In Summary - Industrial Chemist / Pharmacist
Industrial Chemist / Pharmacists typically work in the following Career Sectors:
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The Work - Industrial Chemist / Pharmacist
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.
Most commonly reported Work Tasks
- 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.
Most commonly reported Work Activities
- Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Analyzing Data or Information Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- 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.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Interests - Industrial Chemist / Pharmacist
This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:
The Investigative person will usually find a particular area of science to be of interest. They are inclined toward intellectual and analytical activities and enjoy observation and theory. They may prefer thought to action, and enjoy the challenge of solving problems with sophiscticated technology. These types prefer mentally stimulating environments and often pay close attention to developments in their chosen field.
Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.
Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.
Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.
They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.
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.
Entry Requirements - Industrial Chemist / Pharmacist
Pay & Salary - Industrial Chemist / Pharmacist
Salary Range (thousands per year)* 25k - k
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.
Labour Market Updates - Industrial Chemist / Pharmacist
While the supply of graduates appears to be sufficient to meet the annual recruitment requirement (5,500 graduates in 2017), the demand is arising for roles for those with a high level of experience and/or in niche areas. The demand is for a small number of people given the relatively small size of this occupation (approx. 1% of total employment) and in the areas associated with pharmaceuticals, biopharma and food development.
National Skills Bulletin 2018