Nontraditional Chemistry Careers

fire investigatorwinemaking

Credit: Meier Fire Investigation Credit: Web India 123

Most people when thinking of chemistry careers, think of scientist wearing goggles, gloves, and a white coat in a lab. There are many Nontraditional Chemistry Careers that students may not be aware of.

Technical Writer

  • Technical documents, manuals, assembly instructions and journal articles

Fire Inspector/Investigator

  • Fire inspectors examine buildings to detect fire hazards and ensure that federal, state, and local fire codes are met. Fire investigators, another type of worker in this field, determine the origin and cause outdoor of fires and explosions. Forest fire inspectors and prevention specialists assess fire hazards in public and residential areas. Visit buildings and structures making sure that there aren’t fire hazards and adhere to mandated government fire codes. Approving emergency evacuation plan, burn permits, and create fire safety plans


  • Running analyses, doing literature searches, talking with winemakers and collaborators on projects, and performing instrument maintenance

Sales Engineering

  • Sell advanced scientific and technological products to businesses, using chemistry knowledge to give complex technical demonstrations, explain product features to potential buyers, and help in the design of future products

Environmental Lawyer

  • Represents clients in legal issues such as in clean technology, water law, climate change law and the management of land subject to native title and other public land

Credit: American Chemical Society (ACS) Credit: Mary O’Reilly


  • Study the physical and chemical properties of the Earth, particularly rocks and mineral. Use knowledge to determine the make-up and distribution of rock and mineral components and how they affect the soil and water systems in which they are found. May help identify oil drill sites, improve water quality or determine how best to remove hazardous waste

Science Artist/Illustrator

  • Medical, natural science, molecular, cellular illustration

Scientific Journal Editor

  • Evaluating manuscripts submitted for publication; accepting or editing manuscript for scientific content and style before and after revisions whiles presenting recommendations to other editors; discussing reviews to determine what additional information is needed; working with author to incorporate suggestions

Patent Attorney

  • Attorney who has the specialized qualifications necessary for representing clients in obtaining patents and acting in all matters and procedures relating to patent law and practice, such as filing an opposition

Further Information

There are many more Nontraditional Chemistry Career options out there for chemistry students/graduates.

For further information on the careers listed above, go to Nontraditional Careers for Chemists.

For a list of more nontraditional careers to help broaden knowledge of what career options are available to chemistry students, go to C&EN's Blog.

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