Becoming a Chemist via Online Education?

At the very least, online education can help you lay a foundation and/or open up alternate career paths. Western Governors University is a US school (accredited) offering chemistry courses to train individuals to become top-notch chemists, biochemists, analytical research chemists, chemistry professors, chemistry instructors, etc. Currently, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics there are 79,910 people employed as chemists alone in America, and their average annual salary is $72,740. Chemical engineers make on average $91,670 per year and there are about 29,000 of them employed today. Colleges and universities like Western Governors University that provide online education are successfully launching workers into this field.

Typical Work Locations for a Chemist
  • Chemical lab
  • Petroleum refinery
  • Pharmaceutical company
  • Government office
  • Research department
  • Manufacturing plant
  • Food manufacturer
  • University
  • Hospital
  • High school
Potential Advantages and Benefits of Working as a Chemist
  • Research oriented
  • Produce development in the field of medicine
  • Use latest technology
  • Work in lab and clinics
  • Service oriented
  • Contribute to society
  • Work independently
  • Collaborate with other scientists
  • Work in a variety of environments
  • Develop new products
Potential Drawbacks
  • Requires extensive educational background
  • Often work indoors
  • Often work alone
  • Work with hazardous chemicals
  • Maintain educational credentials with advancements
  • Lack of recognition
  • Long hours
  • Need extensive patience
  • Potentially dangerous working conditions
  • High pressure
Related Professions to Consider
  • Agronomist
  • Horticulturist
  • Astronomer
  • Biologist
  • Geologist
  • Meteorologist
  • Oceanographer
  • Physicist
  • Environmental Inspectors
  • Vintner
Possible Interview Questions When Applying to be a Chemist
  • What are the three academic courses that best prepared you for your current job?
  • What is your education background?
  • What experience do you have in the chemistry field?
  • How did you hear about this position?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What unique skills or knowledge can you contribute to our company?
  • Do you have good communication skills?
  • Are you familiar with standard laboratory equipment?
  • What things give you the greatest satisfaction at work?
  • What would your coworkers or your supervisor say about you?
Common Collaborating Professions
  • Chemical Engineers
  • Physicians
  • Research Scientists
  • Soil and Plant Scientists
  • Materials Scientists
  • Food Science Technicians
  • Chemical Technicians
  • Environmental Science Technicians
  • Chemical Plant and System Operators
  • Professor
Chemist Training books Chemist (More) Popular books Potential Companies to Work For Common College Majors
  • Biochemistry
  • Nuclear Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Theoretical Chemistry
  • Quantum Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Physical Chemistry
  • Pharmacology

Chemist Salary Information

Category: Chemical engineers

Total # Employed in the US 29,000
Average Hourly Wage: $44.07/hr
Hourly Wage Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$26.97 $33.82 $42.44 $52.15 $63.93
Average Yearly Salary $91,670
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$56,090 $70,350 $88,280 $108,470 $132,980
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
0.2% 1.9% 4.5% 2.6% 60.3% 23.4% 7.1%
Chemical engineers — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Alaska $60.49/hr $125,820
District of Columbia $55.9/hr $116,280
Iowa $54.14/hr $112,610
Florida $50.11/hr $104,220
Wyoming $47.63/hr $99,070
Mississippi $47.48/hr $98,750
Colorado $47.24/hr $98,260
South Dakota $47.22/hr $98,210
Connecticut $46.96/hr $97,670
Massachusetts $46.89/hr $97,540
North Dakota $46.31/hr $96,330
Michigan $45.32/hr $94,270
Ohio $45.19/hr $94,000
Maine $44.38/hr $92,310
Wisconsin $44.12/hr $91,770
California $43.75/hr $91,000
Missouri $42.94/hr $89,320
Oklahoma $42.72/hr $88,860
Maryland $42.24/hr $87,850
Hawaii $42.08/hr $87,520
Washington $41.55/hr $86,420
Alabama $41.45/hr $86,220
Guam $41.44/hr $86,190
South Carolina $41.21/hr $85,720
Nevada $40.85/hr $84,970
New Hampshire $40.72/hr $84,700
Tennessee $40.55/hr $84,340
Kansas $40.52/hr $84,280
Oregon $40.07/hr $83,340
Delaware $39.69/hr $82,560
Kentucky $39.61/hr $82,390
Utah $39.49/hr $82,140
Montana $39.41/hr $81,980
Louisiana $39.06/hr $81,250
New York $37.93/hr $78,890
New Jersey $37.59/hr $78,180
Arkansas $36.92/hr $76,800
North Carolina $35.07/hr $72,950
Nebraska $34.79/hr $72,370
Idaho $34.12/hr $70,960
New Mexico $32.28/hr $67,140


