careers.novascotia.ca

Chemists

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NOC:2112
Occupation:Chemists
Category:Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology

About the job

Nature of work:

Chemists conduct research and analysis in support of industrial operations, product and process development, quality control, environmental control, medical diagnosis and treatment, biotechnology, nanotechnology and other applications. They also conduct theoretical, experimental and applied research into basic chemical and biochemical processes to create or synthesize new products and processes. Chemists are employed in research, development and quality control laboratories; chemical, petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries; mineral, metal and pulp and paper industries; and a wide variety of manufacturing, utility, health, educational and government establishments.

Job duties:
Chemists perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Analyze, synthesize, purify, modify and characterize chemical or biochemical compounds.
  • Develop and conduct programs of analysis to ensure quality control of raw materials, chemical intermediates or final products.
  • Conduct programs of sample and data collection and analysis to identify and quantify environmental toxicants.
  • Conduct research to develop new chemical formulations and processes and devise new technical applications of industrial chemicals and compounds.
  • Conduct research to discover, develop, refine and evaluate new products such as those used in nanomedicine, nanoelectronics and other applications of chemistry.
  • Conduct fundamental and applied research into the synthesis and properties of chemical compounds and the mechanisms of chemical reactions.
  • Investigate chemical aspects of the mechanisms of drug action, the diagnosis and treatment of disease, organ function and the assessment of health.
  • Participate in interdisciplinary research and development projects working with chemical engineers, biologists, microbiologists, agronomists, geologists or other professionals.
  • Act as technical consultant in a particular field of expertise.
  • May participate in the commercialization of new products.
  • May supervise other chemists and chemical technicians and technologists.
Sample job titles:
  • biochemist
  • chemist
  • chemistry researcher
  • environmental chemist
  • food chemist
  • laboratory chemist
  • medical biochemist
  • nutritional chemist
  • soil chemist
  • water chemist
Skills:

To work in this field, you must be comfortable working with delicate instruments and apparatus. The ability to concentrate on detail and to work independently is essential. You should be persistent, curious, precise, and accurate in your work. Both oral and written communication skills are important. Computer experience would also be helpful.

Job requirements:
  • A bachelor's degree in chemistry, biochemistry or a related discipline is required.
  • A master's or doctoral degree is usually required for employment as a research chemist.
  • Licensing by a provincial association of chemists is available but voluntary in Nova Scotia.
Other considerations:

There are no significant seasonal patterns of unemployment in these jobs. Continued diversification of the manufacturing sector in Nova Scotia may generate some job opportunities for workers with the appropriate skills. Mobility between jobs in this group is possible with experience. Mobility is possible with experience, to occupations concerned with plant management, technical sales and the development and management of regulatory programs and teaching professions.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Undetermined

This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Chemists most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 70% of Chemists who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $66,071. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Chemists215xxx
Minimum:  N/A
Median:  N/A
Maximum:  N/A
Minimum: $8,801
Median: $62,030
Maximum: $103,609
Occupations in Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology25,875Strong growth3,095Low
Minimum: $17.69
Median: $31.35
Maximum: $47.18
Minimum: $13,568
Median: $60,422
Maximum: $107,009
ChemistsCompared to: Occupations in Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology
Percent employed full-time95%94%
Percent self-employed23%7%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentChemistsCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Southern4%x12%$30,581
Northern4%x16%$33,660
Cape Breton7%x13%$32,974
Halifax80%$63,17247%$41,209
Annapolis Valley9%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeChemistsCompared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology
% Employed% Employed
15-2414%x
25-3436%14%
35-4414%33%
45-5436%32%
55-64N/A18%
65+14%4%
Median Age4143
GenderChemistsCompared to: Occupations in Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology
% Employed% Employed
Female51%20%
Male49%80%
EducationChemistsCompared to: All Engineering, Math, Science, and Information Technology
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high schoolxx0.7%$28,107
High schoolxx12.1%$35,125
Trades certificatexx6.8%$54,923
College certificate or diploma6.7%x33.7%$52,476
University certificate or diplomaxx3.7%$52,446
Bachelor's degree44.4%x29.7%$58,011
University advanced certificate or diplomaxx2.0%$54,917
Master's degreexx9.7%$37,706
Doctorate17.8%x1.7%$65,565
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometry26.7%x0.1%$57,566
Total100%100%
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.

