Do you realize how much chemistry is a part of our everyday lives? In honor of National Chemistry Week, we want to recognize all the hard work that chemists have to put into making our daily lives better. From the water we drink to the food we eat, chemistry is a part of everything we do.
According to the American Chemistry Council, the chemical industry employs 811,000 people in the U.S., but the job opportunities don’t stop there: a total of 6.8 jobs are created for every one job created from the business of chemistry. The average annual salary of a U.S. chemical industry employee is 44 percent higher than the average U.S. manufacturing pay. This allows the industry to remain competitive.
Let’s see how chemists are making our lives better.
Water Chemists Improve Water Processes
Water chemists are those who study the impact of water on elements. These chemists’ titles vary from Hydrogeologists to Surface Water Chemist. One of their main roles is to evaluate ecosystems to monitor and evaluate their cleanliness and safety over time. Typical responsibilities include ensuring safety of water processed at filtration plants; investigating surface, watershed and regional water contamination; and developing processes to remove water contaminants. Water behaves differently in almost every condition, so the work of a water chemist changes daily.
Medicinal Chemists Improve Pharmaceuticals
Medicinal chemists collaborate with other scientists in researching and developing new drugs. Most chemists work with a team of scientists from different disciplines, including biologists, toxicologists, pharmacologists, theoretical chemists, microbiologists and biopharmacists. They come together to develop new processes of synthesizing new pharmaceuticals. They also work to improve the current processes of drug creation. Drug discovery is what these chemists put all their focus towards. Without these chemists, medicine would not be where it is today.
Food Chemists Improve Flavors
Do you ever stop mid-snack to think about the science behind the food you’re consuming? Food Chemists focus mainly on the chemistry of foods and the principles underlying the improvement of foods for consumers. These chemists develop and improve foods by analyzing the methods and effects of processing. Food Chemists work in laboratories, kitchens and manufacturing facilities looking for ways to produce food that is more nutritious and remains fresher longer. The food industry is booming, partially due to these food chemists.
Pulp and Paper Chemists Improve Waste Efficiency
These chemists are responsible for improving efficiency and reducing the environmental impact of the industrial paper making process. Some work in only research and others may work in a manufacturing facility. With many of the products we use throughout our day being comprised of paper, these chemists are constantly at work developing new products and revising old products.
Organic Chemists Improve Compounds
Organic chemistry is a creative science in which chemists create new compounds and explore the properties of existing compounds. Organic chemistry is central to the economic growth in rubber, pharmaceutical and other industries. Most of the new high tech materials are partially composed of organic compounds. Organic chemists at all levels are generally employed by pharmaceutical, biotech, chemical, and consumer product and petroleum industries.