Chemist Salary

Chemists in the United States can expect wages of $52K annually on average. Pay generally varies between $35K and $82K per year. Total cash compensation for Chemists runs from $35K to $82K depending on bonuses that can occasionally exceed $6K and profit sharing that can reach almost $9K. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is the company, though career length and geographic location have a (lesser) impact as well. More than half of Chemists (62 percent) survey respondents are men. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$36,855 - $82,942
(Median)
$37K
$52K
$83K
MEDIAN: $51,718
10%
50%
90%

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$14.49 - $27.76
(Median)
$14
$19
$28
MEDIAN: $19.00
10%
50%
90%

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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$28K$56K$84K
Salary
$36,855 - $82,942  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,990  
Profit Sharing
$5.07 - $8,940  
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).
)
$34,739 - $82,401  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,188
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
$14.49 - $27.76  
   
Overtime
$21.07 - $41.40  
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 - $5,990  
   
Profit Sharing
$5.07 - $8,940  
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).
)
$34,739 - $82,401  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 695
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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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Chemists who move on to become Senior Chemists may enjoy significant pay raises, as Senior Chemists get paid an average of $75K per year. Moving from a Chemist to Analytical Chemist or Research Chemist is a more common career path, however.

Chemist Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Chemist


PPG Industries, Inc., Sigma Aldrich Corp, Ecolab, Inc., Intertek, and BASF Corporation are leaders in the field that employ a large number of Chemists. Chemists seeking a sizable paycheck can earn the most at BASF Corporation, where the average salary comes to $63K. Other leaders in compensation levels are Sherwin Williams Co. at $56K, PPG Industries, Inc. at $54K, and Ecolab, Inc., where Chemists annually earn $52K.

Intertek, Sigma Aldrich Corp, and Ecolab, Inc. also rank near the bottom for pay, handing out $42K, $46K, and $52K-paychecks on average.

Popular Skills for Chemist


Survey results show that Chemists use a fair number of skills. Most notably, facility with Chemistry, Chemical Process Engineering, and Product Development are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 25 percent, 13 percent, and 7 percent, respectively. At the other end of the pay range are skills like GMP Compliance, Instrument Control, and HPLC. Those familiar with Quality Assurance / Quality Control also tend to know Research Analysis.

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. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $45K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $56K. On average, Chemists make $63K following one to two decades on the job. Chemists who have spent more than 20 years on the job report earning a significantly higher median of $74K.

Pay Difference by Location


For those looking to make money, Chemists in Atlanta enjoy an exceptional pay rate, 24 percent above the national average. Chemists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Boston (+19 percent), New York (+19 percent), Indianapolis (+14 percent), and Houston (+11 percent). Pittsburgh is the lowest-paying area, 17 percent south of the national average. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Milwaukee (11 percent less) and Cincinnati (5 percent less).

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Experience Affects Chemist Salaries




National Average
$50,000


Skills That Affect Chemist Salaries

Chemistry
up arrow 25%

Chemical Process Engineering
up arrow 13%


Research Analysis
up arrow 4%

Technical Analysis
up arrow 2%

National Average
$50,000

Data Analysis
up arrow 1%

Quality Assurance / Quality Control
up arrow 3%

HPLC
up arrow 7%

Instrument Control
up arrow 9%

GMP Compliance
up arrow 15%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 428 votes.

Gender

Female
38 %
Male
62 %

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: 87% dental benefits Dental: 74%
vision benefits Vision: 59% employee benefits None: 12%
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