Chemistry Department Chair

Head up a university's chemistry department.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$41,000 – $134,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Chemistry Department Chairs do?

A Chemistry Department Chair is a mix between a Teacher and an Administrator. They still teach chemistry classes, but Chemistry Department Chairs also handle all the paperwork and collaboration work required of an Administrator.

The position of Chemistry Department Chair is found in a college or university, and you do many of the same things a Chemistry Professor does. Like a regular Professor, you teach, hold consultation hours to help confused students, give homework, grade tests, do original research, and write papers.

The difference between you and a regular Professor is that you also spend quite a bit of time handling big responsibilities that impact the entire chemistry department. These include things like preparing the budget for the department (which could mean deciding if a new Professor can be hired, or if someone needs to be let go), planning the curriculum for each chemistry class, and determining how many and what type of classes will be offered.

You also serve as a liaison between students and Professors. If a student has a problem with a Professor—say, with a grade they got or with the Professor’s teaching style—you’re the one they talk to about it. You might discuss grading policies with the Professor, or if there are numerous complaints against the Professor, you might tackle different teaching tactics with them. You also deal with issues like getting students into closed classes if they need those credits to graduate.


Should I be a Chemistry Department Chair?

You should have a doctoral degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.

  • How to Become a
    Chemistry Department Chair

    Most Chemistry Department Chairs have a Doctorate. Start by getting your Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aaaar9&chl=||||master%27s+%2822%25%29|doctorate+%2878%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,78
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