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Occupation Details

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Industrial Chemist / Pharmacist

Job Zone

Most of these occupations require qualifications at NFQ Levels 7 or 8 (Ordinary / Honours Degrees) but some do not.

Related Experience
A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, you may need to complete three - four years of college and work for several years in the career area to be considered qualified.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Job Zone Examples
Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include accountants, sales managers, computer programmers, chemists, environmental engineers, criminal investigators, and financial analysts.

€25k >
Industrial Chemist
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€25 -
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: March, 2011

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Shortage Indicator

Shortages have been identified in the National Skills Bulletin 2017 for the following areas:

Chemists/analytical scientists; "especially product formulation, and analytical development for roles in biopharma"

Occupational Category

Chemical, Biological & Physical Scientists; R&D Managers.

Also included in this category:

Analytical chemists; industrial chemists; biomedical scientists; forensic scientists; microbiologists; geologists; medical physicists; meteorologists.

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 6%
Aged over 55: 7%
Male / Female: 46 / 54%
Non-Nationals: 11%
With Third Level: 100%
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At a Glance... header image

Studies the make-up and behaviour of chemicals, the way they react with each other and how they can be used in industrial processes such as producing plastics, pharmaceuticals or silicon chips.

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The Work header image

Industrial chemists are experts in the properties and chemical structure of materials such as oil, metal and plastics, drugs, fertilisers and food. Some work in research and development whereas others work in production. They create new chemicals, devise and control production-processing methods, and ensure that the quality of products is maintained.  
Some industrial chemists specialise in research and development work, which is carried out mainly in the laboratory. They carry out experiments to produce the chemical that has the right properties. Development involves making the chemical on a larger scale to see whether this can be done at a reasonable cost.  
Production chemists make sure that production processes run efficiently. For example, they might have to work out how to produce large amounts of chemical as cheaply as possible. They are usually responsible for safety, quality control and staff training. Chemists are also employed in marketing and other management functions in industry.  
Industrial chemists usually work alongside chemical and control engineers, who are responsible for the design and construction of production plant. Depending on the product, they may also consult other scientists such as metallurgists, geologists, agricultural scientists, pharmacologists, biochemists or food technologists.  
They may carry out research and analysis to develop and test theories, techniques and processes.

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Analyze organic or inorganic compounds to determine chemical or physical properties, composition, structure, relationships, or reactions, using chromatography, spectroscopy, or spectrophotometry techniques.


Conduct quality control tests.


Maintain laboratory instruments to ensure proper working order and troubleshoot malfunctions when needed.


Prepare test solutions, compounds, or reagents for laboratory personnel to conduct tests.


Induce changes in composition of substances by introducing heat, light, energy, or chemical catalysts for quantitative or qualitative analysis.


Evaluate laboratory safety procedures to ensure compliance with standards or to make improvements as needed.


Compile and analyze test information to determine process or equipment operating efficiency or to diagnose malfunctions.


Write technical papers or reports or prepare standards and specifications for processes, facilities, products, or tests.


Confer with scientists or engineers to conduct analyses of research projects, interpret test results, or develop nonstandard tests.


Develop, improve, or customize products, equipment, formulas, processes, or analytical methods.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Processing Information: Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.


Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.


Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.


Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others: Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.


Documenting/Recording Information: Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.


Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events: Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.


Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings: Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.


Analyzing Data or Information: Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.


Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards: Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.


Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


Chemistry: Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.


Mathematics: Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.


Production and Processing: Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.


Computers and Electronics: Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.


English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.


Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.


Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.


Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.


Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.


Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.


Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

You should enjoy solving problems. You also have to be accurate in your work, paying great attention to detail. For some specialisms, you may also need knowledge of engineering processes, or management and business skills.

