Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Chemists in Los Angeles, California

Chemists can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Los Angeles, California area. There are currently 10,000 working chemists in California; this should grow by 18% to 11,800 working chemists in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for chemists, which sees this job pool growing by about 2.5% over the next eight years. In general, chemists conduct qualitative and quantitative chemical analyses or chemical experiments in laboratories for quality or process control or to develop new products or knowledge.

Chemists earn approximately $37 per hour or $77,050 per year on average in California. Nationally they average about $31 per hour or $66,230 per year. Earnings for chemists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Physical Sciences in California and not quite as good as general Physical Sciences category earnings nationally. Chemists work in a variety of jobs, including: process chemist, product safety manager, and laboratory supervisor.

There are 274 schools of higher education in the Los Angeles area, including thirty-seven within twenty-five miles of Los Angeles where you can get a degree to start your career as a chemist. The most common level of education for chemists is a Bachelor's degree. You can expect to spend about four years studying to be a chemist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Chemist

Chemist video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, chemists conduct qualitative and quantitative chemical analyses or chemical experiments in laboratories for quality or process control or to develop new products or knowledge.

Chemists analyze organic and inorganic compounds to establish their chemical and physical properties, composition and reactions, utilizing chromatography and spectrophotometry techniques. They also write technical papers and reports and ready standards and requirements for processes or tests. Equally important, chemists have to design and customize products, equipment and analytical methods. They are often called upon to maintain laboratory instruments to insure proper working order and troubleshoot malfunctions when needed. They are expected to compile and analyze test data. Finally, chemists talk with scientists and engineers to conduct analyses of research projects, interpret test results, or design nonstandard tests.

Every day, chemists are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to read and understand documents and reports. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for chemists to direct and advise personnel in test processes for analyzing components and physical properties of materials. They are often called upon to induce changes in composition of substances by introducing heat and chemical catalysts for quantitative and qualitative analysis. Somewhat less frequently, chemists are also expected to ready test solutions and reagents for laboratory personnel to conduct test.

Chemists sometimes are asked to conduct quality control tests. And finally, they sometimes have to study effects of various methods of processing and packaging on composition and properties of foods.

Like many other jobs, chemists must be thorough and dependable and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Los Angeles include:

  • Astronomer. Observe, research, and interpret celestial and astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge and apply such information to practical problems.
  • Atmospheric Scientist. Investigate atmospheric phenomena and interpret meteorological data gathered by surface and air stations, satellites, and radar to prepare reports and forecasts for public and other uses.
  • Chemical Laboratory Technician. Conduct chemical and physical laboratory tests to assist scientists in making qualitative and quantitative analyses of solids, liquids, and gaseous materials for purposes, such as research and development of new products or processes, quality control, maintenance of environmental standards, and other work involving experimental, theoretical, or practical application of chemistry and related sciences.
  • Environmental Health and Safety Specialist. Conduct research or perform investigation for the purpose of identifying, abating, or eliminating sources of pollutants or hazards that affect either the environment or the health of the population. Utilizing knowledge of various scientific disciplines may collect, synthesize, and take action based on data derived from measurements or observations of air, food, and other sources.
  • Environmental Technician. Perform laboratory and field tests to monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution, including those that affect health. Under direction of an environmental scientist or specialist, may collect samples of gases, soil, and other materials for testing and take corrective actions as assigned.
  • Food Science Technician. Perform standardized qualitative and quantitative tests to determine physical or chemical properties of food or beverage products.
  • Geological Specialist. Study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the earth. May use geological, physics, and mathematics knowledge in exploration for oil, gas, or underground water; or in waste disposal, land reclamation, or other environmental problems. May study the earth's internal composition, atmospheres, and its magnetic, electrical, and gravitational forces. Includes mineralogists, crystallographers, and seismologists.
  • Hydrologist. Research the distribution, circulation, and physical properties of underground and surface waters; study the form and intensity of precipitation, its rate of infiltration into the soil, movement through the earth, and its return to the ocean and atmosphere.
  • Soil Scientist. Conduct research in breeding, physiology, and management of crops and agricultural plants, their growth in soils, and control of pests; or study the chemical, physical, and mineralogical composition of soils as they relate to plant or crop growth. May classify and map soils and investigate effects of alternative practices on soil and crop productivity.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Chemist Training

California State University-Los Angeles - Los Angeles, CA

California State University-Los Angeles, 5151 State University Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90032. California State University-Los Angeles is a large university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 20,856 students and an admission rate of 62%. California State University-Los Angeles has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Chemistry which graduated six and four students respectively in 2008.

