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Chemistry careers

17 November 2020
Find out what jobs you could do with a chemistry degree
Whether you want a career in or outside of the lab, studying chemistry will provide you with essential training for many positions in industry, education and research.

Why should I consider studying chemistry?

From the food we eat to the batteries that power our phones, chemistry plays an important role in everyday life. Studying this central science will arm you with valuable knowledge of chemicals and chemical processes that underpin nature, technology, medicines and consumer products. 

The chemical sector will play an important role in Australia’s future. As the need for chemical research and development rises in areas such as renewable energy, chemistry graduates could see an increase in career opportunities to support these technological changes.

A chemistry degree will also teach you transferable skills in communication and problem solving, making you employable across a range of careers.

See some of the experiments you'll get to do as a chemistry student.

Read more about studying chemistry.

What chemistry job opportunities are there?

Chemistry opens doors to a variety of opportunities. You will be a skilled investigator, desired by employers in the public and private sector.

GradAustralia reports that most chemistry graduates are employed in the private sector, while 24 per cent work for a government agency and 25 per cent are employed by universities or schools.

Organisations are increasingly employing chemistry graduates in management positions.

In Australia’s STEM Workforce 2020 report, close to two-thirds of employed chemistry graduates were working as either professionals or mangers - making up the highest percentage of natural and physical science graduates working as managers.

Take a look at some example industries and jobs you could enter. Some specialised roles may require further training on top of a bachelor’s degree.

  • Drug discovery and development
  • Medical laboratory scientist
  • Clinical biochemist
  • Toxicologist
  • Medicinal chemist
  • Water quality scientist
  • Environmental chemist
  • Geochemist
  • Environmental consultant
  • Chemical diagnostics
  • Materials development chemist
  • Chemical analyst
  • Formulation chemist
  • Production chemist
  • Food and drink manufacturing

 

  • Lecturer
  • Teacher
  • Science communicator
  • Science writer
  • Forensic science
  • Law and patents
  • Pure and applied research
  • Computing
  • Scientific journalism
Headshot of Dr Alice Klein

After studying a Bachelor of Science (Honours) and completing a PhD in the School of Chemistry, Alice Klein now works as a reporter for New Scientist.

“I have always loved science, and I think my scientific training has helped me to become a more analytical journalist."

Dr Alice Klein
Australasia Reporter at New Scientist.

How much can I earn with a chemistry degree?

PayScale reports that Bachelor of Science graduates that major in chemistry earn an average annual salary of $75,977 in Australia.*

As career opportunities span a range of roles and industries, salary trends depend on the area you decide to work. Click through the gallery to see some example salaries for jobs that chemistry graduates may enter.

How can I study chemistry?

Undergraduate

Study chemistry as part of our Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Advanced Studies or Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Science:

Postgraduate research

Follow your interest in chemistry by undertaking a research degree in a chosen area like computational and theoretical chemistry, chemical education, materials chemistry, drug discovery and more:

Find out more about studying chemistry.


*Salaries taken from PayScale in September 2020 based on Australian salary data.