The main responsibility of a forensic chemist is to assist the office of the chief medical examiner with different type of deaths. On a day to day basis, a forensic chemist is required to function as a toxicologist for the lab, take the most responsibility when it comes to new programs, perform basic chemistry work on bodies and evidence found, and come up with new methods of analyzing toxicology reports. This chemist is also responsible for validating, developing, and reviewing toxicology reports in the lab and isolating drugs from a specimen using chemistry.
As a forensic chemist, one can expect to work 9 to 5, but depending on the company, hours can change. They are usually on their feet for most of the day and often work in front of a computer. A forensic chemist is usually found working in some type of laboratory where tools and chemicals are readily available for performing analysis on various specimens.The following are required in order to apply as a forensic chemist: knowing the ins and outs of toxicology reports, understanding chemistry and biochemistry, understanding pharmacology, knowing how to use different types of instrumentation in order to perform a chemical analysis, and knowing the safety rules of a laboratory.
In order to be considered for this type of job, one should have a bachelor's or master's in a chemistry, biochemistry, or pharmacology field. One needs to work on complex problems as both an individual and in a group setting in order to be successful.