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Chemist Salary

The average Chemist in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $51K per year. Pay generally varies between $34K and $80K per year. Final cash compensation to Chemists varies from around $34K to approximately $80K; choice pay grades include potential for bonuses and profit sharing as high as $6K and $10K, respectively. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is career length, though the company and geographic location have a (lesser) impact as well. The majority of Chemists claim high levels of job satisfaction. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. Men account for the majority of Chemists who responded to the questionnaire — 61 percent to be exact. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
$36,507 - $80,683
(Median)
37K
51K
64K
81K
MEDIAN: $50,969
10%
50%
75%
90%

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$14.21 - $27.02
(Median)
14
19
23
27
MEDIAN: $18.00
10%
50%
75%
90%

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Show Annual Salary Show Hourly Rate

National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$27K$54K$81K
Salary
$36,507 - $80,683  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,891  
Profit Sharing
$25.42 - $9,729  
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).
)
$34,272 - $79,608  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,881
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$14.21 - $27.02  
   
Overtime
$20.91 - $40.86  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,891  
   
Profit Sharing
$25.42 - $9,729  
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).
)
$34,272 - $79,608  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 604
United States (change)

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 Chemists rarely become Senior Chemists, the job pays $75K per year on average. More commonly, Chemists become Analytical Chemists or Research Chemists.

Chemist Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Chemist


Leading companies who hire large numbers of Chemists include PPG Industries, Inc., Sigma Aldrich Corp, Ecolab, Inc., Intertek, and Advanced Testing Laboratory. Chemists seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at Ecolab, Inc., where the median salary comes to $52K, though the large pay difference between employees at the top ($30K) and those starting out ($79K) creates a rather diverse pay scale.

Popular Skills for Chemist


Chemists report using a pretty varied skill set on the job. Most notably, facility with Chemistry, Chemical Process Engineering, and Product Development are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 26 percent, 15 percent, and 8 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include HPLC. Those proficient in Quality Assurance / Quality Control are, more often than not, also skilled in Research Analysis.

Pay by Experience Level for Chemist

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


Experience seems to be a major factor in determining the incomes of Chemists. The average beginner in this position makes around $45K, but folks who have been around for five to 10 years see a markedly higher median salary of $54K. Chemists bring in $62K after working for 10 to 20 years. Seasoned veterans with 20 years under their belts enjoy a median income of $73K.

Pay Difference by Location


Home to some of the best pay for Chemists, Boston offers exceptional salaries, 19 percent above the national average. Chemists will also find cushy salaries in Cleveland (+11 percent), Houston (+10 percent), Atlanta (+9 percent), and Indianapolis (+6 percent). The lowest-paying market is Lancaster, which sits 18 percent below the national average. Pittsburgh and Salt Lake City are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 16 percent lower and 14 percent lower, respectively.

Related Job Salaries

Experience Affects Chemist Salaries




National Average
$50,000


Skills That Affect Chemist Salaries

Chemistry
up arrow 26%

Chemical Process Engineering
up arrow 15%


Research Analysis
up arrow 4%

Technical Analysis
up arrow 2%

Data Analysis
0%

National Average
$50,000

Quality Assurance / Quality Control
up arrow 3%

HPLC
up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 467 votes.

Gender

Female
39 %
Male
61 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
46%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
14%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 86% dental benefits Dental: 73%
vision benefits Vision: 58% employee benefits None: 13%