Chemists study the chemical and physical properties of substances, and develop and monitor chemical processes and production.

Specialisations: Analytical Chemist, Industrial Chemist.

A bachelor degree in science majoring in chemistry is needed to work as a Chemist. Many Chemists complete postgraduate studies.

Tasks

  • Conducts experiments and tests to identify the chemical composition and reactive properties of natural substances and processed materials.
  • Analyses and conducts research to develop theories, techniques and processes, and tests the reliability of outcomes under different conditions.
  • Develops practical applications of experimental and research findings.

More about Chemists, and Food and Wine Scientists

All Chemists, and Food and Wine Scientists

  • $1,979 Weekly Pay
  • Moderate Future Growth
  • Lower unemployment Unemployment

Chemists

  • 3,700 workers Employment Size
  • Very high skill Skill level rating
  • 83% Full-Time Full-Time Share
  • 42 hours Average full-time
  • 40 years Average age
  • 40% female Gender Share

The number of people working as Chemists (in their main job) fell over 5 years:
from 4,500 in 2011 to 3,700 in 2016.

  • Size: This is a very small occupation.
  • Location: Chemists work in many parts of Australia. Victoria has a large share of workers.
  • Industries: Most work in Manufacturing; Professional, Scientific and Technical Services; and Retail Trade.
  • Full-time: Most work full-time (83%, much higher than the average of 66%).
  • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 42 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
  • Age: The average age is 40 years (compared to the average of 40 years).
  • Gender: 40% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

Employment Outlook

Number of Workers

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Weekly Earnings

Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

No data is available for the selected graph for this Occupation.

Main Industries

Main Employing Industries (% Share)

Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
Manufacturing34.0
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services25.6
Retail Trade8.1
Education and Training7.5
Other Industries24.8

States and Territories

  • NSW

  • VIC

  • QLD

  • SA

  • TAS

  • NT

  • ACT

Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
StateChemistsAll Jobs Average
NSW30.331.6
VIC32.225.6
QLD16.420.0
SA5.17.0
WA12.110.8
TAS1.62.0
NT0.71.0
ACT1.61.9

Age Profile

Age Profile (% Share)

Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age BracketChemistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
15-192.1-5.05.0
20-245.1-9.39.3
25-3428.1-22.922.9
35-4424.8-22.022.0
45-5421.8-21.621.6
55-599.0-9.09.0
60-645.1-6.06.0
65 and Over4.1-4.24.2

Education Level

Highest Level of Education (% Share)

Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Type of QualificationChemistsAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate30.5-10.110.1
Bachelor degree55.3-21.821.8
Advanced Diploma/Diploma4.8-11.611.6
Certificate III/IV1.6-21.121.1
Year 125.6-18.118.1
Year 110.8-4.84.8
Year 10 and below1.4-12.512.5

A bachelor degree in science majoring in chemistry is needed to work as a Chemist. Many Chemists complete postgraduate studies.

Membership with the Royal Australian Chemical Institute may be useful.

Thinking about study or training?

Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

  • Search and compare thousands of higher education courses, and their entry requirements from different institutions across Australia at Course Seeker website.
  • Compare undergraduate and postgraduate student experiences and outcomes on the QILT website.

Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

Useful links and resources


The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

Employers look for Chemists, and Food and Wine Scientists who can communicate clearly, work well in a team and have strong interpersonal skills.

Filter Skills & Knowledge

Knowledge

These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

  1. Chemistry

    87% Skill level

    Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

  2. Mathematics

    68% Skill level

    Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.

  3. Production and Processing

    55% Skill level

    Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

  4. Engineering and Technology

    55% Skill level

    The use engineering science and technology to design and produce goods and services.

  5. Education and Training

    54% Skill level

    Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-2031.00 - Chemists.

Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

Filter Work Environment

Demands

The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

  1. Indoors, Heat Controlled

    98% Important

    How often do you work indoors with access to heating or cooling?

  2. Electronic Mail

    98% Important

    How often do you use electronic mail?

  3. Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment

    94% Important

    How often do you wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?

  4. Face-to-Face Discussions

    93% Important

    How often do you talk with people face-to-face?

  5. Being Exact or Accurate

    92% Important

    How important is being very exact or highly accurate?

Occupational Information Network
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 19-2031.00 - Chemists.

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