Career and Education Opportunities for Chemists in Missoula, Montana
There are many career and education opportunities for chemists in the Missoula, Montana area. About 210 people are currently employed as chemists in Montana. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 22% to about 260 people employed. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for chemists are expected to grow by about 2.5%. 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 $17 per hour or $37,120 yearly on average in Montana. 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 Montana and not quite as good as general Physical Sciences category earnings nationally. Chemists work in a variety of jobs, including: mass spectrometry engineer, ceramic chemist, and pharmaceutical analyst.
The Missoula area is home to two schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Missoula where you can get a degree 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
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 Missoula 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
The University of Montana - Missoula, MT
The University of Montana, Missoula, Montana, Missoula, MT 59812. The University of Montana is a large university located in Missoula, Montana. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 14,176 students and an admission rate of 96%. The University of Montana has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Chemistry which graduated eighteen, three, and five students respectively 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: Missoula, Montana
Missoula is located in Missoula County, Montana. It has a population of over 68,202, which has grown by 19.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Missoula, 100, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Missoula cost $89,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-six new homes were constructed in Missoula, down from two hundred ninety-three the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Missoula are educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is educational services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 14 minutes. More than 38.0% of Missoula residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Missoula is 5.1%, which is less than Montana's average of 5.8%.
The percentage of Missoula residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 32.4%, is less than both the national and state average. University Congregational Church, Unity Church of Missoula and United Pentecostal Church are all churches located in Missoula. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Missoula is home to the Health Sciences Building and the KOA El-Mar Kampground as well as Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Fort Missoula Park. Shopping malls in the area include East Gate Shopping Center, Southgate Mall and Town and Country Shopping Center. Visitors to Missoula can choose from Best Western Grant Creek Inn, Comfort Inn Missoula and Sleepy Inn Motel for temporary stays in the area.