What will I earn?

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

The 2018/19 What Do Graduates Do report (pdf) showed that the highest starting salaries for chemistry graduates six months after graduation was £27,500. This compares to the UK average starting salary of £22,399. Over 70% of chemistry students entered a professional or managerial role after graduation with double the UK average going into further study showing continuing demand for higher-level qualifications from employers.

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.

If you want to find out more about salaries in a particular career area, current job advertisements are a good source of information. Career websites and magazines focusing on topics relevant to your area of interest are good places to start. Salaries depend on a large number of factors, including qualifications required, location, experience, size and type of the organisation.

Useful websites

*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