Exciting career paths for chemistry majors

By Logan A. White
Times-News correspondent 


[Logan A. White / Times-News correspondent

Editor’s note: Teens & 20s writer Logan A. White will be exploring various college majors in this monthly series.
Get a college education, and your career will soar.
That mantra is drilled into the minds of students all over America, created by a culture that prioritizes success through higher education. Choosing to attend college is now viewed as a desired — or destined — path for an average high school graduate. Selecting a subject of study is the true challenge for today’s students. With the wide variety of degrees offered at even the smallest schools, attempting to discover the major meant for you can feel overwhelming.
That’s where Majors Unmasked comes in. This series will explore some of the most fascinating career paths that stem from common college majors.
   March’s major is chemistry — a science that brings to mind images of bubbling beakers and goggle-clad scientists in white lab coats. Have you ever imagined the possibilities of thinking outside of the lab? Chemistry is a broad field, extending into every facet of our daily lives. Let’s explore some of the most exciting career paths a chemistry major can follow:
• Toxicologist — Are you fascinated by how chemical substances, including poison, affect people, animals and the environment? From determining dosages for medicines to experimenting with the effects of exposure, toxicologists work toward the safety of the public. According to the American Chemical Society, 25 percent of toxicologists have a master’s degree, while 50 percent obtain a Ph.D. While this field commonly requires graduate-level education, it can be both exciting and rewarding.
• Flavorist — When a company is creating the recipe for a new flavor of a consumable good, flavorists (or food chemists) are the most valuable collaborators. Whether it’s a new variety of a sports drink or a fresh ice cream variety, flavorists are involved in the production of nearly every product we consume. If you think this is the career for you, be prepared to put in the work: flavorists must complete a seven-year apprenticeship before they can be licensed, according to Study.com.
• Fireworks designer — Also known as pyrotechnicians, these scientists master the elements to use the night sky as their canvas. Using different combinations of chemicals, firework designers create controlled packets of explosives with a myriad of visual effects. This may not be a full-time career, but it is a great way for a thrill-seeking chemistry major to exercise their creativity, according to careermatch.com.
If you think chemistry might be the career for you, don’t hesitate to pursue your interests. Take the time to uncover your university journey today.

Logan A. White is a Teens & 20s writer and a home-schooled high school graduate. She currently trains in Cary Ballet Conservatory’s professional program.

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