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Career and Education Opportunities for Chemists in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

If you want to be a chemist, the Oklahoma City, Oklahoma area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 330 working chemists in Oklahoma; this should grow by 6% to 350 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 about $32 per hour or $68,310 yearly on average in Oklahoma and about $31 per hour or $66,230 yearly on average nationally. Compared with people working in the overall category of Physical Sciences, people working as chemists in Oklahoma earn more. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Physical Sciences nationally. People working as chemists can fill a number of jobs, such as: laboratory chemist, inorganic chemist, and product development chemist.

There are forty-four schools of higher education in the Oklahoma City area, including seven within twenty-five miles of Oklahoma City 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 training to become 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 Oklahoma City 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

Oklahoma City University - Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma City University, 2501 N Blackwelder, Oklahoma City, OK 73106-1402. Oklahoma City University is a small university located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,897 students and an admission rate of 79%. Oklahoma City University has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated seven students in 2008.

Langston University - Langston, OK

Langston University, 102 Page Hall, Langston, OK 73050. Langston University is a small university located in Langston, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,816 students. Langston University has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated two students in 2008.

University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma - Chickasha, OK

University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, 17th Street and Grand Avenue, Chickasha, OK 73018-5322. University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma is a small university located in Chickasha, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,158 students and an admission rate of 93%. University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated three students in 2008.

Oklahoma Baptist University - Shawnee, OK

Oklahoma Baptist University, 500 W University, Shawnee, OK 74804. Oklahoma Baptist University is a small university located in Shawnee, Oklahoma. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,753 students and an admission rate of 63%. Oklahoma Baptist University has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated one student in 2008.

University of Oklahoma Norman Campus - Norman, OK

University of Oklahoma Norman Campus, 660 Parrington Oval, Norman, OK 73019-3072. University of Oklahoma Norman Campus is a large university located in Norman, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 26,201 students and an admission rate of 73%. University of Oklahoma Norman Campus has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Chemistry which graduated thirty-five, nineteen, and sixteen students respectively in 2008.

Southern Nazarene University - Bethany, OK

Southern Nazarene University, 6729 NW 39th Expy, Bethany, OK 73008. Southern Nazarene University is a small university located in Bethany, Oklahoma. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,069 students. Southern Nazarene University has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated two students in 2008.

University of Central Oklahoma - Edmond, OK

University of Central Oklahoma, 100 N University Dr, Edmond, OK 73034. University of Central Oklahoma is a large university located in Edmond, Oklahoma. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 13,724 students and an admission rate of 69%. University of Central Oklahoma has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated thirteen students 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: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma photo by CPacker

Oklahoma City is located in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma. It has a population of over 551,789, which has grown by 9.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Oklahoma City, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Oklahoma City cost $142,600 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, 1,474 new homes were built in Oklahoma City, down from 2,559 the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Oklahoma City are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 21 minutes. More than 24.0% of Oklahoma City residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.1%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Oklahoma City is 6.5%, which is less than Oklahoma's average of 7.1%.

The percentage of Oklahoma City residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 65.7%, is more than both the national and state average. Grace Place Baptist Church, Grace Presbyterian Church and Grace United Methodist Church are some of the churches located in Oklahoma City. The most prominent religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Oklahoma City is home to the Colonial Square and the 50 Penn Place as well as Rotary Park and River Park. Shopping malls in the area include 240 Plaza Shopping Center, 74 South Shopping Center and Council Crossings Shopping Center. Visitors to Oklahoma City can choose from Rodeway Inn Oklahoma City, Harvey Janitorial Sales and Market Source for temporary stays in the area.