Because chemistry is a broad field that can be applied across many concentrations, many chemists specialise in chemical engineering and analytics that don't focus on living systems or pharmaceutical processes. These industrial chemists are employed in several fields from industrial production quality control to research and development of new household and industrial products. Many of the highest-paying positions as industrial chemists require a doctorate in chemistry.
The average salary for all industrial chemists, regardless of their education level and the industry in which they work is £37,050 annually as of December 2010. This is slightly lower than the national average for all chemists as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, which is £43,049 as of May 2008.
The industry in which an industrial chemist is employed affect his earning potential. Chemists employed in the chemical manufacturing industry boast the highest salary range for chemists outside of the pharmaceutical industry, with annual earnings between £27,232 and £38,283 annually as of December 2010, according to PayScale. Those employed by chemical testing firms earn salaries between £25,146 and £35,570. Industrial chemists working for beauty and skin care companies earn the least, with annual average salaries that range from £25,727 to £36,330.
Some industrial chemists hold master’s degrees in chemistry, but those who earn a doctorate command earnings much higher than average for their field. Ph.D.s that work in research and development management positions boast the highest median annual salary of £91,000 annually, according to the American Chemical Society’s 2007 salary survey. Doctors of chemistry who work in analytical services earn on average £65,000. Doctorate-holding industrial chemists employed in general management positions over lesser qualified chemists earn on average £78,650. The industrial chemist salary range for holders of a Ph.D. is £49,725 to £107,900.
The average salaries of industrial chemists may vary by as much as 75 per cent depending upon the city in which they work. Although high concentrations of highly qualified positions may skew earnings data in favour of a few metropolitan areas, the highest average annual salary is in Boston, with yearly earnings of £44,252 as of December 2010, according to Salary Expert. In contrast, the city with the lowest average annual salary is Nashville, Tennessee, in which industrial chemists earn average salaries of £26,430. Four of the 10 cities surveyed by Salary Expert report annual salaries between £29,520 and 57,572.
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