Pesticides : Careers
Hopefully, after reading some of these pages, you will have become
interested in Chemistry, and perhaps pesticides in particular.
If so, maybe you should consider a future career in Chemistry.
When you think about Chemists, a person in a white coat inside of a lab
usually comes to mind. However, only about 50% of Chemistry jobs are lab
based. The other half includes just about anything with even the
slightest relation to Chemistry.
One of the first steps to any career, especially in the
sciences, is a good educational foundation. For Chemists, a college
education is almost a requirement. Almost 50% of all working chemists
have a Bachelor's Degree of Science.
20% of them have
Master's Degree, and 35% have a Ph.D.
$$ Money $$
What's a talk about career without a mention of salaries?
As is the case with most professions, higher education leads to higher
Median starting salaries for graduates just a few years ago:
Where to work?
There are 3 general sectors in society where Chemists work:
- College or University
- Federal and state agencies (the government)
If you are interested in pesticides, all three of these sectors are
involved in pesticide research. Currently, much research is going on in
order to develop safer and more efficient forms of pest controls.
Here's how a pesticide chemist would fit into these three sectors:
- University: The pesticide chemists here would have a Ph.D.
probably in either Biochemistry or Inorganic Chemistry, since these are
the branches of Chemistry which are most related to pesticides. In
addition to performing individual research, perhaps on new pesticides or
on the effects of current pesticides, the professors would also teach
classes at the university.
- Government: In this area, pesticide chemists are needed in
many regulatory agencies such as the EPA and the USFDA. Before the
government can make decisions on whether to ban or allow certain
chemicals, they must learn as much as possible about it. They learn
about the pesticides largely from the research of their chemists.
- Industry: The pesticide industry provides many employment
possibilities for the chemist. Most pesticide manufacturers are divided
into two areas: Research and Development (R&D) and Operations.
In R&D, pesticide chemists can be:
- lab technicians (2 years of college chemistry) who perform
standardardized tests on pesticides.
- research assistants (B.S or B.A. in Chemistry or Biology)
who perform more detailed research on current or new pesticides.
- research scientists (M.A./M.S. or Ph.D.) who try to find new
The operations division involves the manufacturing of the
pesticide. Here, chemists could be in quality control, where they would
selectively test randomn samples of the product. Chemists could also be
involved in the manufacturing process itself. Chemists are needed to
derive efficient means of production, and to actually see to that their
methods are going smoothly.
Here's just a small sample of some companies involved with pesticides:
(Click on the companies to go to their web page.)
This completes our Pesticides : Careers section.
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