University of California, RiversideUCR



As a Chemistry major, you will analyze chemical reactions to determine the properties of matter.

Chemists are involved in a broad range of activities. You might make new compounds for various purposes such as medicines or plastics. Or, organize, write and edit chemical information. Some manage large organizations, while others spend their time studying the chemical world in which we live.

Representative Job Titles and Areas of Specialization

Air Pollution Specialist Materials Science
Analytical Chemist Molecular Chemist
Art Preservationist Museum Curator
Biochemist National Products Chemist
Bio-Organic Chemist Nuclear Chemist
Chemical Engineer Organic Chemist
Chemical Librarian Paper Chemist
Chemical Market Researcher Patent Attorney
Chemical Oceanographer Photo Chemist
Chemical Physicist Physical Chemist
Chemist Physician
Clinical Chemist Polymer Chemist
Dentist Production Chemist
Education - Teacher/Instructor/Professor Process Chemist
Inorganic Chemist Quality Control Specialist
Forensics - Criminologist Radiation Chemist
Geochemist Solid State Chemist
Hormonal Chemist Structural Analysis
Immunochemist Industrial Chemist
Industrial Hygienist Surface Chemist
Information Science - Writer/Editor/Reporter Technical Salesperson
Toxicologist Theoretical Chemist

Nature of the Work

Chemists are currently in demand for teaching, especially at the high school level. Those at the university level conduct research in addition to teaching and administrative duties.

Chemical research also is conducted in non-academic settings like government and industrial laboratories.

About ten percent of all chemists work in production and inspection. That means they prepare instructions for plant workers that specify the kind and amount of ingredients to use and the exact mixing time for each stage in the process. They may also monitor quality control.

Market specialists try to determine what and how much of a product a company should produce, look for trends, and try to anticipate new products.

Many chemists eventually leave the lab to become managers, financial specialists in the chemical industry, patent lawyers, technical communications specialists, and chemical information systems experts.

Places of Employment

Schools, colleges, universities Criminalistics laboratories at the federal,
Chemical manufacturing firms and state, and local levels
 corporations producing pharmaceuticals, Hospitals and clinics
 food, cosmetics, fuels, plastics, Fermentation industries
 agricultural chemicals, explosives, Publishing houses
 textiles, paper Power production plants
U.S. Department of Defense Mining companies
U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institutes of Health
Nonprofit research organizations National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Museums Administration
Banks catering to the chemical industry State and local departments of health
Independent research laboratories Aerospace industry
Automotive industry Petroleum industry


Once you have your bachelor's degree, you might start your career in government or industry by analyzing or testing products, working in technical sales or service, or assisting senior chemists in research and development laboratories.

Beyond that, many jobs require some level of education beyond the bachelor's degree.

If you have a master's degree, you can teach in a two-year college or go into applied research in government or private industry. You need a Ph.D. to conduct basic research, teach at a four-year college or move into an administrative position.

For further information and/or career counseling contact the UCR Career Center, (951) 827-3631.

Supplemental Material

The following documents may provide further ideas for exploration.

More Information

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Career Center
Career Center Plaza

Tel: (951) 827-3631
Fax: (951) 827-2447
Student Questions: careercounseling@ucr.edu
Employer Questions: careerrecruiting@ucr.edu