Industrial Chemist

Industrial Chemist

  1. What does an Industrial Chemist do?
    Everything in the environment, whether naturally occurring or of human design, is composed of chemicals. An Industrial/Production Chemist designs, runs, troubleshoots and improves the processes of chemical and material production on an industrial scale.
  2. Why does an Industrial Chemist do this?
    Industrial chemistry has assisted in the discovery and development of new and improved synthetic fibres, paints, adhesives, drugs, cosmetics, electronic components, lubricants and thousands of other products, and improved processes for oil refining and petrochemical processing that saves energy and reduces pollution.
  3. How does an Industrial Chemist do their job?
    Industrial chemistry is the hands-on application of many chemical principles and procedures. Some typical tasks are:
    • The analysis of raw chemicals, and use of thermodynamic principles and computer modelling to simulate the operations of a chemical plant;
    • Testing theories and processes for product development in a wide range of industries, from chemical production to paint formulation, oil refining and milk pasteurisation;
    • Working to optimise complex chemical processes, and the effects of these processes on the environment, particularly in the petrochemical and energy production fields;
    • Work alongside a vast range of other professionals, including Chemical Engineers, Process Engineers, Analytical Chemists and Polymer Chemists.
  4. Where do Industrial Chemist do their work?
    Industrial Chemists usually work in chemical plants and laboratories across a broad range of industries, from chemical manufacturing, building materials and paints/coatings through to paper, petroleum, plastics and advanced materials manufacturing. Industrial Chemists can spend a lot of time in analytical laboratories and in the plants themselves, but may also work in offices when they do theoretical research or plan, record, and report on their lab research.
    Industrial Chemists typically work regular hours. A 38 hour work week is usual, but longer hours may be required at times. Researchers may be required to work odd hours in laboratories or other locations, depending on the nature of their research.
  5. Average salary per year
    The average annual salary for this job is $78 884 excluding superannuation.
  6. Job outlook
    Over the five years to November 2017, the number of job openings for Chemists is expected to be low. This follows a period of very strong growth in this vocation over the last ten years.
  7. Related occupations
    Analytical Chemist, Biochemist, Physical Chemist, Organic Chemist, Environmental Chemist, Research Chemist, Chemical Engineer, Environmental Engineer, Environmental Scientist, Pharmacist
  8. Companies that employ Chemists 
    There are a few government divisions that hire chemists to do research, including: Some other Australian employers include:
    • CSIRO
    • Dairy Innovation Australia
    • Delta Laboratories
    • Dulux (graduate program)
    Some major international employers include:
  9. Additional Links