Traditional careers in chemistry include teaching at the university or secondary-school level, conducting research in academic, industry or government labs, and working with local, state and federal agencies.
Chemists are employed in many industries, including pharmaceuticals, manufacturing (chemicals, plastics, food, paper, polymers, paints and coatings, adhesives, detergents, etc.), petroleum and energy, semiconductors, construction and metallurgical materials, and the automotive industry. Many chemists work in government research, forensics, or analytical laboratories and at agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Armed Forces and the State Department.
An ever-growing number of chemists are employed in non-traditional careers. Chemists have skills in problem-solving, analysis of data and technical communication, as well as knowledge of core concepts in science. These skills are valuable in careers ranging from computing and information science to patent law, marketing and public policy.