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Author: Subject: CUrrent job market for US chemists?
Funkerman23
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[*] posted on 27-5-2015 at 23:21
CUrrent job market for US chemists?


If this belongs somewhere else please pardon the mistake. I am considering starting a B.S in Chemistry and after seeing a few comments here I thought it would be best to ask outright: what is the market now and 10 years( projected ) from now for prospective U.S. chemists? any and all comments are appreciated..as now I am worried. if it helps I was curious on the petrochemical engineering and material sciences end of it..



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szuko03
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[*] posted on 28-5-2015 at 05:42


To be honest that was always the one thing I never cared about. I figured I would go to college get the degree then figure it out, since my lifes goal is to get a degree in chemistry I never really considered a post degree world lol.

My point is there are always jobs for chemists but the real problem most likely is getting an in. You can work for a pharmaceutical company or a university or even the "budding" marijuana industry probably has a million uses for us.

But as it was a passion of mine and I only went to school for that selfish reason I am not the person to listen to. I couldn't finish because of money issues but I got to year 4 and all I can say is it is amazing what we know considering we can't see any of it really.

Oh and it is hard and you will see the difference in your "free time" compared to all others. Be prepared to not be able to say yes to parties and stuff. That never stopped me and I skated by with Bs but it was ridiculous on me and I don't know how I even managed lol

[Edited on 28-5-2015 by szuko03]




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Zephyr
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[*] posted on 28-5-2015 at 17:14


I don't think finding a job will be difficult, especially since B.S level chemists are in such demand in the growing oil and gas industries. Getting into research, on the other hand, might be much more difficult. Check out this Reddit thread if you want to hear from other knowledgeable chemists about the job market.




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BromicAcid
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[*] posted on 28-5-2015 at 19:41


Market outlook now or 10 years from now? It depends on if you are willing to travel and it can change in an instant. Shortly after I received my degree, Pfizer laid off close to 2000 people in my area. The echo from that layoff continued for years with highly depressed wages, spreading states away until the market was saturated with chemists. Recently Dow let go quite a few people and if you lived in one of those areas being a chemist just became a much less useful job skill:

http://www.businessinsider.com/dow-chemical-layoffs-2015-5

Pinkhippo11 mentioned the oil and gas industries but already there have been deep cuts in those industries as well. There are not a ton of chemists out there, but there are enough of us to make us more or less a commodity item. As such our utility is heavily influenced by the market and our location and unfortunately it's been buyer's market for the last decade.




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[*] posted on 28-5-2015 at 19:52


I hear Gus Fring is hiring. But the retirement plan is kind of rough.

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Dr.Bob
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[*] posted on 8-6-2015 at 12:12


I have worked in chemistry for 25+ years. The job market there is the worst in 25 years, but oil and gas and polymers are better than pharma and basic research. There are lots of jobs in medical, dental, accounting, marketing and business, but companies that actually make tangible items are all moving overseas. And anything that involves hazards is moving even faster. So while a science BS is a great thing to have, you would be better to get a Chemical Engineering BS and then even get a chemistry or Eng MS/PhD if you are a real glutton for punishment. The people I know with eng. degrees can still find jobs. But in 10 years, there is no telling what might happen.

I still want to know where Walter White buys his ignitors so I can avoid them...

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[*] posted on 8-6-2015 at 13:44


A lot of Chemists end up not doing much Chemistry.

The Maths is obviously a huge benefit to any arena, and the insight into how intricate and delicately balanced reactions can be is also a major benefit, not limited to applications in the realm of chemistry.

Basically you should complete the B Sc in Chemistry if that interests you, as your Interest will carry you through to completion (having a Passion for it would help more).

While studying, devote x% of your time to getting in contact with Industrial entities, e.g. apply for jobs you are not yet qualified for, attend anything in the uni where external Employing organisations are addressing the group (grab them afterwards and press your case) and stuff like that - basically keep studying and also press yourself onto as many possible employers as you can.

If you work hard enough you'll get a B Sc.

If you work harder (and/or smarter) you'll already have a well-paid job waiting when you do graduate.