Pomona College - Claremont, CA

Pomona College, 550 N College Ave Alexander Hall, Claremont, CA 91711-6319. Pomona College is a small college located in Claremont, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,532 students and an admission rate of 16%. Pomona College has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated one student in 2008.

Vanguard University of Southern California - Costa Mesa, CA

Vanguard University of Southern California, 55 Fair Dr, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. Vanguard University of Southern California is a small university located in Costa Mesa, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,128 students and an admission rate of 81%. Vanguard University of Southern California has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated one student in 2008.

Claremont McKenna College - Claremont, CA

Claremont McKenna College, 500 E 9th St, Claremont, CA 91711-6400. Claremont McKenna College is a small college located in Claremont, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,212 students and an admission rate of 19%. Claremont McKenna College has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry.

Mount St Mary's College - Los Angeles, CA

Mount St Mary's College, 12001 Chalon Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90049-1599. Mount St Mary's College is a small college located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,358 students and an admission rate of 84%. Mount St Mary's College has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry.

Cerritos College - Norwalk, CA

Cerritos College, 11110 Alondra Blvd, Norwalk, CA 90650-6298. Cerritos College is a large college located in Norwalk, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 22,228 students. Cerritos College has an associate's degree program in Chemistry which graduated two students in 2008.

California State University-Northridge - Northridge, CA

California State University-Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St, Northridge, CA 91330. California State University-Northridge is a large university located in Northridge, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 36,208 students and an admission rate of 69%. California State University-Northridge has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Chemistry which graduated seventeen and two students respectively in 2008.

Santa Ana College - Santa Ana, CA

Santa Ana College, 1530 W. 17th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706-3398. Santa Ana College is a large college located in Santa Ana, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,464 students. Santa Ana College has an associate's degree program in Chemistry which graduated eleven students in 2008.

University of La Verne - La Verne, CA

University of La Verne, 1950 Third St, La Verne, CA 91750-4401. University of La Verne is a medium sized university located in La Verne, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,331 students and an admission rate of 65%. University of La Verne has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated three students in 2008.

Orange Coast College - Costa Mesa, CA

Orange Coast College, 2701 Fairview Road, Costa Mesa, CA 92628-5005. Orange Coast College is a large college located in Costa Mesa, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,700 students. Orange Coast College has an associate's degree program in Chemistry which graduated forty-one students in 2008.

Los Angeles City College - Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles City College, 855 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029. Los Angeles City College is a large college located in Los Angeles, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 17,310 students. Los Angeles City College has an associate's degree program in Chemistry which graduated two students in 2008.

Scripps College - Claremont, CA

Scripps College, 1030 North Columbia Avenue, Claremont, CA 91711-3905. Scripps College is a small college located in Claremont, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 970 students and an admission rate of 43%. Scripps College has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated seven students in 2008.

West Los Angeles College - Culver City, CA

West Los Angeles College, 9000 Overland Avenue, Culver City, CA 90230-3519. West Los Angeles College is a large college located in Culver City, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,612 students. West Los Angeles College has an associate's degree program in Chemistry.

Pitzer College - Claremont, CA

Pitzer College, 1050 North Mills Avenue, Claremont, CA 91711-6101. Pitzer College is a small college located in Claremont, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,025 students and an admission rate of 22%. Pitzer College has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry.

Fullerton College - Fullerton, CA

Fullerton College, 321 E Chapman Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92832-2095. Fullerton College is a large college located in Fullerton, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 22,500 students. Fullerton College has an associate's degree program in Chemistry which graduated nineteen students in 2008.

Golden West College - Huntington Beach, CA

Golden West College, 15744 Golden West, Huntington Beach, CA 92647-2710. Golden West College is a large college located in Huntington Beach, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 14,000 students. Golden West College has an associate's degree program in Chemistry.

University of Southern California - Los Angeles, CA

University of Southern California, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089. University of Southern California is a large university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 33,747 students and an admission rate of 22%. University of Southern California has 2 areas of study related to Chemist. They are:

  • Chemistry, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated twelve, nine, and nineteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Chemical Physics, bachelor's degree and doctor's degree.