Sources

Employment Requirements & Contacts

Regulations:
No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
Useful contacts:
Chemical Institute of Canada
222 Queen Street, Suite 400
Ottawa, ON K1P 5V9
Tel: (613) 232-6252
Fax: (613) 232-5862
info@cheminst.ca

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Animal sciences - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on the scientific principles that underlie the breeding and husbandry of agricultural animals, and the production, processing, and distribution of agricultural animal products. These programs include courses in the animal sciences, animal husbandry and production, and agricultural and food products processing.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture
PO Box 550
Truro, NS B2N 5E3
(902) 893-6600
enrolment.services@dal.ca
Program Name:Biochemistry/biophysics and molecular biology, integrated
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any integrated, combined program that focuses on the structure, function, and dynamic behaviour of the components of biological systems at the submolecular, molecular, and supramolecular levels and their influence on biological activity at the cellular, tissue, organ, and organismic levels. These programs include courses in biochemistry, biophysics, structural biology, molecular biology, and research applications and methods appropriate to specific topics.
There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.
Program Name:Chemistry - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any general program that focuses on the scientific study of the composition and behaviour of matter, including its micro- and macro-structure, the processes of chemical change, and the theoretical description and laboratory simulation of these phenomena.
See all institutions providing this program+
Acadia University
15 University Avenue
Wolfville, NS B4P 2R6
(902) 542-2201
agi@acadiau.ca
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
University of King's College
6350 Coburg Road
Halifax, NS B3H 2A1
(902) 422-1271
admissions@ukings.ca
Mount Saint Vincent University
166 Bedford Highway
Halifax, NS B3M 2J6
(902) 457-6117
admissions@msvu.ca
St. Francis Xavier University
PO Box 5000
Antigonish, NS B2G 2W5
(902) 867-2219
admit@stfx.ca
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3C3
(902) 420-5400
admission.status@smu.ca
Cape Breton University
PO Box 5300 1250 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6L2
(888) 959-9995
registrar@cbu.ca
Program Name:Food science
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the application of biological, chemical, and physical principles to the study of converting raw agricultural products into processed forms suitable for direct human consumption, and the storage of such products. These programs include courses in applicable aspects of the agricultural sciences, human physiology and nutrition, food chemistry, agricultural products processing, food additives, food preparation and packaging, food storage and shipment, and related aspects of human health and safety including toxicology and pathology.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
University of King's College
6350 Coburg Road
Halifax, NS B3H 2A1
(902) 422-1271
admissions@ukings.ca
Dalhousie University Faculty of Agriculture
PO Box 550
Truro, NS B2N 5E3
(902) 893-6600
enrolment.services@dal.ca
Program Name:Materials science
Education Level:This program may be offered at the college, trades, or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the general application of mathematical and scientific principles to the analysis and evaluation of the characteristics and behaviour of solids, including internal structure, chemical properties, transport and energy flow properties, thermodynamics of solids, stress and failure factors, chemical transformation states and processes, compound materials, and research on industrial applications of specific materials.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
Program Name:Medicinal and pharmaceutical chemistry (MSc, PhD)
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the university graduate level (Masters, PhD)
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the application of chemistry to the study of biologically and clinically active substances, biological and pharmacological interactions, and the development of associated research methods, techniques, and clinical trial procedures. These programs include courses in organic chemistry, biochemistry, molecular graphics, rational drug design, toxicology, molecular biology, pharmacology, enzyme mechanisms, receptor theory, neurochemistry, drug metabolism, drug synthesis, biological mechanisms of drug action, research tools and techniques, and laboratory safety.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
Program Name:Pharmacology
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the scientific study of drug interactions on biological systems and organisms and the sources, chemical properties, biological effects, and therapeutic uses of drugs. These programs include courses in pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, toxicology, drug therapeutics, drug action, bodily responses to drug events, biochemical proliferation and differentiation, apoptosis, cell biology, medicinal chemistry, and studies of specific drugs and drug interactions.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
Program Name:Pharmacy (PharmD [USA], PharmD or BSc/BPharm [Canada])
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals for the independent or employed practice of preparing and dispensing drugs and medications in consultation with prescribing physicians and other health care professionals, and for managing pharmacy practices and counselling patients. These programs include courses in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pharmaceutical chemistry, pharmacognosy, pharmacy practice, pharmacy administration, applicable regulations, and professional standards and ethics.
See all institutions providing this program+
Dalhousie University
Office of the Registrar
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
(902) 494-2450
admissions@dal.ca
Program Name:Physical sciences - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that focuses on the major topics, concepts, processes, and interrelationships of physical phenomena as studied in any combination of physical science disciplines.
See all institutions providing this program+
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3C3
(902) 420-5400
admission.status@smu.ca
Program Name:Soil science and agronomy - General
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the college or university level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that generally focuses on the scientific classification of soils, soil properties, and their relationship to agricultural crops. These programs include courses in soil chemistry, soil physics, soil biology, soil fertility, morphogenesis, mineralogy, hydrology, agronomy, and soil conservation and management.
There are no schools in Nova Scotia offering this program.
Additional resources:

There are no additional resources for this occupation.

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