Analytical Chemist Salary
Job Description for Analytical Chemist
Analytical chemists are specialized scientists who work to determine the chemical makeup of a variety of substances, both organic and inorganic. They must not only determine what chemical compounds and molecules are contained in a piece of matter, but also the quantities of those chemicals relative to others to discover chemical impurities, analyze unknown samples, and maintain quality control for specific chemical substances and medicines.Read More...
Much of an analytical chemist's job is metaphorical to investigative work. The chemist is typically provided a sample which must be broken down and examined in great detail, and he/she may use chemical means to separate the sample into component parts for easier examination. They may also use a variety of instrumentation and tools, such as centrifuges, chromatoscopes, and spectroscopes, to further detail the substantive makeup of a sample down to the molecular level.
Analytical chemists work in a variety of larger fields. Pharmaceutical companies, for example, employ them to perform quality control work and analyze medicines and drugs to ensure they adhere to formula parameters. They may also work in environmental fields to analyze soil and groundwater samples for potential contaminants and sources. Analytical chemistry is also valuable in food manufacturing, engineering, and even police investigation work.
A strong education background in chemical engineering and chemistry science is generally required for this position, and the field is competitive enough that many employees prefer those who have a master's degree. Most analytical chemists work in a laboratory environment and must be methodical, logical, patient, and proficient in using computers and advanced technology.
Analytical Chemist Tasks
- Determine the composition and structure of matter.
- Study samples, calibrate and standardize test results, interpret data and report results.
- Use computer-controlled instruments in laboratories to take measurements.
Common Career Paths for Analytical Chemist
Analytical Chemists often transition into Senior Chemist positions, for which compensation tends to be much higher. On average, Senior Chemists earn $75K per year. Analytical Chemists typically move into roles as Laboratory Managers or Quality Assurance Managers, and those positions pay $10K more and $18K more, respectively.
Analytical Chemist Job Listings
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Popular Employer Salaries for Analytical Chemist
BASF Corporation offers the largest salaries in town — $70K on average.
With a median salary of only $41K (72 percent less than the top paying company), Covance, Inc lags significantly in the earnings department.
Popular Skills for Analytical Chemist
Overall, survey participants reported applying a fair number of skills to their work. Most notably, skills in Mass Spectrometry, Chromatography, Research Analysis, and Technical Analysis are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 5 percent and 16 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include HPLC. For most people, competency in Data Analysis indicates knowledge of Quality Assurance / Quality Control, Technical Analysis, and Research Analysis.
Pay by Experience Level for Analytical Chemist
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $47K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $58K. On average, Analytical Chemists make $68K following one to two decades on the job. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $72K.
Pay Difference by Location
For Analytical Chemists, busy Houston offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 34 percent above the national average. Analytical Chemists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like St. Louis (+21 percent), Salt Lake City (+20 percent), Baltimore (+19 percent), and Boston (+13 percent). Analytical Chemists in Madison make 30 percent less than the national average, proving that location is a major factor in pay. Employers pay around 23 percent less in Atlanta and 20 percent less in Indianapolis, below-median salaries for those in this field.