Los Angeles Harbor College - Wilmington, CA

Los Angeles Harbor College, 1111 Figueroa Place, Wilmington, CA 90744-2397. Los Angeles Harbor College is a large college located in Wilmington, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,694 students. Los Angeles Harbor College has an associate's degree program in Chemistry.

El Camino Community College District - Torrance, CA

El Camino Community College District, 16007 Crenshaw Blvd, Torrance, CA 90506. El Camino Community College District is a large college located in Torrance, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 26,825 students. El Camino Community College District has an associate's degree program in Chemistry which graduated one student in 2008.

University of California-Irvine - Irvine, CA

University of California-Irvine, , Irvine, CA 92697. University of California-Irvine is a large university located in Irvine, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 25,899 students and an admission rate of 56%. University of California-Irvine has 2 areas of study related to Chemist. They are:

  • Chemistry, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated one, one, twenty, and thirty-three students respectively in 2008.
  • Chemistry, Other Specialties, doctor's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.

Pepperdine University - Malibu, CA

Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90263. Pepperdine University is a medium sized university located in Malibu, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,170 students and an admission rate of 35%. Pepperdine University has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry.

California State Polytechnic University-Pomona - Pomona, CA

California State Polytechnic University-Pomona, 3801 W Temple Ave, Pomona, CA 91768. California State Polytechnic University-Pomona is a large university located in Pomona, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 21,206 students and an admission rate of 69%. California State Polytechnic University-Pomona has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Chemistry which graduated twenty-six and three students respectively in 2008.

Whittier College - Whittier, CA

Whittier College, 13406 E Philadelphia Street, Whittier, CA 90601. Whittier College is a small college located in Whittier, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,895 students and an admission rate of 72%. Whittier College has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated one student in 2008.

California Institute of Technology - Pasadena, CA

California Institute of Technology, 1200 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91125. California Institute of Technology is a small school located in Pasadena, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,133 students and an admission rate of 17%. California Institute of Technology has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Chemistry which graduated nineteen, four, and thirty-two students respectively in 2008.

University of California-Los Angeles - Los Angeles, CA

University of California-Los Angeles, 405 Hilgard Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1405. University of California-Los Angeles is a large university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,782 students and an admission rate of 24%. University of California-Los Angeles has bachelor's degree, master's degree, post-master's certificate, and doctor's degree programs in Chemistry which graduated one, nineteen, twenty-seven, and twenty-nine students respectively in 2008.

Concordia University - Irvine, CA

Concordia University, 1530 Concordia West, Irvine, CA 92612-3299. Concordia University is a small university located in Irvine, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,452 students and an admission rate of 62%. Concordia University has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry.

Chapman University - Orange, CA

Chapman University, One University Dr., Orange, CA 92866. Chapman University is a medium sized university located in Orange, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 6,131 students and an admission rate of 50%. Chapman University has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated four students in 2008.

Harvey Mudd College - Claremont, CA

Harvey Mudd College, 301 Platt Blvd., Claremont, CA 91711. Harvey Mudd College is a small college located in Claremont, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 738 students and an admission rate of 28%. Harvey Mudd College has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry.

California State University-Dominguez Hills - Carson, CA

California State University-Dominguez Hills, 1000 E Victoria St, Carson, CA 90747-0005. California State University-Dominguez Hills is a large university located in Carson, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,842 students and an admission rate of 12%. California State University-Dominguez Hills has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated nine students in 2008.

Irvine Valley College - Irvine, CA

Irvine Valley College, 5500 Irvine Center Drive, Irvine, CA 92618-0301. Irvine Valley College is a medium sized college located in Irvine, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,963 students. Irvine Valley College has an associate's degree program in Chemistry which graduated seven students in 2008.

Azusa Pacific University - Azusa, CA

Azusa Pacific University, 901 E Alosta, Azusa, CA 91702-7000. Azusa Pacific University is a medium sized university located in Azusa, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,501 students and an admission rate of 73%. Azusa Pacific University has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated four students in 2008.

Loyola Marymount University - Los Angeles, CA

Loyola Marymount University, One Lmu Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90045-2659. Loyola Marymount University is a medium sized university located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 9,011 students and an admission rate of 50%. Loyola Marymount University has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated seven students in 2008.

