Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Salaries of Chemists and Chemical Engineers

The American Chemical Society has recently released the results of the annual survey regarding the salaries of responding chemists.

This is one of those issues that I personally look forward to every year. It is one of the only ways to get a sense of how the employment truly is out there. We hear of huge unemployment numbers and others who are having to take low pay for jobs that would have normally paid much more. How much of this is in the chemical industry? What is the employment outlook like for chemists? How many are searching? Being hired? Having to work for peanuts? Had to take a post-doc instead of a industry job as desired?

While this only give a little insight into the situation since only some chemists responded to the survey it still give more insight than I had before. Considering they do this survey every year there is much interesting information about chemists graduation and their employment. If you have a look at the article be sure to click over to the "View Tables" tab. It is the tables that give the most interesting information.

We can learn:
- Two-thirds of the Ph.D. recipients in 2009 are U.S. citizens
- 45% of Ph.D.s are employed full-time.
- 44% of Ph.D.s are employed as post-docs
- 9% are not employed with only 7% are seeking employment (I guess the rest are retired or switched fields).

Then comes the most interesting information. Starting salaries of inexperienced chemistry grads.


We see a sort of down trend in the salaries but it is very hard to account for salaries by experience. Those with 36 months or more experience are getting the worst pay. That is a very strange thing . . .

It is interesting that the higher starting salary went to women. They started at $78 while men were at $75.3.

If you are a chemical Engineer you are going to get a higher salary than a chemist. Nothing new there. 

Most popular specialities are:
1. Organic
2. Analytical
3. Physical
4. Inorganic

Not too surprising. About as expected.

There is normally some information out there about baby boomers leaving their jobs and opening up a number of new jobs for younger chemists. This situation has not quite played out as it was expected. Likely because of the economy down turn. Interesting article in the January 31st issue that discusses the possible "glut of Ph.D.s" in chemistry that the U.S. is producing. See it here

Let's hope that something opens up and things are looking better next year when I get out into the work force.