MCPHS student in the chemistry lab looking through a microscope.
Academics | 6/12/2024

Innovative Careers in Chemistry

MCPHS student in the chemistry lab looking through a microscope.

It is a common misconception that a degree in chemistry is simply a pathway to a career as a medical doctor. However, at MCPHS, we have a comprehensive, definitive path toward a doctoral-level degree in medicine, and recognize the unique professional doors opened by earning a degree in chemistry. Here are just a few of the exciting careers available to those with a background in chemistry:

Chemical engineers help streamline the commercial and industrial process of creating new chemicals. They design machinery to help efficiently create chemical compounds and ensure that all manufacturing processes comply with workplace safety regulations. As experts in the fundamental creation of new chemical substances, chemical engineers act as the backbone of modern industry.

Forensic scientists work with crime scene investigators and law enforcement to analyze evidence, report back on findings, and help solve crimes. Due to their experience in decoding crime scenes, forensic scientists are often asked to offer expert testimony in trials and academic studies.

Analytical chemists determine the nature and properties of chemical substances. They work to identify how a substance will behave in specific conditions, and are instrumental in determining the safety, stability, and reactivity of new products, such as pharmaceutical drugs.

Geochemists study the composition of rocks. They use these geological samples to better understand humanity's impact of the environment, develop new environmental management policies, and predict future geological events.

Chemistry teachers shape the minds of the world's future healthcare leaders. They instruct across all levels and abilities, teaching students about everything from the periodic table and atoms to thermodynamics, kenetics, and stoichiometry.

Cosmetic chemists develop new makeup and beauty products, such as skin creams, mascara, and perfume, by mixing raw materials in a laboratory setting. Cosmetic chemists ensure that these products fulfill the needs of companies' campaigns and are safe for consumers to use.

Oceanographers are experts on the world's largest body of water: the ocean. They study waves and currents, floor sediments, and other microorganisms. Oceanographers are influential in the fights against overfishing and climate change, and can specialize further into careers such as marine biology or chemical oceanography.

Water chemists study how water impacts the Earth's ecosystems and inhabitants, and monitor the quality and consistency of global communities' drinking water. You can find water chemists working at filtration plants in quality assurance roles, acting as experts in crafting "clean water" legislature, and monitoring water supplies after a natural disaster.

Materials scientists are innovators responsible for creating new or customized synthetic substances, such as extra-strong plastics or highly durable rubber. Materials scientists can even work in product development roles at biomedical companies, making devices that are compatible with human tissue, such as prosthetics or artificial heart valves.

Agricultural chemists are instrumental to the success of farming and crop growth. They work hard to ensure that populations have access to nutritious food by monitoring soil composition and developing safe and sustainable ways to grow stronger, more pest-resistant crops.

Food and flavors chemists are invested in helping create palatable new snacks and drinks for consumers to enjoy. These chemists are experts in developing new flavor profiles, and are likely responsible for designing the taste of your favorite bag of chips or nostalgia-inducing cookies.

Hazardous waste chemists safely relocate and dispose of hazardous materials. They spend time verifying that these "hazmat" materials have not contaminated water sources, soil, or the air. In the case of contamination, hazardous waste chemists identify the severity of the situation and determine the best way to remediate the release of pollutants.

Interested in pursuing a degree in chemistry? Learn more about our Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, Master of Science in Medicinal Chemistry, and Doctor of Philosophy in Medicinal Chemistry.