List of Nontraditional Careers

I’m often asked what sort of jobs there are for chemists who want to leave the bench. Usually I try to tailor the answer to the person to whom I’m talking – I find out about their interests, skills, talents, and then suggest some things they may be interested in. The other day I sat down to see just how many possibilities I could come up with – different jobs, places to work, and so on. Below is my list, but I’m sure there others I’ve missed. Feel free to suggest others in the comments!

Communication – technical writer, technical editor, science writer, journalist, video producer, working freelance or for scientific publisher or scientific organization

Information – searching/retrieval, science librarian, technical information center manager, abstracter, indexer, database developer, project management, for academia, industry, professional organization,

Patents – searching, researching, writing, prosecuting (applying for), litigating (fighting infringement of), as patent searcher, patent liaison, patent agent, patent attorney

Sales and Marketing – customer support, technical sales (inside or outside sales), technical buyer, product development, product management, account manager,

Business Development – technology transfer, product management, product development, corporate development, liaison

Regulatory Affairs/public policy – public health, inspector, product regulatory stewardship, science advisor, lobbyist, working for company, government, law firm, public agency,

Safety – laboratory safety officer, environmental manager, consultant

Human resources – recruiting, management,

Computers – computational chemistry molecular modeling, database development, database management,

Education – teaching high school, adjunct at college or university, community college, provost, department chair, dean

Science photographer, art conservator, material scientist….

6 Replies to “List of Nontraditional Careers”

  1. Lisa,

    In a different part of the world,
    Manufacturing, including adhesives, insulation, semiconductors, device manufacturing, thin layer coatings, coatings on windows and displays, unique property synthetic fibers

    Process engineering, including anti-corrosion, wetting systems, anti-stick, anti-bacterial paints, surfactants

    Power systems, including fuel cells, high energy density batteries, supercapacitors, flow batteries, superconducting magnetic storage, biofuels, thermionic gnerators

    Food science

  2. I couldn’t understand some parts of this article List of Nontraditional Careers, but I guess I just need to check some more resources regarding this, because it sounds interesting.

  3. You have really a interest own posting style and offer good information. The articles are nice to read and you don´t use a lot of ads like all the other bloggers…

  4. Please help!!!!

    Currently starting to write my organic synthetic chemistry thesis and now starting to freakkkk out! I’ve realised I do not want to do bench chemistry for a living and I have no idea what I can do!!! I’m good at analysing data and enjoy to do monotonous tasks that people tend to hate I.e analysing nmrs, organising, typing (not scientific writing). I want a job that has an aspect of science but doesn’t require me to be the sharpest brain around!!! I struggle with synthesis/bench work because my brain is not quick enough and I tend to require a bit of time to “think” about a problem!! Please help xxx

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