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Chemistry

AREAS
ANALYTICAL

  • Research
  • Development
  • Analysis and Testing
  • Consulting
  • Environmental
  • Forensics

EMPLOYERS

  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Federal agencies including National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • Manufacturing firms including textile, petroleum, food, electronics, glass, paper, packaging, machinery, cosmetics, paint, drug, and chemical
  • industries
  • Industrial production and inspection agencies
  • Research laboratories and organizations
  • Environmental protection organizations
  • Colleges and universities

STRATEGIES

  • Familiarize yourself with federal, state, and local government job application processes.
  • Gain experience in a laboratory setting.
  • Develop proficiency with high-tech scientific equipment.
  • Take electives in your area of interest.

AREAS
BIOCHEMICAL

  • Research
  • Development
  • Analysis and Testing
  • Consulting
  • Quality Control
  • Medical
  • Environmental
  • Industrial Health & Safety
  • Hospital Administration

EMPLOYERS

  • Research laboratories and organizations
  • Pharmaceutical and medical research firms
  • Biotechnology firms
  • Plant and animal breeders and growers
  • Food processors
  • Industrial production and inspection agencies
  • Environmental protection organizations
  • Federal, state and local government, such as the Centers for Disease Control
  • Colleges and universities

STRATEGIES

  • Take additional courses in biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, cytology, and physiology.
  • Develop excellent laboratory and computer skills.
  • Get involved with undergraduate research with professors.
  • Join related professional organizations.
  • Complete a related internship with an organization in the area of your interest.

AREAS
ORGANIC

  • Research
  • Development
  • Analysis and Testing
  • Quality Control
  • Consulting

EMPLOYERS

  • Industries related to petroleum, coal, wood products, plastics, textiles, and food
  • Manufacturing firms developing new synthetic materials and new production processes
  • Research organizations
  • Federal and state government
  • Colleges and universities

STRATEGIES

  • Gain additional laboratory and research experience through internships and summer jobs.
  • Get involved with undergraduate research with professors.

AREAS
GEOCHEMISTRY

  • Environmental Remediation
  • Research & Development
  • Analysis & Testing

EMPLOYERS

  • Research laboratories and organizations
  • Industries involved in mining, electronics, and synthetic materials
  • Federal and state government
  • Colleges and universities

STRATEGIES

  • Take geology & environmental science electives.

AREAS
INORGANIC

  • Research
  • Analysis and Testing
  • Quality Control
  • Consulting

EMPLOYERS

  • Environmental organizations
  • Water processing plants
  • Natural resources organizations


    STRATEGIES

  • Choose appropriate coursework to specialize in an area. Develop additional laboratory skills and experience.

AREAS
POLYMER CHEMISTRY

  • Analysis & Testing
  • Research & Development

EMPLOYERS

  • Industries involving textiles and plastics

STRATEGIES

  • Gain research experience through internships, part-time employment, and summer jobs.

AREAS
PHYSICAL

  • Research
  • Development
  • Analysis and Testing
  • Quality Control
  • Consulting

EMPLOYERS

  • Research laboratories and organizations
  • Industries involving electrical, nuclear, gas, heat, or light energy
  • Federal government
  • Colleges and universities

STRATEGIES

  • Take related courses in social sciences and economics. Develop strong mathematical background.

AREAS
EDUCATION

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Administration

EMPLOYERS

  • Private and public secondary schools
  • Colleges and universities

STRATEGIES

  • Obtain certification/licensing for teaching in public schools. Acquire a master's degree for community college teaching and a Ph.D. for colleges and
  • universities.
  • Take courses in public speaking.

AREAS
BUSINESS

  • Technical Sales/Marketing
  • Pharmaceutical Sales
  • Management
  • Consulting
  • Industrial Quality Control
  • Research & Development

EMPLOYERS

  • Manufacturing firms
  • Drug stores
  • Medical/Pharmaceutical supply companies
  • Industries including textiles, petroleum, food, electronics, glass, paper, packaging, machinery, cosmetics, paint, drugs, and chemicals.
  • Agricultural product companies
  • Environmental management organizations
  • Waste management firms

STRATEGIES

  • Obtain a minor in business.
  • Develop strong verbal and written communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills.
  • Hold leadership positions in campus organizations.
  • Join related student organizations, e.g., American Marketing Association, Financial Management Association, Public Relations Student Society of America, etc.

AREAS
TECHNICAL WRITING

  • Writing
  • Editing

EMPLOYERS

  • Research product development departments and organizations
  • Publishing firms including books, scientific and research journals, technical press, large newspapers, and wire services
  • Internet sites

STRATEGIES

  • Take advanced technical writing courses. Develop word processing and desktop publishing skills.

AREAS

  • LAW
  • Patent Law
  • Legislation and Lobbying

EMPLOYERS

  • Manufacturing firms
  • Research and development firms
  • Law firms
  • Private practice
  • Environmental agencies

STRATEGIES

  • Obtain law degree to become an attorney.

AREAS
INFORMATION SPECIALISTS/TECHNICAL LIBRARIES

EMPLOYERS

  • Special libraries
  • Research organizations
  • Colleges and universities
  • Large manufacturing firms, especially chemicals and pharmaceuticals

STRATEGIES

  • Obtain master's degree in library and information science.
  • Develop computer retrieval skills. Join Special Libraries Association, Chemistry Division.

GENERAL INFORMATION

  • Undergraduate degree sufficient for entry-level positions such as lab coordinator, research assistant, product testing or analysis, technical sales, or service representative.
  • Maintain high grade point average and secure strong recommendations for graduate school.
  • Master's degree sufficient for most applied research positions, industrial work, and some community college teaching.
  • Find research opportunities with professors and other experts in the field to gain experience.
  • Ph.D. degree required for university teaching and advanced positions in management and research and development. Postdoctoral experience is preferred for research positions in industry, universities, and government.
  • Advanced degrees help speed career advancement.
  • Develop strong computer, mathematics, and science skills/knowledge.
  • Obtain part-time, volunteer, co-op, internship, or summer experience.
  • Obtain practical experience using various laboratory equipment and high-tech scientific equipment and data.
  • Complete an undergraduate research project.
  • Consider electives in computer science, engineering, business, public speaking, and writing.
  • .Join related student professional organizations.

Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (1995, Revised 2000, 2005)
UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA/ADEA Employer