Career and Education Opportunities for Chemists in Seattle, Washington
Chemists can find many career and educational opportunities in the Seattle, Washington area. There are currently 1,570 working chemists in Washington; this should grow 23% to 1,930 working chemists in the state by 2016. 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.
A person working as a chemist can expect to earn about $35 hourly or $73,590 annually on average in Washington and about $31 hourly or $66,230 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for chemists are not quite as good as in the overall category of Physical Sciences in Washington, and not quite as good as the overall Physical Sciences category nationally. People working as chemists can fill a number of jobs, such as: patent chemist, powder expert, and quality control chemist.
There are four schools within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can study to be a chemist, among sixty-five schools of higher education total in the Seattle 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 Seattle 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
University of Puget Sound - Tacoma, WA
University of Puget Sound, 1500 N Warner, Tacoma, WA 98416. University of Puget Sound is a small university located in Tacoma, Washington. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,829 students and an admission rate of 65%. University of Puget Sound has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry.
Seattle Pacific University - Seattle, WA
Seattle Pacific University, 3307 3rd Ave W, Seattle, WA 98119-1997. Seattle Pacific University is a small university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,891 students and an admission rate of 84%. Seattle Pacific University has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated seven students in 2008.
Seattle University - Seattle, WA
Seattle University, 900 Broadway, Seattle, WA 98122-4340. Seattle University is a medium sized university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 7,560 students and an admission rate of 65%. Seattle University has a bachelor's degree program in Chemistry which graduated twelve students in 2008.
University of Washington-Seattle Campus - Seattle, WA
University of Washington-Seattle Campus, 1400 NE Campus Parkway, Seattle, WA 98195-4550. University of Washington-Seattle Campus is a large university located in Seattle, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 39,675 students and an admission rate of 61%. University of Washington-Seattle Campus has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Chemistry which graduated six, twenty-eight, and twenty-six 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: Seattle, Washington
Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.
The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.