What will I earn?

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

  • The 2018/19 What Do Graduates Do report showed that the highest starting salary for chemistry graduates six months after graduation was £27,500. The UK average salary was £22,399.
  • The Royal Society of Chemistry’s 2019 Pay & Reward survey showed a median salary of £45,500 for member-respondents* with an annual median bonus of £4,000. Early career members earned a median salary of £33,200. Members with PhDs showed higher earning potential during their career over other qualifications.
  • Over 70% of chemistry students entered a professional or managerial role after graduation
  • 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.

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 6,194 members of the Royal Society of Chemistry who responded to the 2017 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