Analytical skills
Precision and accuracy
Chemists and materials scientists carry out scientific experiments and studies. They must be precise and accurate in their analyses, because errors could invalidate their research.
Communication skills
Clear and effective
Chemists and materials scientists need to communicate with team members and other scientists. They must be able to read and write technical reports and give presentations.
Math skills
Numbers matter
Chemists and materials scientists regularly use complex mathematical equations and formulas, and they need a broad understanding of mathematics, including calculus, algebra, and statistics.

Job Description

Chemists and materials scientists study substances at the atomic and molecular levels and 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.

Chemists and materials scientists typically do the following:

  • Plan and carry out complex research projects
  • Direct technicians and other workers in testing materials
  • Instruct scientists on proper chemical processing
  • Prepare solutions, compounds, and reagents
  • Analyze substances to determine composition
  • Conduct tests on materials
  • Write technical reports that detail methods
  • Present research findings to scientists and engineers

Some chemists and materials scientists work in basic research. Others work in applied research. In basic research, chemists investigate the properties, composition, and structure of matter. They also experiment with combinations of elements and the ways in which they interact. In applied research, chemists investigate possible new products and ways to improve existing ones. Chemistry research has led to the discovery and development of new and improved drugs, plastics, and cleaners, as well as thousands of other products.

Job Outlook

Median Pay – $80,680
2 Year Associate’s Degree
No Related Work Experience
Moderate-term on-the-job training
Lowest 10%
Highest 10%
The industries that hired the most were:

Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences


Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing


Testing laboratories



Chattanooga State

Chattanooga State Community College


  • Program Length – 2 Years (Associates)
  • Time Commitment – Full Time
  • Average Earnings – $73,740 / yr

Students acquire a thorough background in the principles and theory of chemistry. Chemistry is known as the “science of matter,” specifically for it’s emphasize of chemical reactions, composition, structure and properties.

Students are prepared for professional programs leading to rewarding careers in industry, government, and academics. About half of all chemists work in research, with about two-thirds of the bachelor’s-level chemistry graduates working in the for-profit sector.

Employment may be found in the fields of chemical manufacturing, cosmetics, environmental assessment, manufacturing and processing, medical laboratories, petroleum, and pharmaceuticals. Federal, state and local governments employ chemists in regulatory positions dealing with the environment, food and agriculture, sanitation, business and industry, and forensics. Educators with chemistry degrees are always in high demand and many chemists are successful as self-employed consultants.


  • Time Commitment – Full Time
  • Program Length – 2 Years (Associates)
  • Average Pay – $54,450 / yr

Advance, Cleveland State’s block scheduling format, offers working adults a convenient way to obtain a college certificate or degree taking classes with the same core group of students.  Cleveland State is now offering a block schedule for Technical Certificates in Electrical Maintenance, Mechanical Maintenance and Process Control.  If your time is limited but you are committed to attending college to increase your technical skills, the Advance Technical Certificate Program is for you!


  • Students will be in class with “like-minded” people, who are focused, self-disciplined, and want to earn their certificate.
  • Networking Opportunities—students form strong connections with other working students/professionals.
  • Students know upfront their scheduling for the entire program.


  • Working toward a certificate or degree as a group has been proven to dramatically  improve retention and graduation rates.
  • Faculty are committed to helping students achieve their individual goals.
  • Earning your technical certificate opens doors for promotion within your organization or a new career.
  • The courses in this certificate program will apply to an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Technology.

Cleveland State

Cleveland State Community College