Resources for Careers in Chemistry



Chemistry Careers, College to Careers, American Chemical Society

Brief description of 40 careers in chemistry, ranging from Applied Research to Formulation Chemistry to Technical Communication.  Each description overviews the job, lists typical duties, the education required, workplace environment, technical skills needed, and career path including salary information.  Many descriptions include a personal vignette about ACS member in that job.


Chemists in the Real World, College to Careers, American Chemical Society

An extensive compilation of personal career vignettes about ACS members in over 50 different types of chemistry careers.


York University (Toronto) Careers in Chemistry Panel Discussion, March 2012

Panelists are from government labs, teaching, pharmaceuticals, a testing lab and a law firm.  Q&A overview:

1. What do you do and how did you get the job?

2. What should a student take in university to work in the field of Chemistry? 12:26

3. Is there any advice you would give to students about acquiring certain skills that may be required in the field? 21:10


American Chemical Society Career Vignettes

What Chemists Do: Playlist

Alveda Williams talks about her career at Dow (ACS on Campus, 16 minutes)

Art Conservation Chemist: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Chemical Safety Inspector (3 minutes)

Chemist with Customs and Border Protection (3 minutes)

Chemistry Information Technologist (3 minutes)

Entrepreneur (4 videos of 3 minutes) – Part 1; Part 2; Part 3; Part 4.

Forensic Chemist (4 minutes)

Formulations Chemist (2:30 minutes)

Founder of Company (3 minutes)

High School (Private) Teacher (4 minutes)

High School (Public) Teacher (4 minutes)

Managing Editor, Journal of the American Chemical Society (9 Minutes)

Materials Research Chemist (4 minutes)

Nanoparticles Scientist/Entrepreneur (3 minutes)

Polymer Researcher (3 minutes)

Product Development Chemist (5 minutes)

Professor (3 minutes)

Research Chemist (Light Emitting Diodes) (2 minutes)

Toxicologist (3 minutes)

Vice President of Small Molecule Discovery Chemistry (3 minutes)

Water Treatment Chemist (3 minutes)


Royal Society of Chemistry Career Vignettes Series

Short video interviews of RSC members describing who they are, who they work for, and what their chemistry job entails.

Applications Chemist in industrial chemistry (3 minutes)

Associate Researcher – Pharmaceutical (3 minutes)

Chemistry Teacher (3 minutes)

Director of Medicinal Chemistry (3 minutes)   

Environmental Chemistry Careers (20 minutes)

Experimental Chemist (4 minutes)

Forensic Toxicologist (3 minutes)

Internship Student (4 minutes)

Medicinal Chemist (3 minutes)

Patent Lawyer (3 minutes)

Process Technologist in pharmaceuticals (4 minutes)

Quality Assurance Chemist in food (4 minutes)


Other Career Websites and Videos

Analytical Chemistry in pharmaceutical company (Alberta government, 6 minutes)

Chemistry Professor (nellyGucla, 5 minutes)

Cosmetic Chemist (website) – Chemists Corner is a website for cosmetic chemists by cosmetic chemists.  Their "mission is to help you land a job in the cosmetic industry and become a better scientist once you get there".

Cosmetics Formulations (12 minutes)


Chemistry Careers Blog: ChemJobber is a process chemist in the United States who blogs about the chemistry job market. In January 2017 ChemJobber started a monthly column in Chemical & Engineering News called Bench & Cubicle




Career Fairs

How to Prepare for a Career Fair (2sliceproductions, 6 minutes)

Tip Sheet to Get the Most out of Career Fairs (University of California - Berkeley)


Informational Interviews

ABC2NEWS Back2Work (4 minute video)

Alison Doyle: How an Informational Interview can Help Your Career (About Careers webpage)

Rebecca Knight: How to Get the Most Out of an Informational Interview (Harvard Business Review)



Getting LinkedIN to a Job, Chemical & Engineering News 2013, 91 (44), 48-49






Food and Cosmetics Chemistry

Beer (How It’s Made, 5 min)

Cosmetics (How It’s Made, 7 min)

