Chemists

(NOC 2112)

in All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Chemists conduct research and analysis in support of industrial operations, product and process development, quality control, environmental control, medical diagnosis and treatment, biotechnology, nanotechnology and other applications. They also conduct theoretical, experimental and applied research into basic chemical and biochemical processes to create or synthesize new products and processes. Chemists are employed in research, development and quality control laboratories; chemical, petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries; mineral, metal and pulp and paper industries; and a wide variety of manufacturing, utility, health, educational and government establishments.

Job Outlook

Undetermined

Read more

  • Estimate change in employment not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate openings due to growth and retirements not available for this occupation.
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for this occupation.

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

  • Estimate Strong growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 3095 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate Low rate of unemployment in 2016

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Chemists most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 70% of Chemists who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $66,071. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

N/A

Minimum

N/A

Median

N/A

Maximum

Annual Pay

$8,801

Minimum

$62,030

Median

$103,609

Maximum

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

Hourly Pay

$17.69

Minimum

$31.35

Median

$47.18

Maximum

Annual Pay

$13,568

Minimum

$60,422

Median

$107,009

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Chemists conduct research and analysis in support of industrial operations, product and process development, quality control, environmental control, medical diagnosis and treatment, biotechnology, nanotechnology and other applications. They also conduct theoretical, experimental and applied research into basic chemical and biochemical processes to create or synthesize new products and processes. Chemists are employed in research, development and quality control laboratories; chemical, petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries; mineral, metal and pulp and paper industries; and a wide variety of manufacturing, utility, health, educational and government establishments.

Job duties

Chemists perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Analyze, synthesize, purify, modify and characterize chemical or biochemical compounds.
  • Develop and conduct programs of analysis to ensure quality control of raw materials, chemical intermediates or final products.
  • Conduct programs of sample and data collection and analysis to identify and quantify environmental toxicants.
  • Conduct research to develop new chemical formulations and processes and devise new technical applications of industrial chemicals and compounds.
  • Conduct research to discover, develop, refine and evaluate new products such as those used in nanomedicine, nanoelectronics and other applications of chemistry.
  • Conduct fundamental and applied research into the synthesis and properties of chemical compounds and the mechanisms of chemical reactions.
  • Investigate chemical aspects of the mechanisms of drug action, the diagnosis and treatment of disease, organ function and the assessment of health.
  • Participate in interdisciplinary research and development projects working with chemical engineers, biologists, microbiologists, agronomists, geologists or other professionals.
  • Act as technical consultant in a particular field of expertise.
  • May participate in the commercialization of new products.
  • May supervise other chemists and chemical technicians and technologists.

Sample job titles

  • biochemist
  • chemist
  • chemistry researcher
  • environmental chemist
  • food chemist
  • laboratory chemist
  • medical biochemist
  • nutritional chemist
  • soil chemist
  • water chemist

Skills

To work in this field, you must be comfortable working with delicate instruments and apparatus. The ability to concentrate on detail and to work independently is essential. You should be persistent, curious, precise, and accurate in your work. Both oral and written communication skills are important. Computer experience would also be helpful.

Job requirements

  • A bachelor's degree in chemistry, biochemistry or a related discipline is required.
  • A master's or doctoral degree is usually required for employment as a research chemist.
  • Licensing by a provincial association of chemists is available but voluntary in Nova Scotia.

Other considerations

There are no significant seasonal patterns of unemployment in these jobs. Continued diversification of the manufacturing sector in Nova Scotia may generate some job opportunities for workers with the appropriate skills. Mobility between jobs in this group is possible with experience. Mobility is possible with experience, to occupations concerned with plant management, technical sales and the development and management of regulatory programs and teaching professions.

By the numbers

Quick look

215

employed in 2016

95.3%

employed full-time

4.7%

self employed

51.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
48.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
40.8

median age

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

25,875

employed in 2016

93.6%

employed full-time

6.9%

self employed

20.0%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
80%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
42.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

80.0%

Halifax

8.9%

Annapolis Valley

6.7%

Cape Breton

4.4%

Southern

4.4%

Northern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

18.6%

Public Administration

18.6%

Professional Business Services

16.3%

Other Professional Services

11.6%

Wholesale Trade

9.3%

Educational Services

What is the age of Employment?

