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Chemistry career question?

  1. Jan 30, 2012 #1
    Assalamu Alaykum (peace be upon u in arabic),

    First of all, sorry about the thread name, because once u read this thread, there is more to asking about a chemistry question. And as a new poster, i have no clue how to fix the names of the threads i post.

    I am a sophmore in high school currently, and I would like to pursue a career in Science. Problem is in science, i think we all realize that there is alot of branches. lol. and i'm just down to three i like. and please don't kill if I say that these 3 are all prominent branches and have many choices in them. Bleck, i'm having a science brain catastrophe thingy. lol. Ok so don't laugh but ok. I'm down to medical science, chemistry, and geology. I know wth, am i crazy? Possibly. Am I too crazy? Possibly. Am i definitely retarded? Maybe. LOL. But yeh. Between these 3 branches, honestly which branch can probably provide me with a stable good job in science, and has more opportunities for me?
    And can u also list some jobs to back your point.

    oh and (this is gonna sound egocentric) but at least list some jobs that actually MAKE money. lol, no one said i wanted to be a hobo. jk. but for realz.


    p.s: if u know any type of test i can take for me to realize what branch i'd be good at in science, instead of going through this fiasco of choices everyday, then list the url. cause i am possibly dying here with these brain moments of choosing.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 30, 2012 #2
    I don't know about a B.S. in Chemistry unless you get a PhD (because I think you'll most likely be doing rote work consisting of the same analysis day after day since you don't have the credentials to perform independent research which graduate school will teach you), but I believe B.S. chemical engineers usually design industrial scale reactors mainly at petroleum/pharmaceutical companies working on catalysis and coming up with new ways to mass produce materials for cheaper. A friend of mine who is a chemical engineer less than a year after getting his undergrad started at around ~$95,000 USD per year (including bonuses).
  4. Jan 30, 2012 #3
    As far as geology-related fields go, I think the most lucrative area would be petroleum (oil). I'm not sure how oil will be affected in the future, but it seems pretty profitable.
  5. Jan 30, 2012 #4
    If you're considering the medical field, I know there's a lot of money pharmaceuticals (in the U.S.) if you want to lean towards science, unless you plan on becoming a physician. I think neurosurgeons probably make the most out of the bunch (I know one who is in his 40s and makes $600,000 a year) but it's also the most difficult residency program to get accepted into.
  6. Jan 30, 2012 #5

    another question from idiot archer (aka me), ur smart, so can i ask, is maybe pharmacy a good job to consider?
  7. Jan 30, 2012 #6
    If you mean being a pharmacist, personally I feel like that field is saturated. I don't know anything else about it, actually.
  8. Jan 30, 2012 #7
    You tell me!

    In my country, a pharmacist looks like a glorified shop keeper. Many like the idea of getting a degree in Pharmacy, working for someone for a while, after which they set up their own drug store. Frankly, I find that to be very, very dull.

    I don't know how stable the jobs would be but I suppose that is area-dependent. Questions to ask yourself: Are there many job openings in this field in your area? Are there many persons with a pharmacy degree who are out of work? Are people hiring now?

    The other thing to consider when doing a degree for job prospects is whether people will still be hiring at the end of your degree! You may finish a 4-year degree in a subject you don't like too much and still end up with no job.
  9. Jan 30, 2012 #8

    ok well here's my problem, see is there like any career that deals with both medical and chemistry into one? cause i've heard of some careers that deal with 2 branches of science at the same time. but anyway, i live in texas. so idk, where
    *i edited u to you* live sir. lol.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  10. Jan 31, 2012 #9
    I don't know much but if I'm not mistaken, Chemists can find work in pharmaceutical companies. I think that Mike H and Borek would know far better, seeing as they are chemists themselves. Try sending them a PM or they might see your thread and post. :-)
  11. Jan 31, 2012 #10


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    You should consider biochemistry or microbiology. Here in the Seattle area, the job market is pretty good for people with that background.
  12. Jan 31, 2012 #11
    The job market for chemists in the US, at least, has been better. It could of course be far worse, but it's nowhere near as much of an "employee's market" it has been known to be in the past. I have sketchy information about elsewhere in the world, so I will refrain from commenting. There have been serious amounts of "restructuring" (AKA layoffs, which may or may not have been preceded by a merger of some sort) in the pharma/biotech industry over the past couple of years, which has traditionally been one of the areas which suck up a lot of the chemical talent.

    Having said that.....what exactly do you have in mind when you say you wish to combine medicine with chemistry? It's a fairly broad statement. There's a field known as medicinal chemistry, but the number of people who work in that area are rarely ever trained in medicinal chemistry until they actually get that job, at least in my observations. Most people who are "medicinal chemists" come from a background in an area of chemical/biological research, as the field is quite interdisciplinary. Also, it's more research oriented, so if you have this notion that you'll be seeing patients in the morning and heading to the lab to work on cures in the afternoon...not quite. (Even MD/PhD programs would admit that this is a bit of a fanciful notion.)

    Insofar as money, well, I'm still in academia, so I am definitely not the person to ask about that topic. :rofl: My friends and acquaintances who are in private sector research seem to being doing fine, though.
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