Nuclear Chemist

Chemistry Carreer

Job Description

Nuclear chemists inspect organic and inorganic substances to determine their chemical and physical properties, structures and compositions. When working for private industry, nuclear chemists try improve and customize products. In the laboratory, they seek to improve equipment, processes and formulas. After conducting an experiment, a nuclear chemist uses statistical analysis to interpret the results. Those working at the university level as professors not only conduct research, but they also mentor students and teach graduate and undergraduate level courses.

Careere Opportunities

Graduates with bachelor's degrees can find employment as laboratory technicians or research assistants. It is common for bachelor's-level graduates to receive on-the-job training after discovering an interest in nuclear chemistry during their early years on the job.

Students or recent graduates with an interest in research may do one or more internships in preparation for selecting an area of specialization for a graduate degree. Research and supervisory positions generally require a doctoral degree, often with postgraduate experience. Postdoctoral fellowships are one way to gain this experience.

Nuclear chemists may pursue a teaching and/or research career in academia, or they may oversee a laboratory in industry or for a government agency or national laboratory. They may also support and train facility users or students or develop new capabilities for collecting and analyzing data.

After gaining several years of postgraduate experience, nuclear chemists may move into managing a suite of laboratories, or they may direct research programs.

Educational Requiermnts

To become a nuclear chemist, you'll first need a bachelor's degree in chemistry. Oftentimes, related degrees can include physics or electrical engineering. If you plan to go into research as a nuclear chemist, you will most likely need a master's degree or even a Ph.D.

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