Chemists study the physical and chemical properties of materials to determine their composition. They use this information to develop new materials and products, to devise more efficient processes for making materials and to increase scientific knowledge. Chemists should not be confused with pharmacists (see separate entry for Pharmacist).
Chemists may perform the following tasks:
Chemists may work alone or as part of a team of professionals and technicians. They work in laboratories, in the field or in chemical processing plants, offices and educational institutions.par Depending on the type of laboratory, chemists may have to handle dangerous or hazardous materials. Protective clothing and equipment are usually provided.
An analytical chemist carries out tests and analyses to determine the compositions of substances and to detect the presence of impurities, residues and trace elements.
An environmental chemist monitors waste products from all sources, determines ways to neutralise any negative effects pollutants might have on the environment and devises industrial processes that are environmentally friendly.
A geochemist studies the chemistry of earth materials.
An industrial/production chemist designs, runs, troubleshoots and improves the processes of chemical and material production on an industrial scale.
An organic chemist studies the nature of organic compounds to develop new substances for use in the industrial, agricultural, veterinary and medical fields.
A physical chemist studies macroscopic, atomic, subatomic and particulate phenomena in chemical systems in terms of physical laws and concepts.
A research chemist provides innovative solutions to chemical problems and may be involved in pure or applied research.