How to Become an Environmental Chemist?

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Environmental Chemist

Environmental Chemist works towards improving the health and safety of the environment through their sound knowledge of the chemistry of various natural substances. They monitor the elements present in the water, air and soil in order to study the passage through which chemicals enter the environment and how they affect the overall ecosystem. Attempting to identify and combat the possible threats of pollution, Environmental Chemists aim to promote conservation, protection and sustainability through their extensive research works in collaboration with Environmentalists and other professionals in this domain. If you are the one who is looking forward to making a career in Environmental Chemistry, then you are just in the right place. In this blog, we are here to provide you with an insight into how can you become an Environmental Chemist and what skills would you need for the same.

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Required Skills

Becoming an environmental chemist is something that is not a cup of tea for everyone. In order to work as one, the aspirants ought to have the basic prerequisite skills, failing which they may not be able to successfully carry out their work and succeed in their endeavours. Listed below are some of the fundamental skills every professional should possess.

  • Analytical Skills
  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Self-discipline
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Ability to carry out investigations
  • Application of modern analytical instruments such as spectroscopy and microscopy
  • Solving scientific problems using Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • Ability to work as part of a team

Demand of Environmental Chemists

The BLS predicts that job demand for chemists will increase by around 6% between 2020 and 2030, with approximately 9,100 yearly openings in the profession predicted over this time period.

Environmental Chemist: Educational Qualifications 

Being an environmental chemist requires a sound knowledge of how chemicals and waste products enter the environment and how they affect it. Candidates can pursue umpteen environmental science courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. Given below is the list of courses curated by Leverage Edu offered at different levels to make a career as an Environmental Chemist

Undergraduate Degree

After completing higher secondary school with BiPC subjects, the candidates can look forward to pursuing a bachelor’s degree in chemistry or courses in environmental science. These undergraduate courses are generally multi-disciplinary in nature and include aspects of Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Geology, Hydrology, Toxicology and Philosophy. Some of the popular courses to become an Environmental Chemist are listed below:
BSc Environmental Science

  • BSc Environmental Chemistry
  • BSc Environmental Science and Chemistry
  • BSc Chemistry with Environmental and Sustainable Chemistry
  • BS Environmental and Analytical Chemistry

Post-Graduate Degree

Pushing the students to apply their knowledge to real work scenarios and solve multi-faceted environmental issues, it is important for all aspiring Environmental Chemists to pursue a post-graduate degree. Be it a master’s or a doctoral degree, they emphasize research work by offering them specializations in the very field of Environmental Chemistry. Listed below are some of the most sought-after post-graduate courses the candidates can consider pursuing:

  • MSc Chemistry with a major in Environmental Analytical Chemistry
  • MS Environmental and Green Chemistry
  • MS Environmental Science
  • MS Environmental Chemistry
  • MS Environmental Chemistry and Technology
  • MS Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry
  • PhD in Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry
  • PhD in Environmental Chemistry and Technology
  • PhD in Agricultural and Environmental Chemistry

Specialisations in Environmental Chemistry

As stated above, future Environmental chemists can get their chosen field of specialization when they reach their postgraduate level of studies, that is, a master’s degree.  Environmental Chemistry is quite a broad field and this is where every aspect of the environment needs to be studied professionally and that is only possible when an individual specializes in it. Let us give you a brief idea about what specializations the candidate can go for:

  • Atmospheric Chemistry: Having a special focus on the chemical processes occurring in the atmosphere of the earth is what Atmospherical chemistry is all about. It is mainly a multi-disciplinary branch of atmospherical chemistry which includes elements of other fields such as environmental Chemistry, Geology, Physics, Oceanography, Computer Modelling, Meteorology, Volcanology, etc.
  • Petrochemistry: Petrochemistry is one of the branches of chemistry which includes aspects of environmental chemistry as well. It studies the transformation of natural gas and petroleum products into raw materials and other useful substances. 
  • Environmental Remediation: The main purpose of Environmental Remediation is to protect the environment from exposure to harmful radiation by reducing and finally eliminating the radiation sources from both soil and water. This type of contamination is mostly done by the industries that dump their radiological waste in water or soil.
  • Sustainable Agriculture: Keeping sustainability and the needs of the future generation in mind, sustainable agriculture is carried out by meeting all the present demands of food and textiles. The practitioners seek to maintain a healthy sustainable environment and promote soil health, minimal water use and lower pollution levels on the farm. 
  • Marine Chemistry: Environmental Chemistry courses include the composition, properties and structure of ions, elements and other compounds in the sea. Marine chemistry is an interdisciplinary field which includes the examination of how chemical signalling is done within marine organisms, the oceanic carbon cycle, ocean acidification, decomposition in the sea of the cultural heritage, etc.

Where can Environmental Chemists Work?

With the advent of pollution and waste levels being increased exponentially with each passing day, there comes a need for environmental chemists who can study and help suggest measures to stop polluting the environment and work towards making it clean and healthy. For this, a number of organizations worldwide demand the employment of environmental chemists on a heavy basis. Let us have a look at some of the organizations where they can work.

  • Universities and Educational Institutes
  • Private and Government Research Institutes
  • Agro-chemical companies
  • Biotechnology firms
  • Forensic laboratories
  • Environmental conservation organizations
  • Environmental consultancy firms
  • Government Jobs (national/state/district)

Environmental Chemists Salary

While the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) does not collect data on environmental chemists explicitly, the median income for chemists and material scientists in May 2020 was $80,680.


What is the salary of environmental chemist in India?

The BLS predicts that job demand for chemists will increase by around 6% between 2020 and 2030, with approximately 9,100 yearly openings in the profession predicted over this time period.

Is Environmental Chemistry hard?

Despite its renown, environmental science is still a somewhat difficult major that involves knowledge of key sciences such as chemistry, physics, biology, and geology, as well as scientific methods.

What skills do you need to be an environmental chemist?

Analytical capabilities, communication skills, and math skills are three common soft skills for an environmental chemist.

Just as a clean and healthy environment is important for well-being, similarly, a good career makes your life fruitful. If you are looking forward to being an Environmental Chemist and looking to forward to study abroad, then Leverage Edu is here for you. Through the team of our expert mentors, we can help you choose a course that best suits your interests and skills. Sign up for 30 minutes of free career counselling sessions with us and get the answers to all your career-related queries.

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