How Many Jobs Are Available In Specialty Chemicals

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Last Updated on April 23, 2023 by Chris Panteli

How Many Jobs Are Available In Specialty Chemicals

Are you considering a career in specialty chemicals?

Perhaps you’re wondering how many jobs are available in specialty chemicals?

You may also want to know how much you can expect to earn, what jobs are available, and other industry details.

All the answers to these questions about working in specialty chemicals can be found right here.

What are Specialty Chemicals?

a man in a lab suit mixing chemicals

Specialty chemicals may be a single chemical or a mixture of chemicals that can be used for a specific application. Industries use a specialty chemical to enhance a product for customers or manufacturing process.

You might work with basic chemicals, hazardous waste, agricultural chemicals, or raw materials. 

Many industries rely on specialty chemicals including cosmetics, construction, and manufacturing. 

Types of Specialty Chemicals Jobs

Once qualified you can apply for a wide range of specialty chemicals job roles. Some of top roles in the chemical industry are:

  • Product Development
  • Formulation Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering
  • Health & Safety
  • Quality Assurance & Control
  • Industrial Management
  • Chemical technicians
  • Technical Sales & Marketing

Skills Needed for Specialty Chemicals Companies

To get hired by a specialty chemical company you’ll need to meet both their educational requirements and non-technical skills list.

Whether you’re applying for an entry level role or a senior position you may need some or all of the following certifications:

  • High school diploma
  • Relevant chemistry or applicable science degree
  • Prior work experience in the industry
  • Driver’s license
  • Specific licenses or certificates as required for the industry you’re applying for

Any job role you apply for in any industry will also consider your other skills. These may be non-technical skills that can add value to their workforce. Examples of these skills include:

  • Ability to meet deadlines
  • Leadership
  • Teamworking
  • Personal care
  • Communication skills
  • Problem solving

Pros and Cons of Working in Specialty Chemicals

Working in specialty chemicals comes with many benefits, but there are a few downsides to consider as well.

✅ Pros

  • Plenty of options for career growth and development
  • Most job roles offer above average salary and benefits
  • The chance to work with state-of-the-art technology
  • Contribute to the advancement of society
  • Collaborate with others in field

❌ Cons

  • Risk to health
  • Contribute to environmental damage
  • Stress

Things to Know When Choosing Specialty Chemicals as a Career

a person mixing chemicals in a glass container

To build a successful specialty chemicals career you must have the relevant skills and knowledge. A keen interest in science, math, and technology is a must. What else is important to consider when starting a career in specialty chemicals?

Work In Specialized Fields

Specialty chemicals have many unique applications. This means you can find unique and rewarding job roles in a variety of fields. The chance to contribute to help innovate a new and unique product is a key consideration for many chemists entering the specialty chemicals field.

Using Your Skills

Thanks to the varied job roles on offer in the specialty chemicals market you can find a job that matches your interests and skills. If you have a niche interest that means you can look for a job that will be perfect for you.

Searching For Job Roles

When looking for job roles in the specialty chemicals industry you should know products are divided into 2 fields. Market-oriented and function-oriented products.

Market-oriented products would cover fields such as electronics and oilfields. Function-oriented products means industries such as fragrances, adhesives, and flavors.

Set up a job alert with your preferred recruitment websites to get instant notifications when relevant job roles come on the market.

Average Salary in the Specialty Chemicals Industries

a woman working in a lab

Labor statistics from one recruitment specialist show that the average wage in the US for specialty chemical jobs is $105,000. Entry level positions have an average starting salary of $97,500. These salaries are well above the US national average of $55,522.

Best Paying Jobs in Specialty Chemicals

These are 10 of the best paying jobs in specialty chemicals:

  1. Pharmacologist

A pharmacologist can enjoy an average salary of $119,359 with potential salaries reaching $188,672.

  1. Analytical Chemist 

The average salary for an analytical chemist is $60,599 with top salaries up to $91,505.

  1. Chemical Engineer

A chemical engineer may earn an average salary of $93,161 with the highest salaries reaching $129,310.

