For a better experience, click the Compatibility Mode icon above to turn off Compatibility Mode, which is only for viewing older websites.

What Can You Do With a Master’s or PhD in Chemistry?

Often called the “central science,” chemistry is of vital importance to the life sciences, medicine, engineering, astronomy and many science-related fields requiring problem-solving skills. Thus, chemistry degree jobs span many industries. What you can do with a master’s or PhD in chemistry ranges from biotechnology to consulting, applied research to environmental protection. Read on to learn more about graduate careers in chemistry!

Master’s in Chemistry Jobs

What to do with a master’s in chemistry includes research and technical roles in a variety of industries. For employers, a master’s degree can demonstrate a higher level of understanding of fundamental concepts, as well as advanced technical and instrumentation skills.

Is a Master’s in Chemistry Worth It?

A master’s degree in chemistry is worth it for students who would like to develop greater expertise and research experience in a subfield of chemistry. An MS program of study provides valuable experience and an opportunity to continue on to a PhD or the option to graduate with an MS degree and enter industry after graduation.

Learn More About Employment Industries in Chemistry

What Can You Do With a PhD in Chemistry?

There are an enormous variety of jobs for chemistry PhD graduates outside the traditional chemistry PhD career path academia. Chemistry PhD careers are found in industries that range from pharmaceutical and biomedical to cosmetic, food and agricultural. The Drexel experience also provides graduates with the portfolio to pursue postdoctoral positions and tenure-track or teaching professorships.

Types of Chemistry PhD Careers

Jobs for chemistry PhD graduates can be found at many top corporations and government agencies. What you can do with a PhD in chemistry includes the following positions:

  • Business development manager
    Business development managers research and develop new business opportunities to capitalize on existing products. This role requires deep, industry-specific knowledge and the business acumen to support the growth of a company.
  • Consultant
    Consultants offer expert opinions in specific fields to meet the needs of clients. PhD in chemistry graduates may become consultants in areas including health and safety, intellectual property, regulatory compliance, instrumentation and more.
  • Environmental chemist
    Chemistry is an important field in contributing to the protection of human health and the environment. Environmental chemists draw from knowledge of many fields to analyze air, water and soil contents and make recommendations to government agencies.
  • Forensic chemist
    Forensic chemists often work in government labs to unlock the chemical clues in evidence. This role requires strong instrumentation skills, a grounding in criminology and the ability to clearly and consistently communicate findings.
  • Patent Lawyer
    A chemistry PhD is excellent preparation for careers in patent law, which benefit from a high degree of technical knowledge. While graduates need to attend law school to become an attorney, firms hire doctoral graduates in roles like technical or scientific adviser, which allow grads to see if they want to continue in the field.
  • Product developer
    Many corporations demand the skills of a chemistry PhD in applied research and product development positions. A PhD in chemistry allows for greater opportunities in leadership and management of independent research projects.
  • Technical writer
    Chemical and pharmaceutical firms require professionals with a deep understanding of scientific processes to communicate their products to medical professionals and the public. Technical writers and communicators use their skills to create sales training materials, regulatory documents, web content, and more.
  • Toxicologist
    Toxicologists work in the government, industry and academia, and are responsible for developing and administering toxicology tests. Depending on experience level, roles include administering tests and interpreting results, all the way up to designing and managing large-scale experiments.

These are just a few of many chemistry PhD careers, which also include a variety of roles in manufacturing, technical sales, public health and more.

Is a PhD in Chemistry Worth It?

If you are interested in designing research projects, managing teams or contributing new knowledge in the field, a PhD in chemistry is worth it for greater opportunities for employment and advancement. In preparation for the careers listed above, it is important to supplement the chemistry PhD curriculum with professional experience and skills related to the field of interest.

Start Your Journey Toward a Chemistry Career

Are you ready to start your journey toward PhD or master’s in chemistry jobs? Apply for a degree in chemistry, or visit campus to get firsthand information about a Drexel education. For more information, contact our graduate program committee chair, Ezra Wood, PhD, at or 215.895.2268, extension 1681.

Learn More About the Master’s in Chemistry
Learn More About the PhD in Chemistry

Prospective Students

Please email or call us at 215.895.1805 with any questions you may have. We look forward to hearing from you!