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What Can I Do With a Chemistry Degree?

Often called the “central science,” chemistry is a cornerstone of many industries — generating advancements in manufacturing, drug design, environmental protection, disease prevention and many more. Chemistry majors gain both theoretical perspectives and creative applications to address some of our world’s most pressing problems. With coursework in mathematics, physics, biology and more, the major equips graduates with the skills to excel in a variety of careers in chemistry after graduation. Read on to learn more about what you can do with a chemistry degree!

Typical Employment Industries for a Chemistry Major

Students seeking a career in chemistry after graduation have many options with their degree. The following are just a few of the industries in which bachelor’s degree in chemistry jobs are common.

  • Research and Industry: From drug development to quality control, chemists working in industry contribute to advancements in human health, technology, manufacturing and more.
  • Medicine: Beyond its subject matter, chemistry is a good premedical path due to the problem-solving skills honed by the major. Drexel’s biochemistry concentration is popular for pre-medical students, as is the BA in chemistry, which allows students to take a wider range of courses and increase their chances of admission to medical school.
  • Business: Many leading corporations rely on chemistry majors for innovation in product development. Chemistry majors are also frequently hired in roles such as environmental consultant, technical sales representative, business development specialist and more.
  • Law: Chemistry is a popular choice for those interested in pursuing patent law, environmental law and in-house council roles. Bachelor’s in chemistry careers include jobs as a paralegal, patent specialist or legal assistant. Students who are interested in attending law school could consider Drexel’s BS + JD program, which saves one year on traditional programs.
  • Academia: Drexel’s BS in chemistry is certified by the American Chemical Society, and particularly suited for those who wish to pursue advanced degrees in the field. A PhD is required for many chemistry jobs in higher education.
  • Government: Chemistry majors are in high demand at federal agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health and many more. Students who are interested in careers as forensic investigators and crime lab analysts fare well with a chemistry degree.

Types of Chemistry Careers

The industry and employer greatly affects the variety of projects that chemistry graduates will work on. Some of the most common employers of bachelor’s degree in chemistry jobs are:

  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Chemical companies
  • Hospitals
  • Research centers
  • Food and beverage companies
  • Government agencies

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Pennsylvania and New Jersey rank in the top three states with the highest employment of chemists. Along with nearby states like Delaware and Maryland, they also rank in the top five states with the highest concentration of chemical jobs.

Recent graduates of Drexel’s chemistry program have gone on to exciting careers at employers such as:

  • Fox Chase Cancer Center
  • DuPont
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • L’Oreal
  • NYU’s School of Medicine
  • And many more!

Chemistry Major Typical Job Salaries

Chemistry major job salaries are competitive, with a median annual wage of nearly $77K for chemists in the United States. Entry-level salaries for chemistry majors start lower, but often come with opportunities for advancement.

Below are a few of the median chemistry major job salaries in 2018 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Forensic science technicians - $58K
  • Environmental scientists and specialists - $71K
  • Food scientists and technologists - $73K
  • Biochemists and biophysicists - $93K

Is Chemistry a Good Major?

Chemistry is a good major for students who are passionate about solving problems and motivated to apply their skills to the real needs of our world. At Drexel, the chemistry department is tight knit, and creates a supportive environment that encourages students to excel.

Learn More About Drexel’s BS or BA in Chemistry

Prospective Student Inquiries

Please send inquiries to coas@drexel.edu or call us at 215.895.1805. We look forward to hearing from you.


Undergraduate Advising

Chuck McNally

Charles McNally

Assistant Dean and Academic Adviser
3031 MacAlister Hall
215.895.2689 | cdm27@drexel.edu