Companies that manufacture chemicals and solvents normally hire quality control (QC) chemists. Quality control differs from quality assurance; while quality assurance focuses on the chemical development and creation processes, quality control chemists assess the final product through chemical analysis to ensure it meets organizational standards.
QC chemists begin by taking samples of chemical compounds that have completed manufacture; typically, these compounds may include standard household cleaning products, but they also may include industrial additives and other manufacturing solvents. Then, the QC chemist analyzes these samples using a precise, systematic process. Chemists and chemical engineers with the company will have developed acceptable ranges for the components of the chemical, and the quality control analysis ensures that the completed compound conforms to these parameters. Throughout the quality control process, the QC chemist documents analysis and findings, which they typically aggregate in reports for manufacturing and chemical engineering departments; this helps those departments assess the efficiency and accuracy of the manufacturing process and make adjustments as necessary.
A bachelor’s degree in chemistry or a related field is typically required in this position, although an associate’s degree and applicable practical experience may sometimes be accepted. The QC chemist typically possesses a background in both relevant chemical manufacturing and in quality control or quality assurance. Individuals in this position typically work in a manufacturing or laboratory environment, usually during regular business hours.
Quality Control (QC) Chemist Tasks
Maintain the lab and calibrate equipment, including documentation of use and results.
Identify and investigate abnormal test results, conducting root cause analysis.
Extract, derive, and analyze samples using scientific equipment.
Prepare study protocols, collect data, and present recommendations.