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The Perfect Supplement to Your Chemistry II Textbook

Wednesday, September 26, 2012 8:08 am EDT

The goal of the book is not to make you into a chemistry major. The goal is simply to give you a basic understanding of some chemical topics that commonly appear in the second half of a university introductory chemistry course or the second year in a high school chemistry course. If you're taking a course, use this book as a reference in conjunction with your notes and textbook.

With that said, if you do end up majoring in chemistry, what can you do with the degree?

First of all, if you want to be successful as a chemist or in any science area, you must be a good communicator. You need to be able to prepare reports, papers, and summaries that are understandable to your audience. You need to be able to prepare an oral presentation that is intelligible to your audience. Just knowledge of chemistry isn't sufficient to progress in any company, university, or firm. You must be able to communicate well. If you're still in school, pick up a course in technical writing and another in public speaking.

Now, here are Ten Great Chemistry Careers:

Patent Attorney

Patent attorneys perform patent searches, advise their clients on whether or not their formulations/invention is patentable, provide advice on such topics as product liability and intellectual property , and may even take cases to court for product infringement.

Pharmaceutical/Chemical Sales

Don't want to be in the lab? The salesperson has to answer their customers' questions about the product, toxicity, side effects, and so on. Also, you have to be willing to travel a lot.

Forensic Chemist

You'll spend the first year in a lab analyzing evidence, but after years of hard work, you'll get to work crime scenes. Forensic chemists also operate and maintain lab instrumentation, analyze biological fluids for DNA matches, analyze for drug residues in foods or biological tissues, analyze gunshot residues, and more.


Biochemists and biotechnologists work in research developing new genetic tests, work in the genetic engineering (cloning0 area, and are involved in the development of new drugs. Others work as plant breeders, trying to develop more disease-resistant starins of crops. There are a lot of options.

Agricultural Chemist

Agrochemists collect and analyze samples for nutrient levels as wells as levels of pesticides, heavy metals, or toxins. They may do presentations to such diverse groups as corporation CEOs and farmers as well as preparing reports showing their data and conclusions and recommendations.

Material Science

Some material scientists work with ceramics and others with metals. Some analyze failed products to determine the reason for their failure. Some are involved in quality control, testing raw materials, and finished products.

Food and Flavor Chemist

These chemists work in the R&D of new foods as well as ways of keeping foods fresher on the shelves. Some may work on developing new flavors or finding ways to synthesize flavors found in nature. Others work for the FDA and other governmental agencies as inspectors to ensure that regulations are followed in food processing areas and shipping.

Water Quality Chemist

A water quality chemist helps ensure that the public's drinking water is safe. Some may be involved in the design of water or wastewater treatment plants.

Cosmetic Chemist

These chemists tests cosmetic products, such as lipstick, lip balm, eyeliner, or shaving cream, and makes sure that they meet governmental regulations.

Chemistry Teaching

Teaching jobs can range from teaching in the public schools at the middle school or high school level to junior/community college to the university level.


Adrienne Fontaine

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