Job description Chemist in Alberta

Find out what work is like for a chemist in Canada. This work description is applicable to all Chemists (NOC 21101).



Chemists conduct research and analysis in support of industrial operations, product and process development, quality control, environmental control, medical diagnosis and treatment, biotechnology, nanotechnology and other applications. They also conduct theoretical, experimental and applied research into basic chemical and biochemical processes to create or synthesize new products and processes. They are employed in research, development and quality control laboratories; chemical, petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries; mineral, metal and pulp and paper industries; and a wide variety of manufacturing, utility, health, educational and government establishments.

Work week duration

Chemists usually work between 35 to 40 hours per week.
Between 35 to 40 hours

Job duties

Here are some of the main activities and tasks that Chemists have to perform, and some of the physical demands they involve:

  • Analyze, synthesize, purify, modify and characterize chemical or biochemical compounds
  • Develop and conduct programs of analysis to ensure quality control of raw materials, chemical intermediates or final products
  • Conduct programs of sample and data collection and analysis to identify and quantify environmental toxicants
  • Conduct research to develop new chemical formulations and processes and devise new technical applications of industrial chemicals and compounds
  • Conduct research to discover, develop, refine and evaluate new products such as those used in nanomedicine, nanoelectronics and other applications of chemistry
  • Conduct fundamental and applied research into the synthesis and properties of chemical compounds and the mechanisms of chemical reactions
  • Investigate chemical aspects of the mechanisms of drug action, the diagnosis and treatment of disease, organ function and the assessment of health
  • Participate in interdisciplinary research and development projects working with chemical engineers, biologists, microbiologists, agronomists, geologists or other professionals
  • Act as technical consultant in a particular field of expertise
  • May participate in the commercialization of new products
  • May supervise other chemists and chemical technicians and technologists.

Physical demands Help - Physical Demands

  • Standing
  • Making repetitive motions
  • Handling material manually
  • Sitting

Workplaces and employers

Here are the typical workplaces where Chemists are employed and some of their main characteristics:

  • Quality control laboratories
  • Research laboratories
  • Government establishments
  • Development laboratories
  • Health care establishments
  • Utility companies
  • Manufacturing companies
  • Petrochemical companies
  • Chemical industries
  • Educational establishments
  • Mineral industries
  • Pulp and paper companies
  • Metal industries

Work environment Help - Physical Work Environment

  • Indoors, environmentally controlled
  • Dangerous chemical substances
  • Standard safety equipment
  • Hazardous conditions

Physical proximity from others Help - Physical proximity from others

  • Somewhat close (e.g. share office)

Related job titles

Here are some other related job titles that are found in the same occupational category (NOC 21101), and a list of similar occupations:

  • agricultural chemist
  • analytical chemist
  • bioanalytical chemist
  • biochemist
  • chemist
  • clinical chemist
  • coatings chemist
  • electrochemist
  • environmental chemist
  • food chemist
  • inorganic chemist
  • medicinal chemist
  • nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopist
  • oceanographic chemist
  • organic chemist
  • organic mass spectrometrist
  • organometallic chemist
  • pharmacological chemist
  • physical chemist
  • polymer chemist
  • quality control chemist
  • research chemist
  • soil chemist
  • textile chemist
  • theoretical chemist

Similar occupations Help - Similar occupations

Sources Occupational and Skills Information System & National Occupational Classification

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