Looking for an entry level job or internship in chemistry? This is an overview of how to approach the search and a list of companies that might have relevant entry level and internship opportunities.
When I was little my dad and I would make rock candy. We’d heat sugary water, pour the liquid in a cup, place a pencil on top with little strings dangling down into the liquid, and wait forever (or a couple days). Excitedly each day, I’d check to see if it had crystallized yet. The best day was when my gorgeous edible rocks were ready for consumption! Making rock candy is about as close as I’ll ever come to being a Chemist– and without their knowledge I’d never have learned it was possible. Chemists search for and use new knowledge about chemicals to improve the way we live.
A chemist studies the composition of matter and its properties such as density and acidity. Chemists carefully describe the properties they study and measure substance proportions, reaction rates, and other chemical properties. They use this knowledge to learn the composition and properties of unfamiliar substances, as well as to reproduce and synthesize large quantities of useful naturally occurring substances and create new artificial substances.
By doing this, they develop products, such as synthetic fibers, drugs and cosmetics, and processes, including oil refining and petrochemical processing, that reduce energy use and pollution.
Chemists may specialize in any number of subdisciplines of chemistry such as analytical, organic, inorganic, physical, theoretical, macromolecular, medical, and materials chemistry.
A typical day for a chemist might include:
The average chemist makes between $30,000-$69,000 each year. In 2009 chemists earned a median annual salary of $68,220. After being a chemist, you can grow into many roles including: Senior Chemist ($48,000-$108,000 on avergae per year), Analytical Chemist ($33,000-$80,000 on average per year), or Research Chemist ($34,000-$97,000 on average per year).
These locations are hot spots for chemists:
Chemists are often in demand in towns containing research universities, government labs, or pharmaceutical centers.
To be a Chemist you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, which will involve courses in science and mathematics. You might also need a master’s degree, or increasingly even a Ph.D. Beyond that, you should be detail-oriented, curious and enjoy working with your hands, building scientific apparatus, performing laboratory experiments, and computer modeling.
If a career as a chemist still sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things you should do to get started.
|Research & Education Support Specialist|
Chenega Corporation Bethesda, MD
|Senior Electrical Engineer|
Fairfax Water Herndon, VA
BioSpace Recruitment Services Gaithersburg, MD
ALL4 Herndon, VA
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Arlington, VA
DataRevive LLC Rockville, MD
|Senior Electrical Engineer|
HunterLab Arlington, VA
Eurofins Gaithersburg, MD
|CMC Regulatory Consultant|
Dunn Regulatory Associates, LLC Oakton, VA
|Water Quality Chemist (Organic Chemistry, Gas Chromatography, GC, GC-MS)|
Apex Systems Silver Spring, MD
Check out the latest job and internship postings in chemistry.