Careers in Chemistry

Chemistry is indeed central to many areas of technology with chemical discoveries in the manipulation, detection and study of matter on the microscopic scale rippling out to a variety of disciplines. In addition, a chemistry degree and the corresponding knowledge of chemistry fundamentals serves as an excellent background for a wide range of associated careers, such as in education, law, public policy, public health and a host of others. A basic understanding of science and the scientific process can also be an inspiration for some non-traditional, successful career choices.

You can learn more about career opportunities in chemistry from the web pages of the American Chemical Society, including career descriptions, career profiles, employment prospects, and salary information. Information about graduate study in chemistry can also be found on the ACS site. In addition, the ACS Directory of Graduate Research has comprehensive data on virtually all North American graduate chemistry programs.

Chemistry Career Day

At the end of each fall semester, the Department sponsors a Chemistry Career Day for Chemistry majors. The day-long event takes place on the second floor of the Chemistry Building and features presentations by chemistry professionals on career options and internships, a resume building seminar, lessons in interviewing, and a networking lunch (lunch provided).

Career Advising

For one-on-one career advising, visit the Pomerantz Career Center at Suite C310 in the Pomerantz Center. Walk-in hours during the fall and spring semesters are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you'd like to schedule an appointment, call 319-335-1023. All services are free of charge.

Thinking about Graduate School?

Do you have a passion for chemistry? Does the prospect of discovery and innovation thrill you? Graduate education gives you the skills and expertise that can open doors to rich and satisfying career opportunities. A graduate degree also increases your opportunities for promotions and flexibility, and it can substantially increase your earnings potential. For example, the average lifetime earnings for a college graduate are estimated at $2.1 million, while they're $3.4 million for an individual with a Ph.D. (Occupational Outlook Quarterly). A graduate degree is an investment that can pay off for the rest of your life. More information about graduate study in chemistry is available from the ACS and the Directory of Graduate Research has comprehensive data on virtually all North American graduate chemistry programs.

If you're interested in graduate school in chemistry, talk with your advisor about possible schools and specialties. When preparing your graduate application, remember that the University of Iowa's Writing Center tutors can help you with your personal statement, and your UI professors can provide valuable recommendation letters.