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Department of Chemistry University of Illinois Springfield



What Can You Do With This Degree

Careers in Chemistry

A degree in Chemistry can lead to some very rewarding and exciting careers. Listed below are some of the options that are available to someone with a degree in Chemistry:

  • Attend medical, dental, or veterinary school
  • Attend graduate school and earn a Ph.D. in Chemistry
  • Attend law school and specialize in environmental or patent law
  • Work as a forensic chemist
  • Work for the state or federal government for agencies such as the EPA, DPH, DNS, or DOT.
  • Work in industry as a bench or R & D chemist
  • Work in a pharmacy
  • Work in a hospital
  • Teach at area high schools
  • Work as a pharmaceutical or instrument company representative
  • Become a technical writer 

Should you go to graduate/law school to earn a higher degree? This, of course, depends on your career goals. People with advanced degrees in chemistry tend to earn higher salaries, experience more rapid career development, and generally have more career options. 

However, these advanced degrees also require an additional 2-8 years of study beyond the undergraduate level. In the case of the Ph.D. degree, 1-2 years of post-doctoral research experience is also often required for university/college level teaching positions and some research positions.

Typically, a Ph.D. degree is required for:

  • Teaching positions at the university level
  • Managerial and other advanced positions within industrial/manufacturing firms and governmental agencies/laboratories
  • Many research positions

The M.S. degree is often sufficient for employment in:

  • Applied research within industrial and governmental laboratories
  • Teaching positions at community colleges/high schools

The B.S./B.A. degree is sufficient for many entry-level positions in industry and governmental laboratories, but tends to limit career advancement up the “corporate ladder.”

Leadership lived


University of Illinois Springfield
One University Plaza
Springfield, Illinois 62703-5407



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