National Avg. Salary

$77,860 More Salary Data →

Job Growth Rate

2.6% More Growth Data →

Recommended Degree

PhD or Professional Programs & Degrees →

Attributes

  • Dependable Daily Workload
  • Fast Paced Career
  • Growing Industry
  • Investigative

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Organic Chemists study the vast number of carbon compounds that make up all living things.  They perform calculations and chemical reactions to characterize, synthesize or find applications for organic molecules.  They will spend their time developing new substances and compounds and synthesizing previously known compounds and substances such as drugs or plastics.

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Job Description

The following responsibilities are common for individuals in the Organic Chemist field:

  • Carrying out complex research experiments
  • Analyzing substances and compounds
  • Testing a wide variety of products
  • Analyzing reports and findings in detailed presentations and papers
  • Making pharmaceutical compounds

A Day in the Life

Organic Chemists develop new products and recreate old products on a molecular level using highly advanced technology and science.

They will spend a lot of their time in the lab. They will also spend a lot of their time reading scientific articles and writing on their research findings.  On a day to day basis they would interact with colleagues, attend meetings and maybe even teach.  Most of their professional time is spent in a lab or at a desk.

They will typically work in research and development in labs, universities, pharmaceuticals, and government agencies.  The day would depend on the field of study they chose to go into and the job the person attains.

Typical Work Schedule

Typically the position offered would be a full-time 40 hour work week position.

Projected Job Growth

Organic Chemist have a steady and strong job outlook.  They will experience strong job competition at all levels and are in high demand for hire for industries like pharmaceuticals, universities and producers of consumer products and goods.  Also as recent advances in genetics opens up new avenues for job opportunities for the research in the treatment of diseases.

Career Progression

  • Early Career – Obtain a bachelor’s degree and spend a considerable amount of time in the lab studying carbon atoms
    Mid-Career – Obtain a master’s degree to advance and become a lab assistant or management role
    Late Career – Obtain a doctorate degree and perform your own private or public research and publish research findings in papers, magazines, journals and presentations

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Organic Chemist Salary Data

We've provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Annual Salary

Low Range

$52,370

Average

$77,860

High Range

$125,450

National Hourly Wage

Low Range

$25/hr

Average

$37/hr

High Range

$60/hr

How do Organic Chemist salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Organic Chemist's can make an average annual salary of $77,860, or $37 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $52,370 or $25 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #150 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

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How To Become

A Bachelor’s degree in chemistry is the minimum requirement for this career. The kinds of classes you would take would be physical science, inorganic and organic chemistry, biology, math and physics.  You would spend a minimum of four years in college and a large part of their time is spent in a laboratory studying carbon atoms.

For more advanced research positions of employment you would need to earn a Master’s degree or Doctorate degree. To execute your own independent research whether in the public or private sector or pursue a pharmaceutical compound career, you would need to obtain a Ph.D.

Employers are searching for candidates with strong personal skills, problem solving skills and leaders as well as team players.  They should also possess strong technical skills, be enthusiastic and creative.


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Quick Summary

  • Recommended Min. Degree

    PhD or Professional

Programs and Degrees

Here are the most common degrees for becoming an Organic Chemist. a PhD or Professional is usually recommended and specifically a degree or coursework that prepares you for the particular field, see below.

Highest Education Among Organic Chemist

  • 18.4%   Doctorate
  • 19.7%   Masters
  • 54.3%   Bachelors
  • 4.4%   Associates
  • 2.7%   College
  • 0.3%   High School
  • 0.1%   Less than High School

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Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs

91,100

2024 Est. Jobs

93,500

Job Growth Rate

2.6%

Est. New Jobs

2,400

How does Organic Chemist job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 2,400 jobs for a total of 93,500 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 2.6% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #530 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

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What Companies Employ The Most Organic Chemists

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences 16,100 2,900 3%
Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing 14,800 -1,500 -2%
Testing laboratories 9,200 1,100 1%

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