Category: Biochemists and biophysicists

Total # Employed in the US 22,860
Average Hourly Wage: $42.57/hr
Hourly Wage Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$21.63 $28.82 $39.61 $51.93 $66.74
Average Yearly Salary $88,550
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$44,990 $59,950 $82,390 $108,010 $138,820
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
0.1% 0.9% 2.6% 3.3% 43.2% 30.2% 19.8%
Biochemists and biophysicists — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Utah $50.64/hr $105,320
Florida $48.21/hr $100,270
North Dakota $46.25/hr $96,190
Missouri $45.88/hr $95,420
Delaware $45.5/hr $94,640
District of Columbia $45.21/hr $94,030
Kentucky $45.04/hr $93,680
Idaho $44.18/hr $91,900
Montana $44/hr $91,510
Connecticut $43.05/hr $89,540
Colorado $43.01/hr $89,460
Kansas $42.4/hr $88,190
Oklahoma $42.02/hr $87,400
Wisconsin $41.63/hr $86,580
Wyoming $40.95/hr $85,180
Louisiana $40.89/hr $85,050
Guam $40.65/hr $84,550
Mississippi $40.19/hr $83,590
Oregon $38.79/hr $80,680
Washington $36.62/hr $76,170
Hawaii $36.59/hr $76,120
Indiana $35.79/hr $74,450
New Mexico $34.53/hr $71,830
South Carolina $33.07/hr $68,780
Alabama $31.19/hr $64,870
Nebraska $28.62/hr $59,530
New Hampshire $26.8/hr $55,750
Arkansas $25.68/hr $53,410
Tennessee $24.71/hr $51,400
Massachusetts $24.34/hr $50,630


Category: Chemists

Total # Employed in the US 79,910
Average Hourly Wage: $34.97/hr
Hourly Wage Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$18.7 $24.01 $32.8 $44.1 $55.23
Average Yearly Salary $72,740
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$38,890 $49,940 $68,220 $91,720 $114,880
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
0.2% 0.7% 3.7% 3.3% 52.4% 20.7% 19.0%
Chemists — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Florida $53.27/hr $110,810
Mississippi $46.61/hr $96,950
District of Columbia $42.48/hr $88,350
Ohio $41.78/hr $86,900
Missouri $40.26/hr $83,730
Colorado $38.51/hr $80,100
New York $38.03/hr $79,100
Connecticut $37.5/hr $78,010
North Dakota $36.8/hr $76,550
South Dakota $36.44/hr $75,800
Iowa $36.32/hr $75,540
Utah $35.56/hr $73,960
North Carolina $35.39/hr $73,600
Idaho $35.31/hr $73,450
Oklahoma $35.26/hr $73,330
Wyoming $34.71/hr $72,190
Nebraska $33.55/hr $69,780
Delaware $33.42/hr $69,520
Guam $32.65/hr $67,900
South Carolina $32.61/hr $67,830
Alabama $32.54/hr $67,670
Virginia $32.5/hr $67,590
Pennsylvania $32.48/hr $67,560
Massachusetts $32.33/hr $67,250
Arkansas $32.31/hr $67,200
Kansas $32.04/hr $66,630
Nevada $32.03/hr $66,630
Oregon $31.56/hr $65,640
Washington $30.97/hr $64,420
New Hampshire $30.89/hr $64,240
Wisconsin $30.84/hr $64,150
Alaska $30.81/hr $64,090
California $30.81/hr $64,080
Indiana $29.73/hr $61,830
Maine $29.02/hr $60,360
Hawaii $28.99/hr $60,300
Louisiana $28.94/hr $60,200
Kentucky $28.92/hr $60,150
Maryland $28.79/hr $59,880
Michigan $27.8/hr $57,810
Tennessee $27.72/hr $57,660
Montana $27.6/hr $57,410
Puerto Rico $27.02/hr $56,200
New Mexico $26.27/hr $54,650
New Jersey $23.76/hr $49,420
West Virginia $23.53/hr $48,950


