The first question you might be asking is why should I consider a career in chemistry? The answer to this question is because of the diverse opportunities. Having a career in chemistry doesn’t just involve working in a lab (although there is a wide range of lab-based jobs). You can look for a field service role that comes with travel opportunities; you could choose plant-based operation including process and chemistry and scale-up; and you even use your knowledge in chemistry to inspire, motivate, and educate a new generation.
If you would like to work with coatings, polymers, colours, fragrances, and more – then follow these tips:
GCSEs or equivalent level qualifications
You need to have at least 9 to 4 in the new system or an A-C in Science and Math. It is important to have good math skills because it will help you get the career you want in chemistry. You need it because it is going to be used on a daily basis when working in the field (you have to measure out chemicals and calculate proportionate yields). Maths is also a base of chemistry knowledge, which is why it is important.
In the UK, people are required to stay in full-time education till the age of 18. The options available are college or 6th form or starting a traineeship or apprenticeship.
If you choose to stick with traditional education, then the obvious choice is a chemistry A-Level. Supporting subjects include physics and maths. If you choose an apprenticeship, then you need to look for an opportunity with a chemical manufacturing company. Another option is finding a company that can provide you with transferable skills.
Depending on the level of knowledge you are interested in and whether you want to specialize, you might choose to go to university for a career in chemistry, then get a master’s and even Ph.D. Keep in mind that you don’t need these qualifications for a career in chemistry. There are employers who prefer candidates with a degree, but master’s and Ph.D. education is only going to be needed for some niche areas.
Apart from knowledge and understanding of chemistry, you need to have work experience because it is going to be the main driver to help you secure a career in a given field. It is a good idea to start by taking any opportunity to immerse yourself in the industry, whether it is voluntary lab experience, shadowing someone for a couple of days, or paid temporary work. While employers are impressed with good chemistry education, more and more are putting more weight on experience. If you gain voluntary experience, it tells a potential employer that you are serious about a career in chemistry. ”If you are looking for immunoassay development process” then see here.
After you have achieved the above, you have to be flexible. There are a lot of opportunities out there. Maybe your dream is to be a New Product Development Chemist for a water-based adhesive company. Experience is one of the most important things. You need to appreciate that you might need to take some time to gain experience in other areas before pursuing your dream job so that it takes the pressure off. You can end up finding areas within chemistry that you didn’t know about before.
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