MadSci Network: Chemistry

Re: What does an organic/inorganic chemist do as in their job? Experiments?

Area: Chemistry
Date: Mon Oct 13 18:46:03 1997
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 876428033.Ch


Glad to hear your interested in chemistry! First of all, when you're going into chemistry there are a few things you can do. You can get a Bach. or a Masters in chemistry (organic or inorganic). This would probably put you in a position to do research (of all kinds) at universities or in the industries. When you are heading a research project, I would imagine the pay is very good but schools are often underfunded. You can also go into chemical engineering. This would get you the type of job were you would be designing and improve industrial process (for example, how to convert the SO2 from a smelting process (causing air pollution and acid rain) to sulfuric acid (usable in many other process). The salary of an engineer is also very good and would depend on the company who hired you (example Falconbridge or Inco mine in Sudbury Ontario a chemical engineer could make 50 000 (Canadian) and up starting salary. The most interesting (to me) and most widely seen position coming from chemistry is the chemical technologist. Technologist are the people who do the actual analysis of things (make sure the right components are there, the right amounts etc. I am a chemical technologist working in the forensic laboratory at the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Ottawa Canada (I will be analysing automobile paint (to put in a database) to help solve hit and run cases with the database. The chemical technologist's duties can include (and are most often) quality control of a product (make sure the Fantastic cleaner you are buying works equally well in every bottle (right amount of chemicals in every batch, make sure the paper from the pulp and paper factory is of at the highest quality for the lowest cost, things like that). A technologist can also do research and would probably be the one in the laboratory doing the actual analysis and research (while the head of research would be figuring out what to do next)

Now the answer your question more specifically organic chemistry would be found in places like the petroleum industry (natural gas, oil refineries, etc), the polymer industry (plastics and fabrics). Inorganic chemistry...well, it's hard to give a specific industry or "job" for this one because it is such a big area of study; a lot of instrumentation (infra-red spectrometers, gas chromatography, x- ray diffraction, UV-Visible spectrophotometer and many many many other instruments are used in the analysis of ...well, anything and everything.

Salaries...well, that would depend on who hires you (you would probably make more in industry than you would in government). I can only tell you what I make. I am 4 months into my job (and I and I make 32 000 (Canadian) a year (in government).

Well, I very glad to see people interested in the greatest field in the world (in my opinion); after all "what in the world isn't chemistry". I just want to tell you there are tons and tons of opportunity all over the world in the field. I hope I have answered you question. If you have any more or want clarification on this don't hesitate to e-mail me directly at Good luck.

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