Chemists are scientists who study and experiment on chemical compounds in order to analyze their physical properties including the elements from which they are composed and how they combine and chemically react with one another. Often a chemist specializes in inorganic compounds such as metals and minerals and some specialize in organic compounds which contain carbon.
Some chemists conduct basic research to learn more about how chemical compounds react or to develop improved technical equipment and methods used to solve complex problems. Others work in environments that require the application of chemistry to the development of products. In order to become a chemist a person must first earn a bachelor's degree with a major in chemistry.
This degree requires students to master how chemicals are composed and they also take courses in mathematics physics and computers. With a bachelor's degree aspiring chemists can teach high school chemistry work as assistants to more advanced chemists or work in sales related to chemical products.
Many chemists continue with graduate study acquiring a master's degree with two years of full-time study or even a doctoral degree which generally requires four years of intensive coursework and research. Individuals with a doctoral degree have greater opportunities to conduct basic research often as university professors or even to serve as administrators.
According to Buzzle.com chemists' salaries vary considerably depending upon education experience type of specialization and employer. In general entry-level chemists earn an annual salary of approximately $32000 but chemists with more than five years of experience earn approximately $62000. Those employed by the federal government earn between $52000 and $92000 whereas those working at universities earn considerably less.