Job profiles

Real-life stories from real-life chemical scientists. Find out what jobs in chemistry can involve and the qualifications that will get you there.

  • Tilly_still2

    Analytical chemist

    Tilly does research on human breath samples to potentially diagnose conditions like asthma and infectious diseases including cancer

  • Celine_still

    Analytical technician, plastics

    Celine modifies the molecular structure of plastics so they can biodegrade in the natural environment

  • Fernando Gomollón-Bel _science communicator

    Science communicator

    Fernando uses his scientific knowledge to explain complex science to the public so they can understand and appreciate the value of these discoveries that are important to their everyday lives

  • Robert still 2

    Associate principal scientist, food

    Robert builds computer models to predict how different food chemicals will enhance the taste and texture of chocolate, biscuits and other snacks

  • Joe still 2

    Laboratory analyst and higher degree apprentice, water

    Joseph helps ensure there is clean, safe, water for 15 million people in the UK whilst studying towards his chemistry degree

  • charley renney

    Patent attorney

    Charley explains how he makes an impact by helping inventors get legal protection for their new inventions and medicines

  • claire4

    Bioanalytical scientist

    Claire’s work involves stress testing new medicines in various stages of drug development to ensure they are robust and reliable before being released onto the consumer market

  • Holly_2

    Associate scientist, pharmaceuticals

    Holly develops new medicines at a global pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca alongside completing her degree apprenticeship

  • Mariam Khalfey

    Development chemist, printing and inks

    Mariam shares how she makes custom inks for their customers so they can safely print on food (like eggs) and food packaging providing vital information to the public 

  • Lewis_still

    Research assistant

    Lewis contributes to cutting-edge scientific research using specialist equipment to potentially diagnose diseases like cancer sooner

  • Margot still 3

    Research innovations manager

    Margot is at the cutting-edge of science developing ways to make plastic biodegrade quickly and explaining this to others

  • Secondary school children in the laboratory

    Head of chemistry and teacher

    Kay teaches and oversees the work that goes on in a secondary school chemistry department

  • Sandrine Bouchelkia school science technician

    School science technician

    Sandrine works with teachers to design and safely prepare exciting classroom chemistry experiments

  • Forensic toxicologist

    Forensic toxicologist

    Calum helps ensure public safety through the toxicological testing of everyday items like food, cosmetics, electronics, medicines and textiles to ensure they are safe to use and consume

  • shutterstock_713386330

    Policy adviser, UK government

    Tom works for the UK government and briefs ministers and politicians about the latest scientific research to inform their policies

  • Food testing

    Flavourist and innovation director

    Claire creates new flavour combinations to improve the taste of everyday food products

  • A view of Earth from space

    Atmospheric chemist

    Zoë’s role involves finding ways to minimise the impact of humans on the natural world

  • Photo of Harsh Shar and Michael Wevil who are chemists at ThamesWater

    Analytical chemists, Thames Water

    Harsh and Michael describe their vital work keeping the region’s water and sewage systems safe and operational at all times

  • Nanotoxicologist


    Vicki examines how tiny nanomaterials present in everyday products such as medicine, electronics and clothing interact with our bodies to ensure they are safe to use or consume

  • shutterstock_130293152

    Computational toxicologist

    Tim works in this rapidly expanding area of toxicology using computer modeling to more efficiently assess the risk of chemicals to people to keep the public safe

  • Chemical plant_sustainability manager

    Sustainability manager

    Mike discusses his vital role in advising businesses and chemists about how to be more green and sustainable

  • MediSieve’s Chief Technology Officer, Dr Cristina Blanco-Andujar

    Chief technology officer

    Cristina helps develop technology that could change lives by extracting disease from the body

  • 0712CW-FEATURE-Olympics_Fig1_630

    Sports scientist, British Olympic Association

    Brian talks about his exciting role working with Team GB athletes and his part in the 2012 London Olympics

  • Toxicologist chemical

    Toxicologist, chemical company

    Nicholas discusses his challenging work bringing together scientific fields to ensure that their company’s chemicals are used safely and comply with strict rules and regulations

  • A picture showing solar panels with blue sky and white colours top left corner to illustrate an article about fuelling the future with hydrogen, solar and wind power

    Laboratory technician and higher apprentice, solar

    Rebekka tests and finds ways to improve solar panels whilst balancing her studies towards her Foundation Degree apprenticeship

