Chemists are a critical facet of our society by providing us with expertise in the manufacturing and researching of substances we consume, those that we use on a daily basis, and those that are only used by trained professionals and specialists.
The highest-paying chemist companies are spread across a wide range of sectors, including research and development, testing laboratories, and the federal government. Throughout this article, we’ll explore the best companies for chemists, company reviews, and related salaries.
What Are Chemists?
Chemists are scientists who investigate and study the properties of matter at the atomic and molecular levels. They use complex testing methods to study the chemical reactions and relationships between substances and use this knowledge to help develop new and improved products.
Some chemists work in basic research, while others specialize in applied research, but it is an interdisciplinary field that requires chemists to have knowledge of more than one subject. Those with a chemistry degree can become pharmaceutical technicians, physical chemists, forensic chemists, or organic chemists.
As a chemist, your work includes planning and carrying out complex research projects, analyzing substances to determine the atomic makeup, and conducting tests on materials to ensure they meet safety and quality standards. Chemists also use computers and sophisticated laboratory instruments for modeling, experimental analysis, and simulation.
How to Get a Chemist Job
To get a job as a chemist, you must undergo five standard steps, including the appropriate education and programs. Below are the most common steps to getting a job as a chemist.
- Get an undergraduate degree. Your journey to becoming a chemist starts with graduating from an accredited four-year college. A degree in chemical engineering, biochemistry, organic chemistry, or physical chemistry will set you up for success.
- Complete a PhD in chemistry. Chemists often pursue a PhD in their field of study or a related field to enhance their knowledge of their specialization. A PhD is an additional degree to help them hone in on their research.
- Complete a postdoctoral fellowship program. This is additional training done after the completion of a PhD, whereby you are able to professionally conduct research in your field. After completing your program, you can start your practice as a chemist.
- Pursue your desired career. You can pursue a career in academics or another field like chemical engineering, once you have completed the necessary education. An academic career focuses on research, while other industries focus more on applied sciences.
- Start applying for jobs. The ideal place to start your chemistry career is in academics. Apply as an assistant professor at a community college or university. You can also browse through online job boards such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn to find open jobs. Ensure you prepare for your interviews, as they will be highly technical.
Top 10 Highest-Paying Chemists Companies
|Company||Salary for Chemists|
|Chevron Phillips Chemical||$128,900|
|Thermo Fisher Scientific||$65,753|
Chevron Phillips Chemical
Chevron Phillips Chemical is a major petrochemical producer and distributor in the United States and across the world. The company offers a ton of materials including olefins, aromatics, mining chemicals, and polystyrene to name a few.
What Does Chevron Phillips Chemical Pay Its Chemists?
According to Glassdoor, the annual wage for Chevron Phillips Chemical chemists is about $128,900 per year. The company also offers health insurance, 401k plans, pension plans, employee assistance programs, behavioral health plans, health care, and dependent care flexible spending accounts.
Chevron Phillips Chemical Reviews
Most reviews on employee review sites such as Glassdoor and Indeed suggest that Chevron Phillips is a great place to work. Over 76 percent of all Chevron employees on Glassdoor would recommend this company to their friends. One of the major advantages of working at Chevron includes flexible work schedules.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals is one of the largest biotech companies in the United States. According to Yahoo Finance, Vertex’s market cap is valued at $59 billion. This company specializes in creating transformative medicines for people with major diseases. Vertex’s headquarters are in Boston, while its international headquarters are in London, England.
What Does Vertex Pharmaceuticals Pay Its Chemists?
Glassdoor estimates that Vertex Pharmaceuticals offers competitive salaries to its chemists, ranging between $103,238 and $113,995. This company also offers paid time off, financial counseling, student loan repayment, telemedicine consultations, and parking subsidies.
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Reviews
For the most part, Vertex has received a ton of positive reviews from both former and current employees. Over 80 percent of the 700 employees on Glassdoor would recommend Vertex Pharmaceuticals to a friend. They feel that the company offers great benefits and does an excellent job of taking care of them. However, be wary of the work-life balance.
Dow Chemical is one of the world’s largest producers of plastic, hydrocarbons and other chemicals. According to Yahoo Finance, Dow Chemical’s annual revenue is approximately $54 billion. Dow Chemical offers reliable pharmaceutical solutions in medical devices, excipients, and active pharmaceutical ingredients.
What Does Dow Chemical Pay Its Chemists?
Dow Chemical’s annual wage for chemists ranges between $69,939 and $154,438. Glassdoor estimates that the average pay at Dow is approximately $97,722, and the annual cash bonus to be $14,587. This pharmaceutical also offers benefits to its employees such as retirement plans, health insurance, life insurance, business travel insurance, generous vacation, paid holidays, and parental leave.
Dow Chemical Reviews
Dow Chemical is a great place to work. Most of the former and current employee reviews on Glassdoor feel that the company has a great culture, offers good pay and has top-level leadership. There is also a good work-life balance and 85 percent of the over 2,000 employees on Glassdoor would recommend this company to their friends.
ExxonMobil operates in the energy sector. It specializes in the exploration, production and trade of crude oil and natural gas. ExxonMobil also offers a wide range of petroleum and petrochemical products. Reuters estimates that this company made approximately $285 million in revenue in 2021.
What Does ExxonMobil Pay Its Chemists?
According to Indeed, ExxonMobil has an annual wage of $73,155 per year for chemists. This is slightly lower than the national average for chemists, which the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates is about $80,680 per year. Whatever is lacking in the salary department is compensated for in benefits. Exxon offers health insurance, dental insurance, retirement plans, and flexible schedules.
Working at ExxonMobile is a good experience. Many employee reviews on Indeed cite fair salaries, career progression, and learning opportunities as some of the advantages of working here.
