,750 employed in 2018.

This occupation will have about 19 openings due to growth and about 51 replacement openings for approximately 70 total annual openings.