Environmental Chemistry Degree

An environmental chemist is one that experiments with chemicals and the environment. The environmental chemist is interested in knowing why changes occur when chemicals and the environment react with each other. An environmental chemist studies the chemicals we use in our homes, the effect of smoke that is emitted from industries and the effect of toxic wastes that accumulate in remote landfills.

Environmental chemistry students have a passion to make the world a better place because they investigate the changes that are made in our environment and suggest better ways of handling activities that are harmful to both living things and the environment. For instance, they study pollutants, how they are generated, their harmful effects and how to prevent or manage them. Environmental chemistry requires hard work and the students are trained in analytical, physical, inorganic and organic chemistry. The students are meant to understand how these disciplines are connected in making the environment very safe.

Course Curriculum for Environmental Chemistry Degree

Environmental chemists work with nearly all fields so they have to know how to communicate effectively with others who may not even be in the field of science. As a result, environmental chemists are presented with courses such as writing courses, business relations courses and communication courses. These courses help the scientist to communicate well with colleagues, clients, business partners and their employers. Apart from the relations courses, the students also take the following:

  •  Nuclear and radiochemistry
  • Environmental biogeochemistry
  • Organic chemistry
  • Environmental science
  • Analytical chemistry
  • Petroleum and organic geochemistry
  • Spectroscopy and
  • Atmospheric chemistry.

Job Opportunities for Graduates with a Degree in Environmental Chemistry

An environmental chemist is equipped with knowledge and skills that can make him perform well in most industries. An example of what he does includes testing samples to discover the presence of contaminants. The essence of doing this is to realize safer ways of manufacturing items in the industries. Some other careers of an environmental chemist include:

  • Consultant in toxicology
  • Safety specialist
  • Ecotoxicologist
  • Research and development chemist
  • Analytical chemist and
  • Environmental chemist

Potential Salaries of a Graduate of Environmental Chemistry

Chemists were paid an average of $66,230 per year in 2008. This discovery was made by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. About half of the entire environmental chemistry graduates in the US earned between 48,000 and $89,000 in the same year while about 10% of the profession occupying various fields earned slightly above $113,000. Graduates with new entry positions in 2009 were paid about $37,000 for a whole year; this figure was presented by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. The highest paid professionals in environmental chemistry were found in research and development fields.

The bureau has stated that there will be a rise in demand of professional chemists by 3% between 2008 and 2018. PhD chemists enjoy better opportunities and higher salaries because they are highly demanded in research labs, pharmaceutical industries and biotechnology companies. In 2008, about 84,000 jobs were occupied by chemists in the US.

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