5 High-Paying Careers in Chemistry

Published: Feb 27, 2024

 Salary & Benefits       
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Chemistry is a branch of natural science that studies the properties of matter, and how matter changes and reacts under a variety of circumstances. It is a broad discipline that has numerous applications, from the development of pharmaceutical products to environmental solutions, and those looking to start a career in chemistry will find a spectrum of opportunities available to them. Here are some high-paying careers in chemistry.


Kicking off our list is a rather obvious entry from the world of chemistry. Chemists are responsible for the analysis and preparation of various organic and inorganic compounds to be used in laboratory procedures. They’re also involved in conducting tests to determine the safety, efficacy, and quality of materials that are used in a wide variety of products. In many cases, chemists are required to prepare technical reports on their findings, which are then published in scientific journals.

Chemists are critical thinkers who pay great attention to detail. They possess excellent mathematical and analytical skills, and they are great problem solvers. To become a chemist, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in chemistry or a related field; however, certain employers might want to see a master’s degree or a PhD. In this role, you can expect to make anywhere between $50,000 and $75,000 per year.

Forensic Chemist

Do you binge-watch true crime documentaries? Still watching old reruns of Forensic Files? If you answered yes to either of those questions, you might want to try your hand at forensic chemistry. As a forensic chemist, you’ll be responsible for analyzing and running tests on crime scene evidence, and reaching conclusions based on your findings. You may also find yourself performing post-mortem toxicology reports to determine the cause of death in a victim.

Forensic chemists are detail-oriented individuals and critical-thinkers. In addition to this, they have excellent mathematical and problem-solving skills, and are effective communicators. In most cases, a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, forensic science, or a related field will get you in the door; however, a master’s degree may afford you more opportunities in this field. The average salary range of a forensic chemist is between $58,000 and $72,000 a year.

Lab Pack Chemist

If you’re into chemistry but also like to live dangerously, you might enjoy a career as a Lab Pack Chemist. In this role, you’ll be overseeing the transport and disposal of “lab packs,” which consist of all kinds of hazardous waste materials. You’ll also be responsible for following various safety protocols, ensuring that all hazardous materials are handled carefully, and that they don’t contaminate the environment.

The best lab pack chemists are very organized and pay close attention to detail. To become a lab pack chemist, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, and in many cases, potential employers will require you to have a commercial driver’s license with a HAZMAT endorsement. In this role you can expect to make anywhere between $70,000 and $120,000 per year, depending on factors such as your level of experience and your location.

Chemical Engineer

Chemical engineers are super scientists, combining the principles of chemistry with physics and engineering to design and develop equipment and processes to be used in the manufacturing of a wide variety of products. They’re also responsible for the collection and analysis of data, ensuring that equipment and processes are efficient, and that they adhere to safety standards and guidelines.

As a chemical engineer, you’ll be required to possess strong mathematical and analytical skills, along with knowledge of engineering science and physics. To start a career as a chemical engineer, you’ll need a bachelor’s or master’s degree in chemical engineering, biochemical engineering, or a related field. In this role, you’ll be making an annual salary of anywhere between $76,000 and $183,000, depending on factors such as your level of experience and location.

Medicinal Chemist

This job will always be in high demand, as there are constantly new pharmaceutical advancements being made. Medicinal chemists are involved in the development of new pharmaceutical products, and they’re responsibilities include creating, testing, and refining molecules to be used in the manufacture of drugs. These professionals often find themselves working in a laboratory setting, employing a variety of scientific instruments to perform their tasks.

Medicinal chemists have excellent mathematical and analytical skills. In addition to this, they pay great attention to detail, and are able to solve extremely complex problems. A bachelor’s degree in chemistry, organic chemistry, chemical engineering, or a related field will get you started, and as a medicinal chemist, you can expect to make anywhere between $96,000 and $179,000 a year; however, your earning potential may increase drastically with a master’s degree or a doctorate.

Chemistry plays a major role in our everyday lives, from the food we eat and the products we buy, to the sources of energy we use and technology we interact with. There are endless opportunities for advancement through chemistry, and if you’ve got what it takes, you might just make the next big breakthrough. Yes friends, a career in chemistry can be intellectually rewarding, but you can also make a nice salary while you’re at it.