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Department of Chemistry
Phone: (208)885-6552
Fax: (208)885-6173
Renfrew Hall
804 Rayburn, Rm 116

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Dr, MS 2343
Moscow, ID 83844-2343

chemistry woman in lab

What do Chemists do?

There is no single job that a chemist trains to do. Since chemistry is a basic science, the skill and knowledge gained with a degree opens up a variety of options. One option that has gained recent attention is forensic science.

The "geeky guy" in the white coat in the lab on television's CSI is a chemist who takes samples gathered in the field and uses chromatography, DNA analysis, and spectroscopy to answer questions.

A chemist might also be an atmospheric scientist, the creator of new drugs or products, the one who gathers or monitors samples during environmental clean up, or even a winemaker.

Chemists can also be teachers, specialists in art restoration, salespeople in technical industries, or even policy makers in government. Many physicians earned their first degrees in chemistry and the same is true for dentists and even lawyers who go on to work in patent law.

Of course the pharmaceutical industry employs many chemists, as do the mining, food, and oil industries. Mixing in business courses with a degree in chemistry can make the chemist well qualified in many areas of technical sales and management.

A degree in Chemistry will not limit your professional choices.