Chemists study the physical properties of substances and chemical changes to these substances. They are often involved in the development of new substances and processes. A chemist searches for and uses new knowledge about chemicals to improve the way we live. He or she may develop products such as synthetic fibers, drugs and cosmetics. A chemist also creates processes, including oil refining and petrochemical processing, that reduce energy use and pollution.

Chemists specialise in areas such as analytical, organic, inorganic, physical and theoretical, macromolecular, medical, and materials chemistry.

Chemists primarily work in research and development in the physical, engineering and life sciences. Many others work for pharmaceutical manufacturers and testing laboratories. The federal government, as well as state and local governments, employs chemists. Chemists work in labs and offices, often on research teams. They usually work regular, full-time hours.

If you want to work as a chemist you must have, as a minimum, a bachelor degree in chemistry. However, most research jobs in chemistry require at least a master's degree, but more often a PhD.