The average Chemist in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $54K annually. Total cash compensation to Chemists ranges from $35K on the lower end to $82K on the higher end; the final number includes potential for approximately $7K each from bonuses and profit sharing in exceptional cases. While tenure and geography impact pay for this group, the particular firm is the most influential factor. Most enjoy medical while a strong majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the greater part. Most people who answered the questionnaire are men; 63 percent of Chemists are male. Most Chemists like their work and job satisfaction is high. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
|Salary||$38,665 - $82,949|
|Bonus||$194.82 - $7,453|
|Profit Sharing||$0.00 - $7,450|
|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).)
|$35,097 - $81,816|
|Hourly Rate||$14.63 - $27.01|
|Overtime||$21.22 - $41.82|
|Bonus||$194.82 - $7,453|
|Profit Sharing||$0.00 - $7,450|
|Total Pay (||$35,097 - $81,816|
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.Read More...
Most chemist positions require the candidate to have earned at least a Bachelors degree, but upper level positions require a few years of work experience and/or more advanced degrees. In terms of non-technical skills, chemists must have strong communication skills - both written and verbal. They must be able to manage multiple projects effectively while being able to work independently or with the rest of the laboratory team. Safety awareness is also crucial for chemists, since some of the chemicals they work with on a daily basis have the potential to seriously injure or kill whoever comes in contact with them. Chemists must also be able follow directions exactly, but they also need to be able to identify potential improvements to improve an experiment or process.
- Collect and document quality assurance test data, including testing formulations, substrates and reagents.
- Interpret and analyze data and equipment logs from other laboratory members.
- Maintain, troubleshoot, and use instruments, equipment and software tools.
Common Career Paths for Chemist
Chemists who move on to become Senior Chemists may enjoy significant pay raises, as Senior Chemists get paid an average of $75K per year. Chemists go on to become Analytical Chemists more often than anything even though median pay for the role is $50K. Chemists who move into a Research Chemist role, another well-traveled path for those in this field, tend to find salaries of $58K.
Popular Employer Salaries for Chemist
Chemists flock to PPG Industries, Inc., Valspar Corporation, Ecolab, Inc., Sigma Aldrich Corp, and Advanced Testing Laboratory, highly regarded companies that employ a generous number of people in this profession. With a median salary of $73K, Valspar Corporation offers Chemists the highest pay. However, earnings don't seem to live on a large spectrum; they generally peter out at $63K and are capped at $96K. Chemists will also find cushy salaries at Sherwin Williams Co. (+$63K), PPG Industries, Inc. (+$57K), and Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc. (+$57K).
AAIPharma, Intertek, and Clean Harbors, Inc also scrape the bottom of the pay scale, with median earnings hovering around $38K, $41K, and $43K.
Popular Skills for Chemist
Chemists report using a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Chemistry, Project Management, and Troubleshooting are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 37 percent, 28 percent, and 24 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include GMP Compliance. Most people skilled in Quality Assurance / Quality Control are similarly competent in Research Analysis and Product Development.
Pay by Experience Level for Chemist
Pay by Experience for a Chemist has a positive trend. An entry-level Chemist with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $47,000 based on 1,722 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Chemist with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $57,000 based on 577 salaries. An experienced Chemist which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $66,000 based on 369 salaries. A Chemist with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $76,000 based on 213 salaries.
Pay Difference by Location
Chemists will find that Cleveland offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 14 percent. Chemists can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Boston (+11 percent), New York (+10 percent), Philadelphia (+10 percent), and Houston (+9 percent). In Milwaukee, salaries are 13 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Seattle and San Diego are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 11 percent lower and 10 percent lower, respectively.
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Key Stats for Chemist
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