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Career and Education Opportunities for Chemists in Houston, Texas

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for chemists in the Houston, Texas area. There are currently 4,450 working chemists in Texas; this should grow by 17% to about 5,180 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. 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 about $29 hourly or $61,680 yearly on average in Texas and about $31 hourly or $66,230 per year on average nationally. Earnings for chemists are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Physical Sciences in Texas and not quite as good as general Physical Sciences category earnings nationally. People working as chemists can fill a number of jobs, such as: ceramic chemist, pharmaceutical analyst, and research scientist.

There are eight schools within twenty-five miles of Houston where you can study to be a chemist, among eighty-one schools of higher education total in the Houston area. Given that the most common education level 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

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 Houston 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.
  • 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

San Jacinto Community College - Pasadena, TX

San Jacinto Community College, 8060 Spencer Hwy, Pasadena, TX 77501-2007. San Jacinto Community College is a large college located in Pasadena, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,677 students. San Jacinto Community College has an associate's degree program in Chemistry which graduated twenty students in 2008.

University of Houston-Clear Lake - Houston, TX

University of Houston-Clear Lake, 2700 Bay Area Blvd, Houston, TX 77058-1098. University of Houston-Clear Lake is a medium sized university located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 7,638 students. University of Houston-Clear Lake has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Chemistry which graduated eight and five students respectively in 2008.

University of Houston - Houston, TX

University of Houston, 212 E. Cullen Building, Houston, TX 77204-2018. University of Houston is a large university located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 36,080 students and an admission rate of 79%. University of Houston has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Chemistry which graduated forty-four, six, and fifteen students respectively in 2008.

University of St Thomas - Houston, TX

University of St Thomas, 3800 Montrose Blvd, Houston, TX 77006-4696. University of St Thomas is a small university located in Houston, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,246 students and an admission rate of 81%. University of St Thomas has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated ten students in 2008.

Texas Southern University - Houston, TX

Texas Southern University, 3100 Cleburne St, Houston, TX 77004. Texas Southern University is a medium sized university located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,062 students and an admission rate of 99%. Texas Southern University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Chemistry which graduated eleven and one students respectively in 2008.

Rice University - Houston, TX

Rice University, 6100 S Main, Houston, TX 77005-1827. Rice University is a medium sized university located in Houston, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,337 students and an admission rate of 23%. Rice University has 2 areas of study related to Chemist. They are:

  • Chemistry, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated one, thirty-one, and sixteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Chemical Physics, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Houston Baptist University - Houston, TX

Houston Baptist University, 7502 Fondren Rd, Houston, TX 77074-3298. Houston Baptist University is a small university located in Houston, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,564 students and an admission rate of 46%. Houston Baptist University has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated five students in 2008.

University of Houston-Downtown - Houston, TX

University of Houston-Downtown, 1 Main Street, Houston, TX 77002-1014. University of Houston-Downtown is a large university located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 12,283 students. University of Houston-Downtown has 2 areas of study related to Chemist. They are:

  • Chemistry, bachelor's degree which graduated 4 students in 2008.
  • Chemistry, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 2 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: Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas photo by Hequals2henry

Houston is located in Harris County, Texas. It has a population of over 2,242,193, which has grown by 14.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Houston, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Houston are valued at $173,500 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, 3,684 new homes were constructed in Houston, down from 6,035 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Houston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 27.0% of Houston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Houston is 8.0%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Houston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church, 34th Temple Church of God in Christ and Pentecostal Church of God in Christ are some of the churches located in Houston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Houston is home to the Champion Rod and Gun Club and the Independence Heights Residential Historic District as well as Hermann Park and Hennessey Park. Shopping centers in the area include Windsor Plaza Shopping Center, Meyerland Plaza Shopping Center and Meyerland Shopping Center. Visitors to Houston can choose from Capital Inn, Bradford Homesuites - Houston Galleria and Best Western Fountainview Inn and Suites for temporary stays in the area.