Synthetic Chemist

Blend simple chemicals into useful compounds.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$39,000 – $116,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Synthetic Chemists do?

The chemicals and metals found in the natural world are awesome, but sometimes they’re not exactly what people need or want. Synthetic Chemists take these building blocks and combine them in different ways to make new medicines, building materials, electronics, lighting, and many other things.

To be a Synthetic Chemist, you need some serious knowledge of chemistry and really good communication skills. The understanding of chemistry is obvious, and the communication skills are necessary because, as a Synthetic Chemist, you do a lot of interacting with different people, both clients and colleagues.

A job starts with a suggestion or order. You talk with clients about what they want, and collaborate with your Manager, other Chemists, and researchers to create a plan for the new project. Then you talk with the marketing department when you’re done with your new creation, and deal with the financial side of the business to make sure you stay within the budget.

So how exactly do you make something new out of old chemicals? A quick overview of the process is this: you start by picking the compounds you want to combine. Just like people, each compound is unique, with its own personality. Some compounds react well together, others reject one another. Your job is to know which ones will do what, and then find new ways to combine them to get new results. Compounds are mixed in different ways, and the way you mix them will depend on your knowledge of their attributes.

The synthesizing of materials requires a lot of chemical knowledge and research, so get ready for years of schooling for this job.


Should I be a Synthetic 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.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.

  • Also known as: Synthesis Chemist

    How to become a Synthetic Chemist

    Most Synthetic 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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