What can I do with a degree in Chemistry?

Find out where the range of skills you develop studying chemistry can take you. Here we list potential careers and tell you how you can find a job in this sector.

Chemistry careers

You will find opportunities with employers in many different sectors, including food, manufacturing, energy, health and medical, the government, scientific research organisation, transport, oil and gas, renewables & nuclear.
Industries that rely on a degree in chemistry could include:

  • Pharmaceutical
  • Agrochemical
  • Biotechnology
  • Perfumes and Cosmetics
  • Textiles and dyes
  • Paints
  • Petrochemicals
  • Polymers
  • Materials
  • Semi-conductors
  • Photographic
  • Bio Materials

A degree in chemistry could lead you to a graduate career in some of the following areas:

  • Analytical chemistry: analyse chemicals and investigate their properties to develop new products and treatments. (This could be in the Food utilities and Cosmetics industry)
  • Chemoinformatics: combine chemical expertise with informatics techniques to assess large quantities of information and address chemical issues.
  • Forensic science: investigate crime scenes and analyse samples.
  • Materials research: conduct technical investigations into the characteristics of various materials.
  • Pharmaceuticals: manufacture, develop and research new pharmaceutical products.
  • Scientific research- Science graduates will usually specialise in a specific area; they may be undertaking fundamental health research, developing IT technologies, refining manufacturing processes, or innovating solutions. There is a broad range of possibilities.
  • Agricultural Chemist - Agricultural chemists, also called agrochemists, collect and analyse samples for nutrient levels as well as levels of pesticides, heavy metals, and toxins
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Chemistry Teacher
  • Geochemist

The Royal Society of Chemistry have put together a  useful resource

Thank you to Prospects for the content on these pages.

Other careers

You will also find opportunities with employers in many different sectors, including the food and drink industry, utilities and research, health and medical organisations, the government and scientific research organisations and agencies, Patent Law, Scientific publishing and health and safety
Careers related to the numeracy, analytical, and problem solving skills of chemistry graduates

  • Accountancy
  • Sales
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • IT
  • Investment Banking
  • Civil Service
  • Management Consultancy
  • Law
  • HR

Please use our career guides to identify some of these opportunities.

Skills gained


As well as developing strong lab skills a degree in Chemistry gives you ability to demonstrate the following skills that are highly valued by employers:

  • Numerical ability,
  • Problem-solving,
  • Analytical skills
  • Written and oral communication
  • Lab skills
  • Excellent teamwork
  • Time-management skills from planning and carrying out experiments
  • Expertise in IT, including processing data and using computer software models.

Work Experience and internship opportunities

Chemistry related jobs are particularly competitive, so it is valuable, and sometimes crucial, to gain practical experience in the field.
Work experience demonstrates your commitment to the career and knowledge of what is involved.
During your course, you could also use the summer holidays or evenings and weekends to get some experience through paid opportunities or voluntary work.
A number of organisations offer work experience including:

You could also try contacting science museums, research and clinical laboratories, conservation facilities or pharmaceutical companies and life science companies directly.  The following links are useful links of companies:

Find a job

http://__replace__.meEmployers of chemistry graduates


A range of employers recruit graduates for chemistry related jobs including:

  • Universities and clinical research organisations;
  • Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies;
  • Private hospitals and NHS trusts;
  • National and global health and environmental charities;
  • Scientific and technical consultancies;
  • Schools and colleges;
  • Museums, science centres and broadcast companies.
  • Research institutions
  • Utilities
  • Manufacturing 
  • Charities
  • Police/Military
  • Forensic Labs

A Sample of employers that fall into the above categories

Additional resources to help you find a job

Research Funding Opportunities

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