What jobs can I do?

A chemistry qualification opens the door to a wide range of careers options, both in and out of the lab

You could help develop a life-saving vaccine. Or invent a new way to cut air pollution. Or create a new type of biodegradable plastic. Chemical scientists all over the world are working on climate change, human health, sustainable energy…issues that impact us all.

Graphic showing career paths in chemistry

What do you care most about?

  • Changing lives. As a chemist you could be developing new medicines, vaccines and medical devices
  • Fixing the future.  Chemical scientists are finding ways to cope with the increasing pressures on energy, food, water and other scarce natural resources and to live more sustainably
  • Innovating industry. As a chemistry professional you could be developing sustainable products and materials, and improving processes
  • Challenging opinions. How about promoting scientific research and lobbying for policy changes.
  • Being the catalyst. You could inspire others through teaching chemistry
  • Working outside the lab in areas like the law, finance, journalism, the government and teaching

You will be part of an estimated 275,000-strong workforce (2019) and contribute an enormous £87 billion to UK GDP (2019). Want to find out more?

Jobs, sectors and locations of chemistry-using professionals in 2019 (pdf 660kb)

For more ideas check out these websites

Browse all job profiles


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Being the catalyst

Chemical scientists sparking change: video profiles from industry, research, business and education.

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Challenging opinions

A collection of short videos showcasing careers in chemical science that challenge current thinking.

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Changing lives

Be inspired and informed by our videos profiling people whose chemistry careers are changing people’s lives.

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Innovating industry

Video snapshots of real-life chemical scientists who are using their skills to help improve how industry runs.

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Fixing the future

Chemical scientists with their eye on the bigger picture: meet those who work to relieve the increasing pressures on the world’s resources.