The age old axiom holds true : it's not What you know, but Who you know.

In this case, Who you know that wants What you know and can Afford to pay you loads for it.

[Edited on 8-6-2015 by aga]

(presuming BS means B Sc. as in Batchelor of Science.
As a full of BS chemist [FBSc], i hope it means B Sc.).

[Edited on 8-6-2015 by aga]




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[*] posted on 8-6-2015 at 16:30


BS does indeed mean bachelor of science.

I think I read a few weeks ago in Chemical and Engineering News that while most job prospects for chemists in the US are down and dwindling, there is currently demand for analytical chemists. This is what I do for a living (quantitative spectometric analysis). It doesn't pay a whole lot, but beats the hell out of slinging beer and cigarettes.
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[*] posted on 9-6-2015 at 09:37


My Daughter recieved her Bs in Chemistry a few years ago. She is currently working in a lab testing blood and making about $40K/year. However she did not try very hard to find a good job.
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[*] posted on 9-6-2015 at 13:18


$40k sounds good.

What is regarded as a 'Really Good' salary in the US ?

I suppose an idea of the price of a house would be a good thing to know as well.




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[*] posted on 9-6-2015 at 13:35


She lives near Sacramento CA. She started as a Lab Tech with the BS Chem at $15/Hr, and has been working her way up. She is now a manager and works the "grave yard shift". Her boyfriend, also living in Sacramento, has a MS in mechanical engineering and makes $56K after working for about 1 year.

A house in that area costs about 270K


[Edited on 9-6-2015 by gregxy]
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[*] posted on 9-6-2015 at 19:14


I can only reinforce Dr Bob's comments above. I was in pharma research for over 30 years and have consulted and advised for the past 8 years. I have seen many bad hiring periods in the past but eventually things let up. The last 8 years have been the worst I have ever seen for hiring in organic chemistry. The companies that I have consulted for only see outsourcing research as the best business practice. The boys with the green eyeshades cannot be convinced otherwise. I know too many superb organic chemists who have not been able to find any employment in their field. The one time hotbed for chemistry in the Bay Area and on the West coast in general has literally disappeared. The rest of the country has not fared much better. Analytical chemistry is about the only area with any hiring activity but you will still need a good background in software engineering and the like. It is truly a sad situation.

AvB
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[*] posted on 10-6-2015 at 00:21


Quote: Originally posted by gregxy  
started ... with the BS Chem at $15/Hr ...MS in mechanical engineering and makes $56K after working for about 1 year.

A house in that area costs about 270K

That puts it into perspective.

Thank you.




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[*] posted on 15-6-2015 at 13:58


Well, in my neighborhood, the kids who cashier at "Whole Foods" probably make about 15$ an hour. That is about 30,000 US/year. I had a woman friend who made about 40,000 as a cook. Chemistry is exciting here on the forum, but real world job prospects usually aren't great.

The ongoing dearth of decent paying chemistry jobs, is what caused clever old Walter White, to turn bad.....real bad.

Now, if you wanted to be a teacher, and you were good at it, and you had a job waiting, THAT could eventually become a very sweet deal. Job security, tenure, great benefits, planning fun experiments. Oh, baby. The good life. Eventually, even the money becomes OK.

Rolling green, grassy hills. Massive old trees. Eternally surrounded by optimistic youths. Etc. Etc. Etc.



[Edited on 15-6-2015 by zed]
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[*] posted on 15-6-2015 at 17:58


The petrochemical engineering sounds wise. Maybe you could start out there as a drone and lie your way to a better job. At work there's an engineer just to say they have one. He's never done any engineering or chemistry for that matter, just the degree. A high school dropout could do his job, but he makes more money than everyone else while working fewer hours.

The local situation has always been bad AFAIK. A chemistry degree from an ACS-accredited school gets you a job washing test tubes for minimum wage, if you have at least 3 years experience. Maybe a tech job at the hospital.

More regulation means more analytical chemistry. Someone should start like a trade school for analysis and modern analytical tools for not-PhD's.

