What will I earn?

How much will I earn if I have a career in chemistry?

  • The 2020/21 What Do Graduates Do report  showed that the salaries for chemistry graduates six months after graduation ranged between £20,226 - £27,156. 
  • The Royal Society of Chemistry’s 2021 Pay & Reward survey showed a median salary of £46,700 for member-respondents*. Early career members earned a median salary of £34,000. The chemical sciences offers a high level of job security and stability with 70% of respondents saying they felt secure in their current job (up from 65% in 2019).
  • Nearly 40% of all chemistry graduates in 20/21 became science professionals or associate professionals and technicians with roles in research and development in agrochemicals, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, plastics and toiletries. 
  • The contribution (direct, indirect and induced) of chemistry-using professionals to UK GDP was estimated to be £87 billion in 2019.
  • There are estimated to have been 275,000 chemistry-using jobs in the UK in 2019, with a further 425,000 jobs supported by this workforce throughout the UK economy. See Chemistry’s Contribution: Workforce trends and economic impact

Salaries depend on a large number of factors, including qualifications required, location, experience, size and type of the organisation.

Useful websites to find out more about chemistry jobs and salaries

*Results based on 4,298 members of the Royal Society of Chemistry who responded to the 2021 survey with profiles representative of current membership.

Updated January 2020

Sterling coins and notes

What chemical scientists earned in 2019

Salaries have increased in line with inflation, and while the gender pay gap persists, it is at its lowest-ever level