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Chemist Salary

Chemists in the United States take home approximately $52K per year on average. Earnings generally vary between $35K and $82K per year. Total cash earnings of Chemists range from $35K on the low end to $82K on the high end; the final amount can include bonuses and profit sharing proceeds that occasionally exceed $6K and $7K, respectively. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is career length, though the particular city and the particular employer have a (lesser) impact as well. Chemists who participated in the survey are largely men, dominating at 62 percent. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$36,835 - $82,309
(Median)
$37K
$52K
$82K
MEDIAN: $51,716
10%
50%
90%

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$14.40 - $27.31
(Median)
$14
$19
$27
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
$36,835 - $82,309  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $5,884  
Profit Sharing
$4.79 - $7,240  
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).
)
$34,676 - $81,699  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 2,029
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
$14.40 - $27.31  
   
Overtime
$21.01 - $41.24  
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 - $5,884  
   
Profit Sharing
$4.79 - $7,240  
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).
)
$34,676 - $81,699  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 1 Apr 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 630

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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 might see a strong upturn in salary after transitioning into upper-level roles such as Senior Chemist, a seemingly popular career choice. People currently working in the latter position report a noticeably higher median income of $75K per year. However, becoming a Analytical Chemist or Research Chemist is a more frequent transition for Chemists.

Chemist Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Chemist


Many Chemists can be found at PPG Industries, Inc., Ecolab, Inc., Intertek, Sigma Aldrich Corp, and Advanced Testing Laboratory, firms that are at the top of the field. Although PPG Industries, Inc. boasts the highest average salary in town at $53K, employee compensation still varies greatly — workers can make as little as $37K or as much as $76K.

Popular Skills for Chemist


Survey results imply that Chemists put a diverse skill set to use. Most notably, facility with Chemistry, Chemical Process Engineering, and Product Development are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 24 percent, 13 percent, and 8 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include HPLC and Quality Assurance / Quality Control. Most people familiar with Quality Assurance / Quality Control also 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 $55K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $63K in this role. Average wages for folks with more than 20 years of experience come out to around $74K.

Pay Difference by Location


With a pay rate for Chemists that is 24 percent greater than the national average, Atlanta offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Chemists will also find cushy salaries in Boston (+21 percent), New York (+17 percent), Houston (+11 percent), and Cleveland (+9 percent). Those in the field find the lowest salaries in Pittsburgh, 16 percent below the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Milwaukee (11 percent lower) and St. Louis (6 percent lower).

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Chemist Salaries




National Average
$50,000


Skills That Affect Chemist Salaries

Chemistry
up arrow 24%

Chemical Process Engineering
up arrow 13%


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 8%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 454 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: 73%
vision benefits Vision: 59% employee benefits None: 12%