• Question: What things will there be involved in the job of a chemist? And what A-levels do I need to take please?

    Asked by 959cara48 to Tabby, Shreesha, Sam, Natalie, David, Craig on 22 Jan 2018.
    • Photo: Samantha Cole

      Samantha Cole answered on 19 Jan 2018:

      I don’t have an A level in chemistry but I did do biology. Having at least one science is a must if you want to get onto a science based degree, (try to match up your A level choices with the degree you wan to do if possible). However there are some apprenticeship routes into analyst roles if you are a more practical learner.
      In terms of the job role the word chemist or scientist covers a huge variety of roles even just within our company! My role is lab based, so producing data to be used by field chemists/ scientists in order for them to make decisions. There are also a lot of career paths involving chemistry in industries such as pharmaceuticals, forensics, quality control and product development.
      Good luck 🙂

    • Photo: Tabitha Cole

      Tabitha Cole answered on 7 Feb 2018:


      I’m not sure how to answer what chemists do because there are so many different types of chemists out there! Generally there’s a lot of laboratory and practical work in my job, which is very routine-based as we have to make sure that samples are within regulation, but there’s also a lot of data work too. Research chemists are interesting as they have to do pretty much everything, from looking up background knowledge of what they’re undertaking, to then going out in the field and taking samples, to then working on those samples in the laboratory and then finally analysing everything they did. Other chemists might have more investigative jobs or more practical depending on what kind they are.

      I took Chemistry, Geography, Biology and Maths as my A-levels (took Biology as my AS-level as it was my least favourite out of the 3!) and I think that gave me a pretty good basis for being a chemist, especially an environmental one so even the Geography was really useful. However I think Chemistry (or whichever science you like the most) and Maths are the most important ones, they give you a really good basis for everything. I took Statistics in my Maths module which honestly was the most helpful thing for laboratory work because of all the data you have to work with and analyse. IT would be really helpful too with more things coming up like quantum computing chemistry programs which I had to do at university.