Subscribe

Forum

What can I do with a BS in chemistry

Welcome to the newly redesigned Science Careers Forum. Please bookmark this site now for future reference. If you've previously posted to the forum, your current username and password will remain the same in the new system. If you've never posted or are new to the forum, you will need to create a new account.

The new forum is designed with some features to improve the user experience. Upgrades include:
- easy-to-read, threaded discussions
- ability to follow discussions and receive notifications of updates
- private messaging to other SC Forum members
- fully searchable database of posts
- ability to quote in your response
- basic HTML formatting available

Moderator: Dave Jensen
Advisors:   Ana, PG, Rich Lemert, Dick Woodward, Dave Walker
Meet the Moderator/Advisors

What can I do with a BS in chemistry

Postby MST » Wed Jan 19, 2005 2:37 pm

I will be graduating in december of 2006 with a BS in chemistry. My GPA will be ok (about 3.3 by my calculations) but not great. I do not want a doctorate in chemistry, and I am not interested in the majority of graduate programs in fields like medicine or research science. The only graduate program I am seriously looking at right now is a masters in library science. My main interest is finding a job I enjoy (or at the least do not hate) and job security. I am comfortable with 20-30k a year since I am a single male with frugal habits but if I could make more money and invest it then more power to me.

What can I do to improve my odds of finding something I like, or finding something at all? What kinds of jobs will I be open for other than chemist and chemical technician with a BS in chemistry (I chose chemistry because I figured it would give more job opportunities than a BS in biochemistry, genetics, immunology or microbiology)? How do I improve my resume? Will independent research on the undergrad level help me any? Thanks in advance
MST
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:31 pm

What can I do with a BS in chemistry

Postby John Fetzer » Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:07 pm

Your lessened expectations make your choices more. Finding a position in information science, like the librarian position, is one option. Most large technology and chemical-oriented companies have a technical library and also often patent searchers as support staff. Entry-level with a BS is fine. In fact that whole area of patent support is a good one.

On the lab side, you would be a technician and starting out not doing challenging work except under close direction of a chemiost with an advanced degree or much more experience. That changes with time and you desire to learn.

The American Chemical Society has a division focused on non-advanced degree chemists and their career issues. I'd go to the ACS webpages and connect with them.

John
User avatar
John Fetzer
 
Posts: 588
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm

What can I do with a BS in chemistry

Postby John Fetzer » Wed Jan 19, 2005 10:14 pm

I have written some on this area and its possibilities. Others include regulatory affairs, such as GLP/GMP/ or ISO compliance; sales in the chemicals, instrumentation, and services areas; financial and investing that involves technology companies; teaching and tutoring science; and others. Some involve on-thejob learning and others require more course work.

John
User avatar
John Fetzer
 
Posts: 588
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm

What can I do with a BS in chemistry - Teach HS

Postby Joyce » Thu Jan 20, 2005 9:23 am

John mentioned teaching. Teaching high school chemistry is a very viable option for you. I posted info on this a few weeks ago. In New Jersey (and other states), you can start teaching HS chemistry without having taken any education courses. You enter the profession through what is called the alternate route. During your first year of teaching, you are mentored and take the required education courses during the evening. There is a strong demand for chemistry teachers in NJ. With a BS, your starting salary will be about $40K to $42K for 10 months of work. You also get excellent benefits and a great pension that includes health insurance. Experienced teachers in NJ make about $75K to $90K. You also have the option of moving into administration. After teaching for about 10 years, you can become a school science supervisor-that pays about $100K to $120K. You also could become a guidance counselor, which, again, pays about $100K. You could also become a school principal, which pays about $150K. To get the more advanced positions, you will need to get graduate degrees in education. But most school districts pay for this, and most colleges offer these courses at night. Contact your state's department of education to get more information.
Joyce
 

What can I do with a BS in chemistry - Teach HS

Postby Tom » Thu Jan 20, 2005 9:55 am

I agree w/ Joyce. I went to a HS in northern Jersey and my Chem teacher was horrible. There was such a lack of faculty in that department that we couldn't even petition for an AP Chem class b/c of the lack of staff. I'm surprised that this hasn't changed much after 7 yrs!

Also, another perk in this career path is that you get two months in the summer off. The only downside is that you have to teach a "boring" subject to a class full of mostly unmotivated students.

From what I have heard, starting salary w/ a M.S. is about 60k and w/ either a Ph.D. or two M.S. it is around 80k. So if you already have a M.S. you can get another M.S. in education (which btw I hear is a total waste of time), but it is a 20k accretion in salary.
Tom
 

What can I do with a BS in chemistry - Teach HS

Postby MST » Thu Jan 20, 2005 7:51 pm

I've actually considered being a HS teacher with my BS in chemistry, what all states allow you to teach HS w/o any formal training in education? I thought some states like Texas allowed you to teach if you pass a test that allows you to become a teacher.

What are you referring to with the 60k MS and 80k Ph.D. figures? Are you referring to chemist starting salaries or teacher starting salaries? http://pubs.acs.org/cen/education/8047/8047education2.html
According to the ACS median salaries for BS, MS & PhD chemists are 58k, 68k & 85k while starting salaries are 33k, 48k & 70k.

MST
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:31 pm

What can I do with a BS in chemistry - Teach HS

Postby John Fetzer » Thu Jan 20, 2005 10:02 pm

There is an initiative within ACS towards helping chemists go into teaching. It started with a number of retirees and downsized people, but has grown. The northern New Jersey section is a leading one. Check out the ACS division on Professional Relations on the ACS website.

John
User avatar
John Fetzer
 
Posts: 588
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm

Teach HS - more info

Postby Joyce » Fri Jan 21, 2005 9:44 am

The following website has information on entering teaching profession through the alternate route for each state. Would recommend that you verify this info with your state department of education.
http://www.teach-now.org/index.asp
For salaries - the teachers' union in NJ annually publishes salaries for each school district in the state. Check the December 2004 issue of the NJEA Review at the following website.
http://www.njea.org/publications/review.asp
I believe that NJ has the second highest teacher salaries in the US. But salary info for other states should be readily obtainable.

Joyce
Joyce
 

Teach HS - more info

Postby Dave Jensen » Fri Jan 21, 2005 10:16 am

Please DO NOT discuss salaries on this site. You are beginning to see why we don't like that topic here. There is never any clarity there, thanks for avoiding it.

Your Forum Moderators
"One of the most powerful networking practices is to provide immediate value to a new connection. This means the moment you identify a way to help someone, take action." - Lewis Howes
User avatar
Dave Jensen
Site Moderator
 
Posts: 7875
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm

Teach HS - Salaries, etc

Postby Dave Jensen » Fri Jan 21, 2005 12:53 pm

Joyce asked, "When most people are considering career options, aren't they interested in the earnings potential?"

That is something that people will have to network in their field to find out about, Joyce. Discussion forums get literally trashed by salary questions, which consume space on the database that holds the forum and which provide no real value to readers, who may have an entirely different job market scenario in their city, and with their discipline.

There are too many inaccuracies in web-posted salary information, even on sites like salary.com

Dave
"One of the most powerful networking practices is to provide immediate value to a new connection. This means the moment you identify a way to help someone, take action." - Lewis Howes
User avatar
Dave Jensen
Site Moderator
 
Posts: 7875
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:28 pm


Return to Science Careers Forum

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests

cron