MadSci Network: Chemistry


Date: Tue May 19 17:26:30 1998
Posted By: Michael Weibel
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 892444758.Ch

As a soon-to-graduate analytical chemist, I am
acutely aware of both the employment situation and starting salaries for
chemists. For all types of chemists (for example,
analytical, physical, organic, inorganic, biological, etc), those with
bachelors degrees (BA and BS degrees) have a median starting salary of
about $29k/year (a median is used because it removes bias from the few
very high starting salaries).  Recent masters graduates (MS) have a median
starting salary of about $38k/year, while doctoral graduates (PhD) had a
median starting salary of about $55k/year.  In all cases, these numbers
are for those employed in permanent, full time jobs (thereby excluding
post-doctoral research assistants, for example (they typically earn about
$25k/year if they are employed in academics), which would lower the median
PhD salary if included).

This information was taken from Chemical and Engineering News, March 9,
1998.  This publication is sent to all American Chemical Society
members.  Most high school chemistry teachers should be members of
the ACS, and thereby receive it (it should be available from high 
school libraries as well).

The hottest areas of chemistry today (in terms of areas of chemistry that
employers are hiring the most) are probably biological, organic, and
analytical.  As such, the salaries for chemists in these areas might be
slightly higher than those listed above.  I personally know of
analytical PhD graduates that have started at $70k+/yr, masters graduates
in organic chemistry that have started at nearly $50k/yr, and bachelors
graduates making mid $30k/yr (many bachelors degree jobs are analytical in
nature as well).  

Mike Weibel       

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