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Career and Education Opportunities for Chemists in St. Louis, Missouri

If you want to be a chemist, the St. Louis, Missouri area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. About 1,990 people are currently employed as chemists in Missouri. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 6% to 2,110 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for chemists are expected to grow by about 2.5%. 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 $28 per hour or $59,440 yearly on average in Missouri. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $31 per hour or $66,230 per year on average. Chemists earn less than people working in the category of Physical Sciences generally in Missouri and less than people in the Physical Sciences category nationally. Chemists work in a variety of jobs, including: pesticide chemist, quality control chemist, and industrial chemist.

There are seventy-one schools of higher education in the St. Louis area, including nine within twenty-five miles of St. Louis where you can get a degree to start your career as a chemist. Given that the most common education level 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 St. Louis include:

  • 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.
  • 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

Lindenwood University - Saint Charles, MO

Lindenwood University, 209 S Kingshighway, Saint Charles, MO 63301-1695. Lindenwood University is a large university located in Saint Charles, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,253 students and an admission rate of 40%. Lindenwood University has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated one student in 2008.

Missouri Baptist University - Saint Louis, MO

Missouri Baptist University, One College Park Dr, Saint Louis, MO 63141-8698. Missouri Baptist University is a small university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 4,764 students and an admission rate of 67%. Missouri Baptist University has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry.

McKendree University - Lebanon, IL

McKendree University, 701 College Rd, Lebanon, IL 62254-1291. McKendree University is a small university located in Lebanon, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,258 students and an admission rate of 65%. McKendree University has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry.

Maryville University of Saint Louis - Saint Louis, MO

Maryville University of Saint Louis, 650 Maryville University Drive, Saint Louis, MO 63141-7299. Maryville University of Saint Louis is a small university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,522 students and an admission rate of 54%. Maryville University of Saint Louis has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville - Edwardsville, IL

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Il State Rte 157, Edwardsville, IL 62026-1001. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is a large university located in Edwardsville, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 13,602 students and an admission rate of 89%. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Chemistry which graduated twenty and sixteen students respectively in 2008.

Principia College - Elsah, IL

Principia College, 1 Maybeck Place, Elsah, IL 62028-9799. Principia College is a small college located in Elsah, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 520 students and an admission rate of 84%. Principia College has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry.

University of Missouri-St Louis - Saint Louis, MO

University of Missouri-St Louis, One University Boulevard, Saint Louis, MO 63121-4400. University of Missouri-St Louis is a large university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,591 students and an admission rate of 46%. University of Missouri-St Louis has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Chemistry which graduated sixteen, ten, and four students respectively in 2008.

Saint Louis University-Main Campus - Saint Louis, MO

Saint Louis University-Main Campus, 221 N Grand Blvd, Saint Louis, MO 63103-2097. Saint Louis University-Main Campus is a large university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 15,975 students and an admission rate of 72%. Saint Louis University-Main Campus has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Chemistry which graduated nineteen and seven students respectively in 2008.

Washington University in St Louis - Saint Louis, MO

Washington University in St Louis, One Brookings Drive, Saint Louis, MO 63130-4899. Washington University in St Louis is a large university located in Saint Louis, Missouri. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 12,946 students and an admission rate of 22%. Washington University in St Louis has 2 areas of study related to Chemist. They are:

  • Chemistry, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated two, twenty-six, and sixteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Chemistry, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 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: St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri photo by Dschwen

St. Louis is located in St. Louis City County, Missouri. It has a population of over 354,361, which has grown by 1.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in St. Louis, 83, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in St. Louis are priced at $111,600 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred fifty-seven new homes were built in St. Louis, down from two hundred sixty-one the previous year.

The top three industries for women in St. Louis are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is accommodation and food services, construction, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 25 minutes. More than 19.1% of St. Louis residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Louis is 10.9%, which is greater than Missouri's average of 8.9%.

Nativity of Our Lord Church, Church of the Good Shepard and Church of the Holy Communion are among the churches located in St. Louis.

St. Louis is home to the Terminal Railroad Association Building and the Memorial Home as well as Washington Park and Willmore Park. Shopping malls in the area include Hampton Village Shopping Center and Loughborough Shopping Center.