35.7%

45-54

35.7%

25-34

14.3%

15-24

14.3%

35-44

14.3%

65+

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

32.5%

35-44

32.0%

45-54

18.0%

55-64

13.5%

25-34

3.5%

65+

Top levels of education

44.4%

Bachelor's degree

N/A
26.7%

Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry

N/A
17.8%

Doctorate

N/A
6.7%

College certificate or diploma

N/A

Compared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

33.7%

College certificate or diploma

$52,476 median annual income
29.7%

Bachelor's degree

$58,011 median annual income
12.1%

High school

$35,125 median annual income
9.7%

Master's degree

$37,706 median annual income
6.8%

Trades certificate

$54,923 median annual income

Education & training

Animal sciences - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on the scientific principles that underlie the breeding and husbandry of agricultural animals, and the production, processing, and distribution of agricultural animal products. These programs include courses in the animal sciences, animal husbandry and production, and agricultural and food products processing.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

PO Box 550

Truro, NS B2N 5E3

(902) 893-6600

Biochemistry/biophysics and molecular biology, integrated

This program is typically offered at the university level.

This instructional program class comprises any integrated, combined program that focuses on the structure, function, and dynamic behaviour of the components of biological systems at the submolecular, molecular, and supramolecular levels and their influence on biological activity at the cellular, tissue, organ, and organismic levels. These programs include courses in biochemistry, biophysics, structural biology, molecular biology, and research applications and methods appropriate to specific topics.

There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.

Chemistry - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on the scientific study of the composition and behaviour of matter, including its micro- and macro-structure, the processes of chemical change, and the theoretical description and laboratory simulation of these phenomena.

Institutions providing this program

Acadia University

15 University Avenue

Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6

(902) 542-2201

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Mount Saint Vincent University

166 Bedford Highway

Halifax, NS B3M 2J6

(902) 457-6117

St. Francis Xavier University

PO Box 5000

Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5

(902) 867-2219

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Cape Breton University

PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6L2

(888) 959-9995

Food science

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the application of biological, chemical, and physical principles to the study of converting raw agricultural products into processed forms suitable for direct human consumption, and the storage of such products. These programs include courses in applicable aspects of the agricultural sciences, human physiology and nutrition, food chemistry, agricultural products processing, food additives, food preparation and packaging, food storage and shipment, and related aspects of human health and safety including toxicology and pathology.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

University of King's College

6350 Coburg Road

Halifax, NS B3H 2A1

(902) 422-1271

Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture

PO Box 550

Truro, NS B2N 5E3

(902) 893-6600

Materials science

This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the general application of mathematical and scientific principles to the analysis and evaluation of the characteristics and behaviour of solids, including internal structure, chemical properties, transport and energy flow properties, thermodynamics of solids, stress and failure factors, chemical transformation states and processes, compound materials, and research on industrial applications of specific materials.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry (MSc, PhD)

This program is typically offered at the university graduate level (Masters, PhD)

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the application of chemistry to the study of biologically and clinically active substances, biological and pharmacological interactions, and the development of associated research methods, techniques, and clinical trial procedures. These programs include courses in organic chemistry, biochemistry, molecular graphics, rational drug design, toxicology, molecular biology, pharmacology, enzyme mechanisms, receptor theory, neurochemistry, drug metabolism, drug synthesis, biological mechanisms of drug action, research tools and techniques, and laboratory safety.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Pharmacology

This program is typically offered at the university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the scientific study of drug interactions on biological systems and organisms and the sources, chemical properties, biological effects, and therapeutic uses of drugs. These programs include courses in pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, toxicology, drug therapeutics, drug action, bodily responses to drug events, biochemical proliferation and differentiation, apoptosis, cell biology, medicinal chemistry, and studies of specific drugs and drug interactions.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Pharmacy (PharmD [USA], PharmD or BSc/BPharm [Canada])

This program is typically offered at the university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals for the independent or employed practice of preparing and dispensing drugs and medications in consultation with prescribing physicians and other health care professionals, and for managing pharmacy practices and counselling patients. These programs include courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmacognosy, pharmacy practice, pharmacy administration, applicable regulations, and professional standards and ethics.

Institutions providing this program

Dalhousie University

Office of the Registrar

Halifax, NS B3H 4R2

(902) 494-2450

Physical sciences - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the major topics, concepts, processes, and interrelationships of physical phenomena as studied in any combination of physical science disciplines.

Institutions providing this program

Saint Mary's University

923 Robie Street

Halifax, NS B3H 3C3

(902) 420-5400

Soil science and agronomy - General

This program is typically offered at the college or university level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that generally focuses on the scientific classification of soils, soil properties, and their relationship to agricultural crops. These programs include courses in soil chemistry, soil physics, soil biology, soil fertility, morphogenesis, mineralogy, hydrology, agronomy, and soil conservation and management.

There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.

Employment requirements & contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile

Contacts

Chemical Institute of Canada
222 Queen Street, Suite 400
Ottawa, ON K1P 5V9
Tel: (613) 232-6252
Fax: (613) 232-5862

Additional resources

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

Job postings

There are currently no job postings for this occupation.