Category: Chemistry teachers, postsecondary

Total # Employed in the US 20,370
Average Yearly Salary $77,350
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$40,600 $52,320 $68,760 $93,260 $127,770
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
0.2% 0.7% 2.7% 2.3% 15.3% 34.6% 44.2%
Chemistry teachers, postsecondary — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Alabama - $65,710
Arkansas - $83,870
California - $61,460
Colorado - $89,420
Connecticut - $86,270
Delaware - $67,880
Florida - $81,400
Hawaii - $71,440
Idaho - $71,280
Indiana - $71,970
Kansas - $72,030
Kentucky - $68,920
Louisiana - $73,580
Maine - $61,930
Maryland - $70,880
Massachusetts - $64,210
Michigan - $75,650
Mississippi - $86,010
Missouri - $94,590
Montana - $84,840
Nebraska - $68,030
Nevada - $68,490
New Hampshire - $61,530
New Jersey - $54,480
New Mexico - $66,260
North Carolina - $80,740
North Dakota - $79,500
Ohio - $66,000
Oklahoma - $92,920
Oregon - $76,070
Pennsylvania - $56,440
South Carolina - $72,530
Tennessee - $90,520
Utah - $76,770
Virginia - $86,280
Washington - $61,860
West Virginia - $61,570
Wisconsin - $58,870
Wyoming - $84,060
Guam - $81,100
Puerto Rico - $59,570


Category: Chemical plant and system operators

Total # Employed in the US 45,750
Average Hourly Wage: $25.97/hr
Hourly Wage Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$17.38 $21.1 $26.09 $31.03 $35.31
Average Yearly Salary $54,010
Yearly Salary Range
PERCENTILE
10%25%50%75%90%
$36,160 $43,880 $54,270 $64,550 $73,450
Employment Demographics
% OF WORKERS WITH
< High School Diploma High School Diploma Some College Associate Degree Bachelor Degree Master Degree Doctoral Degree
7.9% 42.8% 30.2% 10.5% 7.4% 1.0% 0.3%
Chemical plant and system operators — WAGES BY STATE, SORTED BY SALARY
STATEAverage Hourly WageAverage Annual Salary
Wyoming $29.75/hr $61,880
Massachusetts $28.69/hr $59,670
New Jersey $28.32/hr $58,900
Alabama $27.38/hr $56,950
Colorado $27.28/hr $56,740
District of Columbia $27.02/hr $56,200
Montana $26.49/hr $55,090
Oklahoma $26.48/hr $55,070
Wisconsin $25.63/hr $53,310
Kansas $25.03/hr $52,060
North Dakota $24.95/hr $51,890
Maryland $24.48/hr $50,910
Michigan $24.45/hr $50,860
Utah $24.38/hr $50,700
Missouri $24.27/hr $50,490
Kentucky $24.23/hr $50,400
South Carolina $24.21/hr $50,360
New York $24.19/hr $50,310
Iowa $24.12/hr $50,160
Guam $23.97/hr $49,850
Tennessee $23.75/hr $49,390
Mississippi $23.67/hr $49,220
California $23/hr $47,850
Maine $22.83/hr $47,500
New Hampshire $22.63/hr $47,060
Nevada $22.62/hr $47,040
Idaho $22.52/hr $46,850
South Dakota $22.26/hr $46,300
Louisiana $21.8/hr $45,340
Connecticut $21.12/hr $43,940
Oregon $21.04/hr $43,760
Hawaii $20.79/hr $43,240
Washington $20.63/hr $42,910
Nebraska $20.63/hr $42,920
New Mexico $18.19/hr $37,840


Chemistry Programs by State & City