After that, most people kind of lose interest in the industry. However, you should know that those two positions only scratch the surface of what this field entails. The best pharmaceutical jobs may be the ones that you have never heard of before. When you mention jobs in pharmaceuticals such as a synthetic chemist, all you get are raised eyebrows as people picture the mad scientist concocting something in his lab.
The backbone of the industry is the scientists who do all of the research and make the drugs for the sales people and pharmacists to sell. After all, someone has to do the research and actually make these items. This is where you come in.
There is of course more to the job than just dumping things into a test tube. To be a synthetic chemist, you have to have a degree in organic chemistry. While a bachelor’s degree is usually the requirement, a master’s degree is a much better weapon to arm yourself with in today’s competitive job market. You are also going to have to have a couple of years’ experience working in an organic chemistry lab.
The position also requires very good organizational skills. You are more than likely going to be leading a team and you will have to be able to keep them focused and on track and must effectively communicate with them. You must be competent on a computer and literate in many different types of programming software such as Office Suite, ISIS, and ChemDraw.
Your practical skills should include, but not be limited to: various organic synthesis techniques, purification techniques (including size-exclusion and flash chromatography), polymer synthesis and purification, and experience in the analyzing and operation of HPLC, LC-MS, NMR, and FTIR.
As you can see, a job as a synthetic chemist is extremely involved and demands a proficiency in many things. That is what makes it so special. To be able to be involved in the creation of compounds that can be the next great cure is a special thing. It can be tedious at times, but just imagine the reward when you are part of team that is involved in the development of the next great cure.
Being a synthetic chemist also offers you a lot of flexibility. Maybe looking for the next great cure is not your cup of tea, but you still want to be involved in research and development. There are ample opportunities available in the private sector in this field. When you go to a job board and type in your career, you see hundreds of openings all across the country in just about every aspect of the industry. You can work in just about any niche you choose in any location you like.
It is not all peaches and cream, though. Landing a position is going to take some effort on your part. This is not a low-level job. Most positions start with salaries in the six figures, and if you have any kind of experience and research record, you are going to receive a salary much larger than that. You are going to have to be at your best because competition will be tougher than ever. This does not mean that landing a job is impossible; it just means that companies can be a little more selective when choosing their candidates.
The opposite of that is also true: the candidates can be a little pickier about where they work. This is your chance to get your dream position. All you need to do is make sure that you are ready for it. If you are entering the field just out of school, you are going to have limited experience from which to draw. You are going to have to be extra sharp, because, other than your grades, the only difference between you and the next candidate is going to be how you present yourself and your enthusiasm for the job.
You should apply to as many positions as you can and go to as many interviews as possible. Save the job you really want for last because you are going to need to perfect your interviewing skills. You need to be able to get through a one-on-one conversation and walk away having the person who talked to you drop their jaw and say, “That’s our person.”
Too many people think their record alone is enough to get them through the front door. Those are the ones that your are just going to leap frog right over because you are going to be prepared and ready each and every time you sit across from your interviewer.
Any way you slice it, a career as a synthetic chemist is an exciting proposition. You are going into a field of exploration that not many have the ability to venture into. You are going to be on the cusp of breakthrough research and will hopefully be a part of something special. Of course, you have to get in the game first, so make the decision and dive into the job market and land a position in a market that will allow you to meet your personal and professional goals.