  • Autosampler of NMR spectrometer loaded with samples for analysis. Institute of Organic and Biochemistry Academy of Sciences the Czech Republic

    Scientific associate, NMR spectroscopy

    Christopher uses NMR to identify the structure of new and unknown chemical compounds to support the development of new medicines

  • Houses of parliament

    Senior committee specialist, UK government

    Xameerah talks about her important role in providing specialist advice on science and science policy to inform the work and policies of the UK government

  • Generic software programming language

    Research fellow

    Lynne shares how her PhD led to a university research career working with large pieces of equipment and computer programs to understand how chemical structures work

  • Image of cleaning products in a basket

    Senior scientist, household goods

    Phillip leads a small team of researchers who improve the performance of household products such as toothpaste and shampoo

  • A picture of cosmetics

    Consumer products technician

    Robert develops materials to improve the properties of consumer products from cosmetics to chewing gum

  • High voltage power lines

    Chief chemist

    Stephen oversees the ways in which chemistry can be used to improve a power station’s performance

  • shutterstock_1382559569

    Investor relations manager

    Marcia updates shareholders, managers, staff and external market analysts with Unilever’s financial performance and strategy

  • shutterstock_1529869946

    Senior analytical systems technician

    Christopher describes how his love of science and understanding how things work led him to his role as a systems technician

  • Emma Sargent

    Senior picture editor

    Emma communicates science to the public by sourcing or commissioning engaging and accurate scientific photographs, illustrations and videos for publications

  • Cancer research UK

    Policy researcher, cancer research UK

    Harriet works at the world’s largest independent funder of cancer research where she helps researchers get support from the UK government and other research bodies

  • X-ray crystallography equipment at Diamond Light Source

    Postdoctoral research associate

    Anna explains how she carries out her own cutting-edge scientific research at the UK’s national synchrotron science facility

  • Man fills up the petrol tank in a car

    Project leader in enhanced experimentation, oil & gas

    Stuart brings good ideas to business faster by finding better tools and methods for researchers.

  • Gold bars

    Project manager, world gold council

    Trevor discusses his unique role of promoting the uses of gold to companies across different industries

  • Press conference_Freelance science publicist

    Freelance science publicist

    Sallie develops creative ideas to get good media coverage for science organisations and events

  • old fashioned perfume bottle

    Fine fragrance evaluator

    Sophie helps improve and perfect fragrances created by perfumers. She also gets to travel regularly to Paris, Cologne and Grasse

  • A conceptual image showing evidence for a case

    Forensic scientist

    Joni investigates biological samples for the presence of drugs and alcohol and also examines evidence seized by the police

  • Photo of a scientist taking a soil sample

    Environmental chemist

    James helps protect the environment by assessing the risks to life from certain chemicals in soil, water and air

  • Image of a woman working with smartphone and laptop

    Finance and planning manager

    Lorna’s role in finance gives her an overview of the household, healthcare and personal care products developed at her company

  • Photo of white powder spilling out of a drug capsule

    Advanced apprentice, forensics

    Jamie describes what it’s like to work alongside scientists to deliver a service that supports the criminal justice system

  • hi res shutterstock_526761331


    John investigates the chemistry and physics of the regions of space between the stars

  • Coloured pills and capsules

    Associate researcher, pharmaceuticals

    Discover how you can change people’s lives as a chemist supervising the making of active ingredients in medicines

  • Publishing

    Assistant manager, publishing

    Sophia explains how she combines chemistry and editorial skills to publish scientific discoveries from people around the world

  • Illustration of a sample of blood, labelled 'doping'

    Assistant analyst, drug control centre

    Nicola describes how chemistry enabled her to play a vital part as an assistant analyst in the anti-doping laboratory for the Olympic Games

  • TaxAccountant

    Tax accountant

    Georgina discusses why she enjoys working in tax and legislation to ensures companies stay compliant and on the right side of the law

  • Medical research board_image

    Medical research council board secretary

    Hazel discusses her vital part in funding groundbreaking scientific research through the medical research council by assessing and discussing funding proposals with the council

  • EiC317 - Feature - New Drugs - Hero

    Director of medicinal chemistry

    Find out what’s involved in leading a team of 30 scientists who are researching new medicines

  • glucose-biosensor-275

    Director of IRC in biomedical materials

    Professor Vadgama researches biosensors which monitor changes inside the bodies of patients and athletes