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical corporation that operates in the field of RNAi therapeutics. The company discovers and develops drugs designed to treat diseases such as hyperoxaluria, amyloidosis, and porphyria. Alnylam employs a wide range of scientists, including forensic scientists and materials scientists.
What Does Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Pay Its Chemists?
Zippia estimates that biochemists at Alnylam earn about $75,208 per year. This comes close to matching the national average. Alnylam also offers benefits such as a 401k plan, health insurance, vacation, and paid time off.
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Reviews
Alnylam is fast-paced, energetic, and has a great work environment. Many people on Glassdoor felt that this company offered them exceptional benefits. However, you might be better placed in a different company if you are looking for a good work-life balance.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals is a biotechnology company that manufactures and commercializes medicine designed to treat diseases across the world. In 2021, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals generated revenue of about $16 billion.
What Does Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Pay Its Chemists?
A few reports on Glassdoor suggest that the average salary at Regeneron falls between $46,976 and $50,606. However, the company also offers health benefits such as insurance and retirement plans.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Reviews
Employees on Glassdoor had a great experience working here, as it is one of the best pharmaceuticals in the world. Others on Indeed feel like the company offers fair salaries while providing platforms to learn new things and meet personal goals.
Thermo Fisher Scientific
Thermo Fisher is one of the biggest research and science companies in the nation. The company provides life sciences, drug product development, and environmental science solutions. They also offer employment to over 50,000 employees who help the company generate about $17 billion in revenue. Among those employed by Thermo Fisher include inorganic chemists, physical chemists, and forensic chemists.
What Does Thermo Fisher Scientific Pay Its Chemists?
Reports by Indeed suggest that chemists at Thermo Fisher earn about $46,290 per year. Glassdoor estimates that the annual salary for scientific chemists to be about $57,891 per year. Although both valuations fall far from the national average, Thermo Fisher offers benefits including relocation assistance, health insurance, dental insurance, paid time off, and retirement plans.
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
Thermo Fisher Scientific Reviews
Employees on review sites feel like the company has a positive work environment and organizational culture. While they offer low salaries to chemists, the benefits and allowances are worthwhile.
Epizyme is a biotech company in the United States specializing in developing epigenetic medicines for patients with major diseases, such as cancer. The company was founded in 2007 and has since generated millions of dollars in revenue. Yahoo Finance estimates that Epizyme generated about $34 million in revenue in 2021.
What Does Epizyme Pay Its Chemists?
Zippia estimates that the average Epizyme employee earns an average of about $88,069 with analytical chemists earning about $62,968 per year. Epizyme offers a wide range of employee benefits and perks such as vacation allowance, paid maternity, paid paternity, 401k matching, flexible scheduling, and on-site childcare.
Epizyme doesn’t have as many employees as some companies listed in this guide. Nonetheless, those on review sites such as Glassdoor, suggest that the company is a fairly average place to work with the positive aspects including benefits and annual salary.
Cargill is one of the world’s leading producers, distributors, and marketers of agricultural products including sugar, chocolate, salt, and refined oil. This company operates in the agricultural field, but has its hands in the finance industry, as well. Cargill takes raw materials and manufactures them into products used by people across the world.
What Does Cargill Pay Its Chemists?
According to Glassdoor, chemists at Cargill earn about $60,737, per year. Cargill also offers additional pay which averages at $873. Since there are different types of chemists such as theoretical chemists, environmental chemists, and cosmetic chemists, Glassdoor estimates that chemist salaries at Cargill could range from $42,049 to $81,000.
Many employees on Glassdoor have praised this company’s friendly work environment and organizational culture. Although the pay might not be as high as the pay offered by other companies, employees are satisfied by the benefits offered to them.
Pfizer is a research-based biotech company. The biopharmaceutical company engages in the discovery, development, marketing, and sales of vaccines and medicines. According to Reuters, Pfizer’s revenue in 2021 was approximately $81.288 million.
What Does Pfizer Pay Its Chemists?
Indeed estimates that chemists at Pfizer earn about $42,389 per year. This is significantly lower than the national average. However, Pfizer offers employee benefits and perks such as health insurance, life insurance, a flexible spending account (FSA), a 401k, and mental health care.
Pfizer has a positive work environment and comprehensive employee benefits that make up for the low salaries. Pfizer is a big pharmaceutical company, meaning you’ll meet and network with some of the best minds in chemistry.
Why You Should Become a Chemist in 2023
Being a chemist in 2023 is a great career choice because companies are increasingly looking for chemists. There are many different professions in chemistry that you can get into, and there are always new opportunities becoming available. Some niches to consider are the testing of drugs, personal care products, and hazardous chemicals.
However, if you have a chemistry background but would prefer to apply your skills elsewhere, you can become a chemistry teacher, lecturer, chemical engineer, or provide online chemistry tutoring services. Earning a degree in chemistry makes you eligible for most entry-level chemist jobs, which pay well and provide benefits for all. Take the next step and apply for a job at the best companies for chemists.
Best Companies for Chemists FAQ
According to Glassdoor, research scientists, pharmacologists, and materials scientists are the highest-paying chemist jobs. Other well-paid chemists include analytical, theoretical, organic, physical, and medicinal chemists.
The chemical manufacturing industry is the largest employer of chemists. Chemists in the United States were about 85,400 in 2020. 33 percent of these professionals were employed in the chemical manufacturing sector, with 14 percent employed in R&D and life sciences, while 11 percent were employed in testing laboratories.
The biopharmaceutical and academic research industries are the best industries for chemists to work in.
Delaware is the state with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients for chemists. Other states with a high concentration of chemist jobs include Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Massachusetts.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.