Flavorings (How It’s Made, 5 min)

Mascara (How It’s Made, 5 min)

Rum (How It’s Made, 5 min)

Soap (How It’s Made, 5 min)

Toothpaste (How It’s Made, 5 min)

Wine (How It’s Made, 5 min)


Forensics Chemistry

Inside Chemistry - Chemistry in Forensics (EdChat TV, 14 min)

RCMP Forensics Lab (Inside Ottawa, 5 min)


Industrial Chemicals

Ammonia Production (Royal Society of Chemistry, 5 min)

Car Battery Recycling (How It’s Made, 5 min)

Chlor-Alkali Production (Royal Society of Chemistry, 7 min)

Desalinated Water (How It’s Made, 5 min)

Detergents (How It’s Made, 6 min)

Drinking Water (How It’s Made, 5 min)

Glass (How It’s Made, 7 min)

Inorganic Pigments (How It’s Made, 5 min)

Nitric Acid Production (Royal Society of Chemistry, 5 min)

Oil Paints (How It’s Made, 5 min)

Paper (How It’s Made, 5 min)

Potash (Mosaic Company, 9 min)

Potash (How It’s Made, 5 min)

Purified Gases from Air (Royal Society of Chemistry, 4 min)

Recycling (How It’s Made, 5 min)

Sodium Production (Royal Society of Chemistry, 5 min)

Sulfuric Acid Production (Royal Society of Chemistry, 6 min)

Toxic Waste Disposal (How It’s Made, 6 min)


Metal Production

Aluminum (How It’s Made, 5 min)

Aluminum Recycling (Norsk Hydro, 11 min) 

Aluminum Smelting (Royal Society of Chemistry, 5 min)

Aluminum Smelting (Alcoa, 3 min)

Copper (How It’s Made, 5 min)

Copper Refining (Royal Society of Chemistry, 4 min)

Gold (How It’s Made, 5 min)

Iron and Steel Production (Royal Society of Chemistry, 6 min)

Metal Recycling (How It’s Made, 5 min)

Silver and Fire Assay (How It’s Made, 5 min)

Stainless Steel (How It’s Made, 5 min)

Steel Forging (How It’s Made, 5 min)

Uranium Nuclear Fuel (DNews, 6 min)

Uranium (How It’s Made): Part 1 (5 min), Part 2 (5 min).

Zinc Production (International Zinc Association, 5 min)


Petrochemical Industry

Carbon Fiber (How It’s Made, 5 min)

Nylon Production (Royal Society of Chemistry, 5 min)

Polyethylene Production (Royal Society of Chemistry, 4 min)

Polyethylene Basics (Nitrogen Cluster, 5 min)

Polyurethane Foam (Europur, 5 min) 

Recycled Polyester Yarn (How It’s Made, 5 min)

Synthetic Rubber (How It’s Made, 5 min)


Petroleum Industry

Biodiesel (How It’s Made, 5 min)

Crude Oil (How It’s Made, 5 min) 

Crude Oil Fractions and their uses (Fuse School, 4 min)

Fracking for Natural Gas (Conoco Phillips, 5 min)

Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking) (Marathon Oil Corp, 7 min)

Oil Refining (Royal Society of Chemistry, 5 min)

Oil Refining Basics (Classroom Video, Australia, 9 min)


Oilsand Production (Syncrude, 4 min) 

Petroleum Refining Basics (Classroom Video, Australia, 10 min)

Petroleum Exploration and Refining (TrentStanley, 9 min)


Pharmaceutical Industry

7 Steps to Drug Discovery (American Chemical Society, 3 min)

Making Medicine (Royal Society of Chemistry, 6 min)

Combinatorial Chemistry (Royal Society of Chemistry, 7 min)

Discovery Process (PhRMAPress, 3 min)

Pills (How It’s Made, 5 min)


Blog: Derek Lowe’s In The Pipeline is a commentary on drug discovery and the pharmaceutical industry, and is affiliated with Science Translational Medicine.


Note: Check out the How It’s Made YouTube Channel.

View an updated list of episodes of How It’s Made at Wikipedia.