If you’re one of the many people who get excited about stoichiometry and chemical reactions, then you have the start of a great career. If you think that a chemistry degree only qualifies you for a life of research or working as a medical doctor, there are countless other careers you can pursue. Some of these might require additional or concurrent education to go along with your chemistry degree. It’s possible to have a thriving career doing what you love. Here’s how to use your degree in chemistry to get it.
Did you know there is a whole field of study around the science of food? It’s how we get light and flaky layers in a croissant, and dense, melt in your mouth goodness in a wedding cake. Food science is all about the science of food. Why does this ingredient make the food behave this way? What are the best, food-safe preservatives to use? How much preservative do I need in a batch? What happens if we take out one ingredient and substitute something else?
All these questions are answered by food scientists. They spend their time creating new recipes and producing foods for various companies. They also help in the research and development of new flavors.
A simple saponification reaction can be used to create harsh soaps to clean the bathroom and one’s gentle enough for your face and body. Soap makers use their chemistry skills to determine the right amount of lye and fats to use to get the intended hardness after the soap has cured. Soap makers know how long to let a soap rest before cutting and before using for the first time. Soap makers can also use their skills to create new perfumes and scents, mix new blends, and create soaps that improve skin health and that kill off the harshest bacteria.
Take what you know and teach someone else. Whether you use your chemistry skills to also pursue a career as a schoolteacher, or you use it to teach independent classes through a local homeschool co-op, there are plenty of places to teach chemistry. You are qualified because you know important facts about chemistry, and you can create a fun and exciting class using what you know. There are some online platforms where you can also create an online course.
Developing New Materials
Have you ever wondered where new plastics come from and new metal materials? Chemists work with engineers and other scientists to develop new materials that have many industrial uses. From storing chemicals without leaks to creating products that are biodegradable, there are numerous options.
What does chemistry have to do with making beer? Everything! Making beer is an art and a science and creating brews with the right blend of flavors takes some finesse. Use your chemistry degree to start your own brewing company or just create some home brew beer. You’d be amazed at how taking an approach using you understanding of chemistry can help you get your beer just right.
People who spent their time doing organic chemistry prep, studied for science tests, and wrote all about their experiments in lab are uniquely qualified to write. Technical writers know how to put their thoughts in writing in a calculated and concise way. They can create manuals, how-to articles, and even use their knowledge to talk specifically about science topics. Science writers are in high demand to help explain topics and communicate scientific information outside of the scientific community.
Managing the wastes that come in is a critical role. Chemists understand what needs to happen to filter out and purify toxic and contaminated water. They understand that this water will be recycled to go back out to the community and needs to be safe to drink, safe for watering plants, and more. Chemists know what can happen if they don’t get the concentrations of chemicals right in the purification process.
There are many career paths for a person with a chemistry degree. While advanced degrees can be useful, it’s possible to pursue entrepreneurship and to start your own company with just a bachelor’s degree. You gain valuable skills and knowledge about chemistry that you can share with others through teaching, writing, and even making soap.