Earnings for Chemists in the United States come in at around $54K per year on average. In the world of Chemists, total cash compensation can vary between $35K and $84K. Each package generally includes bonuses and profit sharing proceeds, and in exceptional cases, those amounts can reach heights of $8K and $5K, respectively. The company is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration and location. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. The majority of Chemists (64 percent) who took the survey are men. For the most part, Chemists enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.

$38,534 - $84,841
(Median)
$39K
$54K
$85K
MEDIAN: $53,882
10%
50%
90%

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$14.51 - $26.85
(Median)
$15
$19
$27
MEDIAN: $19.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$29K$58K$87K
Salary
$38,534 - $84,841  
   
Bonus
$192.10 - $7,828  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $5,128  
Commission
$10,000  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$34,989 - $83,587  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 1,842
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$15$30$45
Hourly Rate
$14.51 - $26.85  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00  
Overtime
$20.72 - $42.05  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$30K$60K$90K
Bonus
$192.10 - $7,828  
   
Commission
$10,000  
Profit Sharing
$0.00 - $5,128  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$34,989 - $83,587  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 28 Oct 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 624
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Job Description for Chemist

Chemists most often work in a lab setting of some sort. They maintain, troubleshoot, and use various instruments, equipment, and software tools utilized for chemical analysis and processing. Analytical techniques used by chemists include high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC), gas chromatography (GC), and titration techniques. Strong data interpretation and analytical skills are required to be a chemist, as often times chemists are responsible for interpreting and analyzing data and equipment logs from other laboratory members. He or she needs to accurately report and track ingredient yields, quality measures, and occasionally microbiological results in addition to other key data sets. When necessary, the chemist must show an aptitude for experimental design. Additionally, chemists collect and document quality assurance test data, including testing formulations, substrates, and reagents. Chemists also must be very attentive to detail, especially since certain analytical tasks may be completely ruined with the slightest error.

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Chemist Tasks

  • Maintain, troubleshoot, and use instruments, equipment and software tools.
  • Interpret and analyze data and equipment logs from other laboratory members.
  • Collect and document quality assurance test data, including testing formulations, substrates and reagents.

Common Career Paths for Chemist


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While difficult to come across, Chemists do sometimes move on to become Senior Chemists. The average salary for Senior Chemists is $75K annually. The most common career progression for Chemists leads to becoming an Analytical Chemist, where pay is typically $50K. However, many Chemists also opt to become Research Chemists, a position that pays $58K on average.

Chemist Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Chemist


Leading companies who hire large numbers of Chemists include PPG Industries, Inc., Valspar Corporation, Ecolab, Inc., Sigma Aldrich Corp, and Advanced Testing Laboratory. Although the highest salaries can be found at Valspar Corporation where median pay is $73K, there is little variation in compensation; paychecks are spread only between $63K and $96K. Other big spenders include Sherwin Williams Co., BASF Corporation, and PPG Industries, Inc., top-paying firms where Chemists see paychecks nearing $63K, $58K, or $55K.

Also approaching the lower end are AAIPharma at $38K, Intertek at $41K, and Clean Harbors, Inc at $42K.

Popular Skills for Chemist


Chemists seem to require a rather large skill set. Lucky workers who know Project Management can expect a significant pay bump, scoring salaries 51 percent above average. Troubleshooting and Technical Writing are also correlated to pay that is above average, with increases between 19 percent and 51 percent. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Chemistry and GMP Compliance. It is often found that people who know Quality Assurance / Quality Control are also skilled in Research Analysis and Product Development.

Pay by Experience Level for Chemist

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Chemists who reported more years of relevant experience also reported higher earnings. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $47K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $58K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Chemists see a median salary of $66K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Chemists who have acquired more than 20 years of relevant experience earn significantly more than folks with fewer years on their resumes; the average income in this veteran group is $76K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $51,253

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

For those looking to make money, Chemists in Boston enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 24 percent above the national average. Chemists will also find cushy salaries in New York (+13 percent), Houston (+12 percent), Cleveland (+10 percent), and Indianapolis (+7 percent). With compensation 13 percent below the national average, Seattle is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Workers in Milwaukee and Chicago earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (11 percent less and 8 percent less, respectively).

Chemist Reviews

What is it like working as a Chemist?

Chemist in York:
Pros: It gave me a sense of independence and allowed me to come up with my own ideas towards improving our product.
Cons: Sometimes there is a lull in the amount of work we have to accomplish, and there was little experience with understanding how the product was made for some time.

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Experience Affects Chemist Salaries




National Average
$51,000


Skills That Affect Chemist Salaries


Troubleshooting
up arrow 19%

Technical Writing
up arrow 19%

Chemist
up arrow 17%

Chemical Process Engineering
up arrow 15%

Formulation
up arrow 8%




Process Improvement
up arrow 3%

HPLC
up arrow 1%

National Average
$51,000

Quality Assurance / Quality Control
up arrow 2%

Data Analysis
up arrow 2%

GMP Compliance
up arrow 4%

Chemistry
up arrow 8%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 280 votes.

Gender

Female
36 %
Male
64 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
12%
1-4 years
48%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
12%
20 years or more
9%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 86%
dental benefits
Dental: 72%
medical benefits
Vision: 60%
dental benefits
None: 12%
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