This here is old news but it's still relevant:

Pharma analysis company EvaluatePharma has forecast that there were $41 billion in patent sales at risk in 2011, a year in which the top 10 pharma layoffs amounted to 26,500. In 2012, the peak year, EvalutePharma said a whopping $67 billion was at risk. In that year, the top layoffs tallied more than 34,600. Then in 2013, when at-risk sales fell to only $29 billion, we have a total for the top 10 of nearly 27,900.
http://www.fiercepharma.com/special-reports/top-10-largest-p...




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[*] posted on 15-6-2015 at 18:37


Quote: Originally posted by zed  
Well, in my neighborhood, the kids who cashier at "Whole Foods" probably make about 15$ an hour. That is about 30,000 US/year. I had a woman friend who made about 40,000 as a cook. Chemistry is exciting here on the forum, but real world job prospects usually aren't great.

The ongoing dearth of decent paying chemistry jobs, is what caused clever old Walter White, to turn bad.....real bad.

Now, if you wanted to be a teacher, and you were good at it, and you had a job waiting, THAT could eventually become a very sweet deal. Job security, tenure, great benefits, planning fun experiments. Oh, baby. The good life. Eventually, even the money becomes OK.

Rolling green, grassy hills. Massive old trees. Eternally surrounded by optimistic youths. Etc. Etc. Etc.



[Edited on 15-6-2015 by zed]
You might be surprised to learn that teaching is not quite the same as what you have just described.
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[*] posted on 18-6-2015 at 14:02


Well, I was fortunate in that regard. Most of my education was obtained on idyllic small campuses, with (some) inspired instructors.

There was a terrible lack of job opportunities for teachers, but if you could get in, you were in.

Most of our instructors were full-time-ish, and they stayed forever.

My cousin got "in the door" teaching at the U. in The Islands, and stayed for 30 years. Liked teaching, didn't like other aspects of the job. Obtained a very friendly retirement. Did comment on the dearth of enthusiastic students.

What can I say? Like Chemistry? Like to do what you want to do? Start your own business.

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[*] posted on 18-6-2015 at 15:00


The job market for chemists seems to be pretty good in La Jolla Ca, there are plenty of companies in need of a chemist. The pay seems pretty adequete, though you have almost no chance of being able to afford a house in La Jolla.
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[*] posted on 18-6-2015 at 18:39


Unfortunately, the chemistry market seems to be the same in Texas. The chemistry jobs where I work are generally few and far between, and low paying. That part of the facility doesn't bring in the real money.

I know a self-employed chemist who has generally done OK. A lot of his work involves the oil business, though, and the recent downturn in oil prices left him looking for work elsewhere.

My expertise is in the field of electrical engineering. This field as a whole is a great place to be right now, even with the generally poor economy. There's a lot of money to be made, and in Texas the cost of living is generally low.
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[*] posted on 18-6-2015 at 20:27


If you can get into Biochemistry or related it seems to be a good place for opportunity. What sucks is that Vancouver currently has a huge housing bubble so houses go from 1 to 3 mil
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[*] posted on 19-6-2015 at 10:59


Quote: Originally posted by aga  
A lot of Chemists end up not doing much Chemistry.


Here in New England being a code monkey has better prospects - and I'm not the only chem grad in that position.
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[*] posted on 19-6-2015 at 12:51


Having an education in one field of study really does equip you better than you think.

First of all, you've proven that you can apply yourself for a long time to a single area of study.

If you can re-apply yourself to an idea you had yourself, or stole from someone else, then you can make yourself a Business as zed already said.

Business is a lot simpler than chemistry, and the maths are very basic (+, - and %)

Crucially, the Head must rule in Business, so leave shyness/personal issues/all other crap outside of the arena.

ChemBizFightClub Rule #1 Find out what people want to buy/already buy

You do that by Asking them. It is as simple as that.
Not an Email or a Twatter blurt - go Ask them face to face (wider bandwidht medium = more info exchanged more rapidly).

Once you know what they want, work out how to supply them in a way that they are happier with your product/price and you are happy with the profit.

Despite chemists being mostly nurds, the sheer intellect should easily overcome any obstacles.




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