Pesticide Chemist

Concoct safer, more effective pesticides.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$39,000 – $116,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Pesticide Chemists do?

A Pesticide Chemist studies organic and inorganic compounds to fight off bugs and insects. Falling under the broader category of Chemist, a Pesticide Chemist looks for better ways to keep plants away from harm. When Pesticide Chemists improve existing pesticides or create new ones, the worlds’ plants are better protected.

As a Pesticide Chemist, you’re typically employed by pesticide companies or commercial farming operations, and your motto is “Bug off!” Courses in biology, entomology, chemistry, botany, and mathematics are essential for your work with Inorganic Chemists, Botanists, and Research Engineers. Putting your research and analytical skills to work, you conduct experiments and track your results.

For example, you want to improve the lifespan and quality of fruit from a tomato plant. The widget beetle eats the leaves and damages the plant. You study different proteins that deter the widget beetle, and how to turn those proteins into a pesticide.

Your research proves that when exposed to the protein from a banana peel, the widget beetle flies away without disturbing the tomato plant. Working with other Scientists, you turn the banana peel protein into the base of a new pesticide.

Patience, determination, and focus are essential skills for a Pesticide Chemist. Experiments may not always produce your desired results, requiring you to reevaluate your approach and do it again. The determination to turn your failures into successes keeps you going forward, solving the mysteries of the plant world. Your efforts mean more profit for your company and its customers, not to mention bigger, redder tomatoes for the world to enjoy.

Should I be a Pesticide Chemist?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • How to become a Pesticide Chemist

    Most Pesticide Chemists have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aea9cl&chl=|certificate+%286%25%29||bachelor%27s+%2877%25%29|master%27s+%283%25%29|doctorate+%2814%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,77
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