Careers

If you enjoy working in the chemistry lab; if you enjoy the hands on experience of mixing chemicals and seeing how they react; if you enjoy the precision of following procedure to achieve the maximum results; if you are curious about what things are made of and how they react; if you value technology and how it can be achieved while protecting the environment, a career in chemistry may be for you.

Chemistry focuses on the composition, characteristics, changes, reactions, uses, and benefits and dangers to mankind of the billions of substances around us.

Chemistry majors find employment opportunities in a wide range of areas: (some may require additional education and/or training beyond the undergraduate degree)

  • Forensics in crime laboratories
  • Environmental consulting firms
  • Medical research
  • Industrial laboratories
  • Quality control laboratories
  • Water treatment
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • High school teaching
  • University lab instruction
  • Petroleum refineries
  • Breweries
  • Chemical manufacturing plants
  • Agricultural research
  • Pulp and Paper industries
  • Chemical distributors
  • Food and Beverage companies
  • Health protection branches
  • Mineral and metal industries

Sample job titles for chemistry undergraduates:

  • Analytic chemist
  • Clinical technician
  • Food and drug analyst
  • Chemical safety officer
  • Chemical technology assayer
  • Pollution controller
  • Quality control chemistry
  • Product tester
  • Water quality analyst/technician
  • Lab coordinator
  • Process development chemist
  • Medical laboratory tech.
  • Forensic lab analyst
  • Chemical sales rep.
  • Research chemist
  • High school teacher

As well, a major or minor in chemistry is excellent preparation for medicine, or for other health professions such as dentistry, optometry and veterinary medicine.

Chemistry is divided into five main areas of study:

  • Analytical chemistry
  • Organic chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Physical chemistry
  • Inorganic chemistry

At the undergraduate level, students should take courses in all five areas. If you wish to study further in chemistry, you would normally specialize in one area for a Masters or Doctorate degree.

Many employers are interested in the skills that chemistry majors tend to possess. These include:

  • making critical observations and appropriate decisions
  • operating scientific equipment
  • organizing and maintaining accurate records
  • conducting and explaining scientific research clearly
  • proficiency in reading, writing, speaking and memorization
  • sensitivity to the health and safety of others.

First year courses at Brandon University:

  • 18.160 General Chemistry I
  • 18.170 General Chemistry II
    These two courses are required for majors or minors in chemistry, for medicine, for dentistry, optometry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy, and engineering. These courses are recommended for majors in geology and physics.
  • 18.174 Introduction to Physical Science
    This course is required for elementary school teachers.
  • 18.175 Physical Science Chemistry
    This course is offered for middle years teachers who wish a stronger background in the physical sciences.

At Brandon University students may enroll in several programs in chemistry:

  • a four year honours degree, major in chemistry, as preparation for further study in chemistry in a Masters or Ph.D. program;
  • a four year degree, major in chemistry;
  • a three year degree, major in chemistry, as preparation for professional schools like medicine and dentistry, for senior high school education program, chemical sales, technician work;
  • a minor in chemistry as strong support for a major in Biology, Geology and Physics.

How to Find Out More: The Brandon University Calendar provides information on all of these courses and the programs at Brandon University. This can also be obtained from BU Student Services.