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Career Readiness

Chemists and Material Scientists
What Chemists and Materials Scientists Do 

Chemists and materials scientists study substances at the atomic and molecular levels and analyze the ways in which the substances interact with one another. They use their knowledge to develop new and improved products and to test the quality of manufactured goods.

Work Environment
Chemists and materials scientists work in laboratories and offices. They typically work full time and keep regular hours.

How to Become a Chemist or Materials Scientist
Chemists and materials scientists need at least a bachelor’s degree in chemistry or a related field. However, a master’s degree or Ph.D. is needed for many research jobs.

The median annual wage for chemists was $74,740 in May 2017.  The median annual wage for materials scientists was $99,530 in May 2017.
Job Outlook
Overall employment of chemists and materials scientists is projected to grow 7 percent from 2016 to 2026, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Chemists and materials scientists with an advanced degree, particularly those with a Ph.D., are expected to have better opportunities.

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