Top 10 Major Areas in Chemistry to Specialize as a Profession


There are many careers in chemistry after graduation. Every chemistry university graduate who intends to specialize in a certain area in Chemistry will have to know the different areas in Chemistry to specialize in. To this regard, we came out with the Top 10 major areas in Chemistry to specialize as a profession.

Though this is not an exhaustive list, as there are many other niche fields in chemistry to specialize in.

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There’s practically no end to careers in Chemistry if you intend to specialize. Besides, your level of employment is basically dependent on the level of education you’ve reached. For instance, if you have a 2-year degree in Chemistry, you should not expect to go far in getting a quality job than someone who study full year in school. You could work in some labs washing glassware or assist at a school with lab preparation, but you wouldn’t have much advancement potential and you could expect a high level of supervision.

To attend more height in having a good and secured job in Chemistry, you need to acquire a Bachelor’s degree (B.A) in Chemistry as this can open up more opportunities in getting a good job. A four-year college degree can be used to gain admittance to advanced degree programs (e.g., graduate school, medical school, law school). With the bachelor’s degree, you can get a bench job, which would allow you to run equipment and prepare chemicals.

Below are the various careers in chemistry to specialize as a profession;

  • Agrochemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Astrochemistry
  • Atmospheric Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Catalysis
  • Ceramics Industry
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Chemical Information Specialist
  • Chemical Sales
  • Chemical Technology
  • Chemist
  • Colloid Science
  • Consulting
  • Consumer Products
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Law
  • Ethnobotany
  • Food Chemistry
  • Forensic Science
  • Geochemistry
  • Government Policy
  • Hazardous Waste Management
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Science
  • Medicine
  • Metallurgy
  • Military Systems
  • Oceanography
  • Organic Chemist
  • Paper Industry
  • Patent Law
  • Perfume Chemistry
  • Petroleum and Natural Gas Industry
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Plastics Industry
  • Polymer Industry
  • R&D Management
  • Science Writer
  • Software Design
  • Space Exploration
  • Surface Chemistry
  • Teaching
  • Technical Writing
  • Textile Industry
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Though we are not going to concentrate on the list above but rather on the 10 branches of chemistry listed below, this list is only focused on the ones we’ve listed below.

  1. Agricultural chemist

These set of specialists could also be referred to as agrochemists. Their job is to collect samples for nutrient levels as well as levels of pesticides, analyze them to check for heavy metals, and toxins. They operate and maintain a wide range of instruments. Some agrochemists specialize in animal feeds; others specialize in the testing of pesticides. They may do presentations to such diverse groups as corporation CEOs and farmers as well as preparing reports showing data, conclusions, and recommendations.

2. Food and flavor chemist

When people tend to eat good food and get introduced to new developmental foods in the world, they are people who are called food and flavor chemists who work in the research and development of new foods as well as ways of keeping foods fresher on the shelves. These chemists do not work on their authority. They work within the regulations of the FDA, testing food additives and preservatives, developing new flavors, and analyzing food for nutrient levels or the presence of contaminants.

3. Water quality chemist

Water quality chemists have the capacity of having nice jobs because of how versatile their areas of specializations. But all the same, their primary job is to make sure that there is purity in drinking water. Though, water quality chemists have other works to do in the profession like designing water or installing wastewater treatment plants and water runoff systems for industries or agriculture. They may also analyze water samples to ensure that there are no contaminants in the water, and if there are any, they could recommend proper treatment techniques or conduct environmental impact studies for industries of government agencies.

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4. Cosmetic chemists

Cosmetics products are everywhere nowadays. A lot of it is consumed on a daily basis which ranges from lips balm to shaving cream etc. to this regard; the specialization into cosmetics was birthed. A chemist undergraduate can easily gain a job if understudies cosmetic chemist. The job of the cosmetic chemists creates and produces cosmetics items and ensure that the meet government regulations.

5. Chemistry teaching

Here is one of the Top 10 major areas in Chemistry to specialize as a profession. It’s a career that demands that you specialize since it has to with impacting knowledge to the people. This specialization is wide that you may decide to teach in in public middle and high schools (bachelor’s degree required) to junior or community college (master’s degree required) to the university level (doctorate required).

6. Patent attorney

Though this area of specialization in Chemistry may not be directly belonging to chemistry alone. Anyone who specializes in this area of chemistry as a profession has the right to perform patent searches, advise their clients on whether or not their formulation/invention is patentable, provide advice on such topics as product liability and intellectual property, and may even take cases to court for product infringement.

7. Pharmaceutical/chemical sales

Most times, you may not want to always remain in the lab or teach in the class room or lecture hall but wants to stay out. Do not worry; there is a specialty that fits the kind of job you desire. It is basically the sales of pharmaceuticals and chemicals. After the production of drugs and chemicals in the lab, someone has to take up that responsibility of selling those chemicals and medicines, and buyers like to deal with somebody who knows their science.

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8. Biochemistry/biotechnology

Biochemistry and or biotechnology are two different areas of specialization merged into one. Though the two specialists can work in the establishment since there are birthed from similar field of study.  Their work could vary from research developing new genetic tests, work in the genetic engineering (cloning) area, and are involved in the development of new drugs.

9. Forensic chemist

You might imagine forensic chemists investigating crime scenes, chasing killers, and all that dramatic stuff you see on TV, but most forensic chemists spend at least their first year or so exclusively in the lab, analyzing evidence for drug residues. Some, after years of hard work, do get to work crime scenes.

10. Material science

Material scientists study the composition and structure of various materials with the goal of developing new products or improving existing ones. One goal is to lighten and strengthen existing products, such as golf clubs and tennis racquets. Some analyze failed products to determine the reason for the failure. Some are involved in quality control, both of raw materials and finished products, and some experiment on new ways to combine different materials.