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Career and Education Opportunities for Chemists in Tampa, Florida

If you want to be a chemist, the Tampa, Florida area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 2,210 people are currently employed as chemists in Florida. By 2016, this is expected to grow 21% to about 2,680 people employed. This is better than the national trend for chemists, which sees this job pool growing by about 2.5% over the next eight years. Chemists generally conduct qualitative and quantitative chemical analyses or chemical experiments in laboratories for quality or process control or to develop new products or knowledge.

The income of a chemist is about $26 hourly or $54,610 annually on average in Florida. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $31 hourly or $66,230 annually on average. Chemists earn less than people working in the category of Physical Sciences generally in Florida and less than people in the Physical Sciences category nationally. Chemists work in a variety of jobs, including: food processing chemist, pharmaceutical scientist, and product safety manager.

The Tampa area is home to fifty-four schools of higher education, including four within twenty-five miles of Tampa where you can get a degree as a chemist. Chemists usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so 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 Tampa include:

  • 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.
  • 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Chemist Training

University of South Florida - Tampa, FL

University of South Florida, 4202 East Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33620-9951. University of South Florida is a large university located in Tampa, Florida. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 46,174 students and an admission rate of 46%. University of South Florida has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Chemistry which graduated forty-five, seven, and eleven students respectively in 2008.

Eckerd College - Saint Petersburg, FL

Eckerd College, 4200 54th Ave S, Saint Petersburg, FL 33711-4700. Eckerd College is a small college located in Saint Petersburg, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,428 students and an admission rate of 66%. Eckerd College has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated three students in 2008.

The University of Tampa - Tampa, FL

The University of Tampa, 401 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606-1490. The University of Tampa is a medium sized university located in Tampa, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,790 students and an admission rate of 50%. The University of Tampa has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry.

Florida Southern College - Lakeland, FL

Florida Southern College, 111 Lake Hollingsworth Dr, Lakeland, FL 33801-5698. Florida Southern College is a small college located in Lakeland, Florida. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,319 students and an admission rate of 67%. Florida Southern College has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated one student 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Tampa, Florida

Tampa, Florida
Tampa, Florida photo by Caltrop

Tampa is located in Hillsborough County, Florida. It has a population of over 340,882, which has grown by 12.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Tampa, 95, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Tampa are valued at $188,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, six hundred thirty-five new homes were constructed in Tampa, down from 1,008 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Tampa are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 25.4% of Tampa residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.2%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Tampa is 11.8%, which is greater than Florida's average of 11.3%.

The percentage of Tampa residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abundant Life Assembly of God Church, Florida Tampa Mission and Most Holy Redeemer Church are among the churches located in Tampa. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Tampa is home to the Parkers Railroad Station and the Drew Station Railroad Station as well as Ybor City Museum State Park and American Legion Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Northgate Shopping Center, Old Hyde Park Village Shopping Center and Benttree Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Tampa can choose from Backstage Restaurant & Lounge, Baymont Tampa Busch Gardens and Budget Inn for temporary stays in the area.