Chemistry provides global work opportunities, and opens doors to a multitude of career paths, both scientific and non-scientific. Even if your child isn't thinking of taking a subject that needs chemistry, the skills they'll develop will make them a valuable asset to any industry. This week we take a detailed look at how to make a chemistry career a reality.
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What workplace skills does chemistry develop?

Collating: Bringing together information from different sources is a useful skill in many jobs. An investigative journalist will need to find evidence from a range of sources to build a story. Software testers need to collate information about the performance of a programme to find issues and suggest appropriate improvements.

Investigation: There are many jobs where you have to use these investigative skills. A forensic computer analyst investigates cyber crime to find out how breaches happen. A vet must investigate the causes of illness in an animal by looking at the symptoms and then deciding on a treatment.

And one you might not have thought of...

Critical evaluation: Critical evaluation is a skill that transfers to many jobs. If you work as a crown prosecutor, you’ll have to evaluate criminal cases and decide whether the evidence is likely to lead to a conviction. In business, managers need to carry out regular performance evaluations with the members of their team and identify areas for improvement.

What jobs can you get with chemistry? 

Forensic scientists analyse traces of physical evidence from crime scenes and prepare this evidence for use in court. Choose A-level chemistry (or equivalent), or a BTEC National in forensic and criminal investigation; then choose a degree in chemistry, biology or forensic science.

Pharmacologists explore how drugs interact with biological systems. Choose a degree in chemistry, biochemistry,
biology or pharmacology.

Environmental consultants provide organisations with advice about sustainability. Choose a degree in environmental management, or engineering, geoscience, biology or chemistry.

Apply for an apprenticeship... or go to university? 

Apprenticeships for students who want to pursue a career related to chemistry include: bioinformatics scientist, nuclear technician, propulsion technician, financial advisor, clinical trials specialist, laboratory scientist, and non-destructive testing operator. 


Almost 17% of chemistry graduates in 2017 went into work as science professionals, while nearly 20% took jobs as technicians and other professionals. Graduates moved into a number of scientific roles including organic chemist, analytical chemist and pharmaceutical consultant. Other popular sectors for chemistry graduates are business, HR and finance.

What did chemistry do for them?

"As well as knowledge from my degree, I use knowledge from GCSE and A-level chemistry on a daily basis in my current role, including polarity, thermodynamics and reaction mechanisms when looking for incompatibility between different ingredients."
—Ellen, technical graduate

"I always wanted to work for a company which makes a positive impact on the world and is rooted in science. Johnson Matthey’s science helps make the world cleaner and healthier, so it’s perfect for me."
—Louise, graduate trainee

"Analytical skills are essential to an orthoptic investigation. We piece together the results of our investigations and the information given to us by the patient to eliminate or prove possible causes for their symptoms."
—Carly, specialist orthoptist
If you have any questions or would like to speak to someone on the team, please feel free to email us at

Success at School Team
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