Career and Education Opportunities for Chemists in Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for chemists. About 2,310 people are currently employed as chemists in Michigan. By 2016, this is expected to grow 4% to about 2,420 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.
Chemists earn approximately $25 hourly or $52,090 yearly on average in Michigan. Nationally they average about $31 hourly or $66,230 per year. Earnings for chemists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Physical Sciences in Michigan and not quite as good as general Physical Sciences category earnings nationally. Jobs in this field include: textile chemist, research chemist, and water chemist.
There are five schools within twenty-five miles of Grand Rapids where you can study to be a chemist, among nineteen schools of higher education total in the Grand Rapids area. The most common level of education for chemists is a Bachelor's degree. It will take about four years to learn to be a chemist if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Chemist
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 Grand Rapids include:
- 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.
- 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
Calvin College - Grand Rapids, MI
Calvin College, 3201 Burton SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. Calvin College is a small college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,171 students and an admission rate of 94%. Calvin College has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated two students in 2008.
Aquinas College - Grand Rapids, MI
Aquinas College, 1607 Robinson Rd SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506-1799. Aquinas College is a small college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,159 students and an admission rate of 82%. Aquinas College has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated one student in 2008.
Hope College - Holland, MI
Hope College, 141 E 12th St, Holland, MI 49423. Hope College is a small college located in Holland, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,238 students and an admission rate of 82%. Hope College has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated ten students in 2008.
Grand Valley State University - Allendale, MI
Grand Valley State University, 1 Campus Dr, Allendale, MI 49401-9403. Grand Valley State University is a large university located in Allendale, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 23,932 students and an admission rate of 78%. Grand Valley State University has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated seventeen students in 2008.
Grand Rapids Community College - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Community College, 143 Bostwick Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503-3295. Grand Rapids Community College is a large college located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,403 students. Grand Rapids Community College has an associate's degree program in Chemistry which graduated two students in 2008.
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: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids is located in Kent County, Michigan. It has a population of over 193,396, which has shrunk by 2.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Grand Rapids, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Grand Rapids cost $98,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were built in Grand Rapids, down from ninety-two the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in Grand Rapids are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 23.8% of Grand Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.0%, is lower than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Grand Rapids is 15.4%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.
The percentage of Grand Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Church of Jesus Christ, Immanuel Church and Trinity Church are among the churches located in Grand Rapids. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Reformed Church in America.
Grand Rapids is home to the Kent Country Club and the Walker Juvenile Court as well as Comstock Riverside Park and Richmond Park. Visitors to Grand Rapids can choose from Hampton Inn Grand Rapids, Hampton Inn Grand Rapids/North- Mi and Hampton Inn Fax for temporary stays in the area.