Related Occupationsheader image

Contactsheader image


Organisation: Institute of Chemistry of Ireland
Address: PO Box 9322, Cardiff Lane, Dublin 2.
Email: Click here
Url Click here

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Industry Expert

Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Biological, Chemical & Pharmaceutical Science
Biomedical Technologies & Medtech

Search for Related Courses from Qualifax - the National Learners Database


Higher Ed & CAO Course suggestions
If you are interested in this occupation, then the following courses may also be of interest. Note that these course suggestions are not intended to indicate that they lead directly to this occupation, only that they are related in some way and may be worth exploring.
Courses found: 127
Analytical and Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Analytical Chemistry (Environmental Forensic Pharmaceutical)
Analytical Chemistry with Quality Assurance
Analytical Science
Analytical Science
Applied Biology
Applied Biology and Biopharmaceutical Science
Applied Biology and Biopharmaceutical Science
Applied Biosciences
Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Biological and Chemical Sciences
Biological and Chemical Sciences (Common Entry)
Biomedical and Molecular Diagnostics
Biomedical Design
Biomedical Design
Biomedical Engineering
Biomedical Science
Biomedical Science
Biomedical Science
Biomedical Science (Joint CIT & UCC course)
Biomedical Science (Joint UCC & CIT course)
Biomedical, Health and Life Sciences
Biopharmaceutical Chemistry
Biosciences (Biopharmaceuticals)
Biosciences (Brewing and Distilling)
Biosciences (Common Entry)
Bioveterinary Science
Chemical & Biopharmacutical Engineering
Chemical & Pharmaceutical Science
Chemical and Biochemical Engineering
Chemical and Pharmaceutical Science
Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Chemical Sciences
Chemical Sciences
Chemical Sciences with Medicinal Chemistry
Common Entry Biological Sciences
Common Entry into Science
DNA and Forensic Analysis
DNA and Forensic Analysis
Drug and Medicinal Product Analysis
Economics - Social Sciences
Engineering (Process and Chemical Engineering)
Environmental Bioscience
Food Science
Food Science and Health
Food Science and Innovation
Food Science and Nutrition
Food Science with Business
Forensic Investigation & Analysis
Forensic Investigation and Analysis
Forensic Science and Analysis
Forensic Toxicology
Genetics and Cell Biology
Human Nutrition
Human Nutrition
Human Nutrition
Human Nutrition and Dietetics
Medical Biotechnology
Medical Science
Medical Technology (Moylish Park)
Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences
Molecular Biology with Biopharmaceutical Science
Molecular Biology with Biopharmaceutical Science
Nutraceuticals in Health and Nutrition
Nutrition and Health Science
Nutritional Science
Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Chemistry
Pharmaceutical and Forensic Analysis
Pharmaceutical and Forensic Analysis
Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Science
Pharmaceutical Biotechnology
Pharmaceutical Healthcare
Pharmaceutical Science
Pharmaceutical Science
Pharmaceutical Science
Pharmaceutical Science
Pharmaceutical Science
Pharmaceutical Science - Common Entry
Pharmaceutical Science with Drug Development
Pharmaceutical Science with Drug Development
Pharmaceutical Sciences
Pharmaceutical Sciences
Pharmaceutical Sciences (Drug Development and Analysis)
Physical Sciences (Common Entry)
Physical Sciences (Common Entry)
Physics (Degree options in Applied, Astrophysics, Biomedical, Theoretical)
Physics with Biomedical Sciences
Radiation Therapy
Science (Common Entry with Award Options)
Science (Common Entry)
Science (General Entry)
Science (Undenominated)
Science (Undenominated)
Science - (Biological, Biomedical & Biomolecular Sciences)
Science - (Chemistry & Chemical Sciences)
Science - (Mathematical, Physical and Geological Sciences)
Science - Applied Biosciences
Science - Applied Biosciences & Biotechnology
Science - Pharmaceutical Science
Science Education
Science General
Science Undenominated
Science with concurrent Teacher Education (Biology with Phy or Chem or Ag Sc)
Science with concurrent Teacher Education (Physical Sciences with Chem & Phy)
Science with Education
Science with Nanotechnology
Toxicology and Analytical Sciences
Veterinary Biosciences