  1. Pharmaceutical Sales Rep

For a pharmaceutical sales rep position, you can expect to earn an average salary of $70,406 with a potential high of $116,803.

  1. Pharmacist

Working as a pharmacist can net you an average salary of $126,906 with estimated top salaries reaching $171,231.

  1. Environmental Engineer

 An environmental engineer could earn an average salary of $87,133 with a top salary of $131,826.

  1. Plant Engineer

 Working as a plant engineer can see you bring home an average salary of $96,880 and a high salary of $134,021.

  1. Wastewater Engineer 

A wastewater engineer in the United States earns an average salary of $95,303 with highest salaries reaching $134,087.

  1. Production Manager

 The average salary for a production manager is $78,047 with a top average salary of $117,076.

  1. Chemist 

A chemist can earn an average salary of $74,728 with highest salaries up to $107,963.

Is Specialty Chemicals A Good Career Path?

Working in specialty chemicals is a good career path for anyone with a strong interest in sciences looking for a career with good earning potential.

There is a huge variety of job opportunities in the specialty chemicals industry. Cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and agriculture are a few of the industries you can work in. Not only can you choose a field that interests you, but you get to help innovate new and exciting products.

Another key factor that makes working in the specialty chemicals field worth it are the chances for travel and collaboration. Some of the largest companies in the world work with chemicals. That means you’ll get to build working relationships with other established figures in the field. It also means you may get to travel to exotic locations around the world.

Big companies including the Chevron Corporation and the Dow Chemical Company often need talented engineers. These companies may use targeted advertising to find qualified applicants. Otherwise, you can find roles by searching online or networking with recruiters for the specialized chemicals industry.

If the chance to travel is something you’re interested in, then the good news is that chemical companies are located worldwide. You could end up in North Carolina or as far away as Asia Pacific.

A final reason to consider working in specialty chemicals is the money. You can earn above the US national average salary for most roles with many jobs having the potential to pay you a six-figure salary.

How Many Jobs Are Available In Specialty Chemicals

In the United States alone there are an estimated 600,000 jobs that are directly in the specialty chemicals industry. Another 2.5 million jobs are linked to the specialty chemicals industry. That means you can always find a job opportunity in a related field.

These figures are just for roles in North America, if you consider roles worldwide this number rises into the millions.

Thanks to the variety of roles on offer you should have no trouble finding a role that suits your skills and interests.

How to Find a Job in Specialty Chemicals

Finding a job in specialty chemicals may require some effort on your part. A great way to find jobs is by searching online, building a LinkedIn profile, and reaching out to people you know in the field.

The Importance of Networking

As the saying goes “it’s not what you know, but who”. This is true for many industries. The moment you start college you should start building your network. Keep in touch with everyone you meet in the industry including recruiters, chemical associations, human resources for relevant companies, and industry colleagues.

Building a solid network means when looking for a role you have a list you can immediately reach out to. Specialist recruiters can be particularly important as they’ll know which roles will be perfect for you. When a recruiter needs a worker, they’ll hopefully reach out to you first.


These days many recruiters and employers use a LinkedIn profile as a fast way to assess a candidate’s initial suitability. Create your LinkedIn profile and make sure it’s professional, highlights your relevant experience, and showcases all your certifications.

Recruiters and employers often search LinkedIn for suitable candidates. That means you could get job offers you hadn’t even thought about. Just make sure your profile stands out.

The Future of Jobs in Specialty Chemicals

One of the exciting things about working in a science-based field is the constant need for innovative solutions. New chemical processes are discovered all the time that can lead to new manufacturing processes.

This means the future is bright for anyone building a career in specialty chemicals. Jobs are plentiful and new roles are created all the time.

Key sectors that could see a boom in jobs include roles involving sustainable solutions, hazardous chemicals, and consumer chemicals.

Now you know how many jobs are available in specialty chemicals. Plus, salary expectations, career growth, and future job security.

What should you do next?

To start building your specialty chemicals career contact recruiters in the field today and ask if they have a suitable employment opportunity. You can also use social media or search online to find opportunities relevant to your skill set and experience. 

Good luck!

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How Many Jobs Are Available In Specialty Chemicals

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