Public Release: 

Unemployment is down, salaries are up for US chemists, C&EN reports

American Chemical Society

Unemployment among U.S. chemists has dropped to 3.1 percent this year from a record high of 3.6 percent in 2004, according to an American Chemical Society (ACS) survey reported in the Aug. 1 issue of Chemical & Engineering News. The weekly newsmagazine is published by the ACS, the world's largest scientific society.

Median salaries for bachelor's level chemists this year are up from $61,000 to $64,000, or 4.9 percent; for master's graduates, from $71,000 to $75,000, or 5.6 percent; and for Ph.D. chemists, from $90,000 to $93,800, or 4.2 percent, the survey found. The increase for all chemists was from a median of $82,000 last year to $83,000 this year. The median is the point at which half of the salaries are above and half are below.

The Society's annual employment survey shows that there has been a dramatic shift in where chemists have worked over the past 20 years. Two decades ago the majority were employed by chemical and chemical-related companies; today the majority have biologically-related jobs.


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The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization, chartered by the U.S. Congress, with a multidisciplinary membership of more than 158,000 chemists and chemical engineers. It publishes numerous scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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