Chemistry - A Career Overview

It is important to understand that employers hire people, not degrees. The skills and knowledge you develop as a result of your education, as well as in your work and community activities, have the greatest impact on hiring decisions. Listed below are some specific knowledge and transferable skills you will acquire as a result of your university education and your focus on Chemistry.

Specific Knowledge Skills

  • Knowledge of chemical properties related to environmental concerns and health/safety protocols
  • Skills in testing materials and products to determine potential concerns, reactions and interactions
  • Ability to make critical observations of environmental and chemical interactions
  • Awareness of and sensitivity to the health and safety of products, materials and the environment
  • The ability to plan, conduct, document and clearly explain and present scientific research to members of both the scientific community and/or the public
  • Knowledge of laboratory techniques for studying chemical processes and reactions
  • An understanding of reactions and interactions of chemicals and chemical products and the ability to use this knowledge to locate and explain potential reactions and hazards
  • The ability to anticipate potential negative consequences of chemical and environmental incidents and the knowledge to plan for, minimize and manage the impact of these incidents

Valuable Transferable Skills

Information-gathering and Communication Skills

  • The skills required to identify and access a wide range of relevant information and resources
  • The ability to compile and organize facts and information and to comprehend and apply new and/or unfamiliar information to different situations and settings
  • Skills in preparing interesting, creative and informative presentations which target diverse audiences
  • The ability to develop attractive/effective reports, presentations and materials using current technology

Thinking, Planning and Organizational Skills

  • The ability to learn, understand and interpret information and apply knowledge to new situations
  • The ability to set priorities, meet deadlines and effectively plan/manage time, data and resources
  • Problem-solving skills and the ability to make well-reasoned decisions, think creatively and search for, identify and consider all sides of an issue
  • Skills to effectively analyze and interpret a wide range of information and data to discuss, support and/or reject ideas, opinions, reports, theories and proposals

Teamwork and Management Skills

  • Skills enabling you to work effectively as part of a team by identifying your role and contributing, through leading, teaching, motivating and/or encouraging others, to the success of the team
  • An understanding of how to successfully identify, plan and contribute to the goals of a project
  • The ability to oversee, supervise and/or contribute to a project from beginning to end including determining outcomes, planning details, making decisions, assigning roles and completing task

Career Options (Samples Only. Additional education, training or experience may be required.)

Agriculture Manager
Analytic Chemist
Building/Site Inspector
Chemical Analyst/Technologist
Chemical Information Specialist
Chemical Safety Engineer
Chemical Safety Officer
Chemical/Drug Sales
Clinical Technician
Color Analyst
Consumer Protection
Cosmetics Developer
Environmental Consultant
Environmental Impact Assessor
Fabric/Textile Developer
Film Developer/Tester
Food and Beverage Inspector
Food and Drug Analyst
Food Scientist/Technician
Forensic Scientist
Fragrance Developer
Hazardous Waste Expert
Health Care Professional
Industrial Health Engineer
Industrial Quality Control
Information Analyst
Information Scientist
Inorganic Chemist
Laboratory Analyst
Laboratory Technician
Materials Production Tester
Medical Laboratory Technician
Medical Librarian
Methods Development Chemist
Occupational Health/Safety
Organic Mass Spectrometrist
Paint Formulation Chemist
Paper Product Developer
Pest Control Consultant
Police Crime Scene Investigator
Pollution Controller/Analyst
Product Tester/Developer
Prosthetics Developer
Public Health Educator
Quality Assurance
Soil Tester
Special Effects Developer
Technical Sales Representative
Technical Science Writer
Water Quality Analyst/

Potential Employers

Aerospace Companies
Agricultural Companies
Biotechnology Industry
Chemical Distributors
Chemical Manufacturing Plants
Chemical Testing Companies
Chemistry Consulting Firms
Cosmetic Companies
Distilleries and Breweries
Entertainment Industry
Environmental Firms
Food/Beverage Manufacturers
Health Protection Agencies
Hospital Research Labs
Industrial Laboratories
Mineral/Metal Industries
Mining Companies
Oil/Petroleum Refineries
Pharmaceutical Industry
Police/Forensics Labs
Quality Control Labs
Research Institutions
Special Effects Departments
Technical Libraries
Textile Manufacturers
Utility Companies
Waste Management
Waterworks Departments


Chemical Institute of Canada -
Association of the Chemical Profession of Ontario -
Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation -
American Chemical Society -
Science Careers -
Society of Canadian Women in Science and Technology -
Science and Technology - Government of Canada -
NewScientist Jobs -
Environmental Careers - -
EarthWorks Jobs -

Are you interested in learning first hand about the careers our alumni have successfully pursued? Connect with Laurier alumni through the Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) program. Participating alumni represent a variety of disciplines, careers and industries.

In addition, the Career Centre has compiled Career Profiles from Laurier alumni. Read about their career paths and how their experiences have led them to their current roles.

This resource is available at the Career Resource Centre.

© 2019 Wilfrid Laurier University - Orbis Career / Co-op Portal Professional v3