Chemists (NOC 2112)

About this job


  • carry out research and analysis in support of industrial operations, product and process development; quality control; environmental control; medical diagnosis and treatment; biotechnology; and other applications
  • theoretical, experimental and applied research into basic chemical and biochemical processes to create new products and processes
  • work 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

Watch the video below to see what a day in the life of a chemistry lab manager is like.

Common job titles
  • agrochemist
  • biochemist - analytical / medical
  • chemist, agricultural
  • chemist, analytical / clinical
  • chemist, biological / bioanalytical
  • chemist, detergent / dye


Chemists perform some or all of the following duties:

  • analyze, synthesize, purify, modify and characterize chemical or biochemical compounds
  • create and carry out programs of analysis to ensure quality control of raw materials, chemical intermediates or final products
  • carry out programs of sample collection, data collection and analysis to identify and measure environmental toxicants
  • carry out research to develop new chemical formulations and processes, and devise new technical applications of industrial chemicals and compounds
  • carry out research to discover, develop, refine and evaluate new products
  • undertake 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
  • participate in the commercialization of new products
  • supervise other chemists, chemical technicians and technologists

Work environment

Work in this occupation is typically performed in an indoor environment, where one may be in the presence of noxious, intense or prolonged odours and exposed to chemicals or substances that may endanger health. Safety precautions and set procedures help to minimize risks.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Mobility between occupations in this group is possible with experience. Also, mobility is possible to occupations concerned with plant management, technical sales and the development and management of regulatory programs and teaching professions.

Additional resources