Unusual chemistry careers

Unusual chemistry careers

Chemistry - not just labcoats and chemicals.

It's International Year of Chemistry, so we decided to investigate chemistry careers. We don't want to pick the jobs that everyone knows about. We've picked five unusual jobs that you can do with a chemistry background. Have a look and let us know what you think.

What's that smell?

There are some chemists whose job it is to ensure that deodorants and antiperspirants are operating properly and keeping their users free of BO. This involves smelling the underarms of test subjects. Ugh.

Odour testers can evaluate all sorts of smells, from delicious to disgusting. Although there's potential for a day full of horrible smells - toilet disinfectant or trainer de-odourisers anyone? - you could evaluate the smell of the latest perfume or even chocolate. Sounds much better than a boring desk job!

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Fancy being an odour tester?

Food, glorious food!

Do you want to play with your food? How tasty is what you ate for breakfast? You need chemists to create mouth-watering foods that people will love. These foods have to last the journey to the supermarkets and be safe to eat.  This Royal Society of Chemistry video shows a food chemist - her fancy title is Quality Assurance Manager - at Cabury Trebor Basset.

Chemist finds you guilty

Forensic chemists analyse evidence that is brought in from crime scenes. Their findings can help to solve crimes. If a case goes to court, giving evidence is a vital part of a forensic chemist's job. The forensic chemist impartially explains the evidence to the jury and aids the jury in reaching a verdict.

The American Chemical Society has more information on forensic chemistry careers.

Science writing

Although science writing isn't as unusual as odour testing or forensic chemistry, we included it because a lot of people don't associate chemistry and writing. If you love science and have a passion for writing, why not combine the two? Chemists can work in science journalism, specialist magazines or public communications for institutions such as universities and government departments.

Solve environmental problems

Environmental engineers use chemistry and biology to solve environmental problems. You could work in pollution control, public health issues, climate change and wildlife conservation. Being an environmental engineer could take you to the bottom of the ocean or the top of a mountain. What about making city living healthier for everyone or creating greener cars? This video tells you all about being an environmental engineer:

Those are five unusual chemistry careers, but there are lots more out there! Have a look and see if you can find one that you love.