Los Angeles Valley College - Valley Glen, CA

Los Angeles Valley College, 5800 Fulton Avenue, Valley Glen, CA 91401-4096. Los Angeles Valley College is a large college located in Valley Glen, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 18,550 students. Los Angeles Valley College has an associate's degree program in Chemistry which graduated three students in 2008.

California State University-Fullerton - Fullerton, CA

California State University-Fullerton, 800 N State College Blvd, Fullerton, CA 92831-3599. California State University-Fullerton is a large university located in Fullerton, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 36,990 students and an admission rate of 60%. California State University-Fullerton has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Chemistry which graduated ten and seven students respectively in 2008.

Santiago Canyon College - Orange, CA

Santiago Canyon College, 8045 E Chapman, Orange, CA 92869-4512. Santiago Canyon College is a large college located in Orange, California. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 13,086 students. Santiago Canyon College has an associate's degree program in Chemistry which graduated two students in 2008.

Occidental College - Los Angeles, CA

Occidental College, 1600 Campus Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90041-3392. Occidental College is a small college located in Los Angeles, California. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,868 students and an admission rate of 39%. Occidental College has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated one student in 2008.

California State University-Long Beach - Long Beach, CA

California State University-Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840-0115. California State University-Long Beach is a large university located in Long Beach, California. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 37,891 students and an admission rate of 47%. California State University-Long Beach has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Chemistry which graduated fifteen and two students respectively in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Certified Water Technologist: The Certified Water Technologist (CWT) program represents the highest professional credential in the industrial and commercial water treatment field.

For more information, see the Association of Water Technologies website.

Protective Coatings Specialist: This certification is geared toward individuals who are experienced, knowledgeable and capable of performing work at an advanced level in both the theory and practice of corrosion prevention and control, and who are capable of performing work at an advanced level in the protective coatings field.

For more information, see the NACE International website.

Registered Environmental Laboratory Technologist: RELT -- Registered Environmental Laboratory Technologist is a special registration/certification for persons engaged in the laboratory management and/or analysis of environmental samples.

For more information, see the National Registry of Environmental Professionals website.

Certified Metalworking Fluids Specialist: Certified Metalworking Fluids Specialists are those individuals who have met minimum standards of experience, knowledge and written examination requirements as established by the STLE Metalworking Fluids Certification Committee to provide technical consultation in the field of metalworking fluids management.

For more information, see the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers website.

LICENSES

Clinical Laboratory Chemist License

Licensing agency: Department of Health Services
Address: Division of Laboratory Science, Laboratory Field Services, 1111 Broadway, 19th Floor, Oakland, CA 94607

Phone: (510) 873-6328
Website: Department of Health Services Division of Laboratory Science Laboratory Field Services

Clinical Laboratory Chemist Scientist Limited License

Licensing agency: Department of Health Services
Address: Division of Laboratory Science, Laboratory Field Services, 1111 Broadway, 19th Floor, Oakland, CA 94607

Phone: (510) 873-6328
Website: Department of Health Services Division of Laboratory Science Laboratory Field Services

Clinical Laboratory Chemist Scientist Trainee

Licensing agency: Department of Health Services
Address: Division of Laboratory Science, Laboratory Field Services, 1111 Broadway, 19th Floor, Oakland, CA 94607

Phone: (510) 873-6328
Website: Department of Health Services Division of Laboratory Science Laboratory Field Services

LOCATION INFORMATION: Los Angeles, California

Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California photo by Diliff

Los Angeles is located in Los Angeles County, California. It has a population of over 3,833,995, which has grown by 3.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Los Angeles, 166, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Los Angeles are valued at $361,500 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, seven hundred twelve new homes were built in Los Angeles, down from 1,551 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Los Angeles are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is construction, accommodation and food services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 25.5% of Los Angeles residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.1%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Los Angeles is 13.9%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Los Angeles residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 58.1%, is more than both the national and state average. All Peoples Christian Church, All Saints Episcopal Church and All Saints Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Los Angeles. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Los Angeles is home to the Balboa Municipal Golf Course and the Angels Flight Railway as well as Hazard Park and State Street Recreation Center. Shopping centers in the area include Encino Junior Shopping Center, Encino Oaks Shopping Center and Encino Town Center Shopping Center. Visitors to Los Angeles can choose from Best Western Mid-Wilshire Plaza, Best Western Westwood Pacific and Alma Lodge for temporary stays in the area.