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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).

Duties & Tasks
Chemists may perform the following tasks:
  • conduct experiments to identify chemical composition and study chemical changes that occur in natural substances and processed materials
  • undertake research and analysis to develop and test theories, techniques and processes
  • develop practical applications of experiments and research findings, including those combining new compounds for industrial, agricultural, veterinary and medical use
  • test products and materials and prepare specifications and standards to ensure compliance with government health laws and quality standards
  • undertake cost analysis, pricing and quality assurance exercises when developing new substances, processes and products
  • take part in the marketing and financial management of substances, processes or products developed
  • supervise and coordinate the work of technical support staff
  • conduct routine analyses in a process environment.
  • Working conditions
    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.
    Personal requirements
  • enjoy scientific activities, including laboratory work, fieldwork and research
  • able to think logically and creatively
  • aptitude for accurate work
  • patient and able to persevere
  • an enquiring mind
  • able to work independently or as part of a team.
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