Eastern Michigan University
direct edit

Careers in Chemistry

The American Chemical Society Education Division has constructed a website with information on more than 30 career areas in chemistry, career options within each subdiscipline (organic, physical,...) and information on what students can do now to begin preparing for a degree in chemistry.  The site can be found at https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/careers/college-to-career.html

The median starting salary for an inexperienced B.S. Chemistry graduate was $39,560 in 2013.  This and other interesting data (e.g., the overall unemployment rate for ACS members was 3.5% in March 2013) can be found at http://cen.acs.org/articles/92/i22/Starting-Salaries.html

One way to improve one's chances of landing a job (and earning a higher salary) is to find a paid internship position while in school.  Read about it at this ACS blog site.

Q&A with a Forensic Chemist

Ann E. Miller, Forensic Chemist with Customs and Border Protection’s laboratory in Chicago, agreed to answer some common questions from students about forensic sciences.  Ann double majored in chemistry and anthropology at Beloit College in Wisconsin and then earned a Master’s degree in analytical chemistry at Texas A&M University.  She has been with CBP since 2001, where she has driven a mobile lab unit around the country, worked in training people to understand radioactivity and currently is involved in projects to identify drugs that are mailed into the United States. 

Recent Postings

  Cayman is currently seeking candidates for a variety of internship positions starting in May through August in the Chemistry and Biochemistry departments. All internship positions are paid.
  In order for an applicant to be considered, they should highlight their relevant coursework, lab experience, and which area of focus they are interested in on their resume in detail when applying online.
  Online applications are to be submitted at   www.caymanchem.com/HR

Fibertec Environmental Services is looking for a new volatiles chemist. Company webpage is here.

Job Postings

You can go to our co-op page to look for co-op, internship, or summer research positions.

External Websites that Post Chemistry Positions

  • NSF International (which has a facility in Ann Arbor) has a very nice website where they post open positions, including chemistry intern positions.  Click on this link to go to the NSF website.  If you click on "Search for Jobs" and then select "Ann Arbor, MI, US" and then click on the Search box, you can see a list of positions that are open locally.
  • Cayman Chemical (with its main facility in Ann Arbor) has a very nice website where they post open positions, including chemistry intern positions.  Click on this link to go to the Career Opportunities page of the Cayman Chemical website.  If you click on "View All Job Opportunities" you can see what positions are available.
  • The US Government posts full-time, part-time, and intern positions.  This link will take you to the USAJOBS website (with the default search keyword specified as Chemist).  You can narrow the search to Chemistry positions by choosing the Job Category to be "Physical Science" and then for the Occupational Series, select "Chemistry".  Of course, you can search other areas as your interest and experience dictates.
  • Pure Michigan Talent Connect is a search engine that can be used to look for jobs in Michigan.  (By typing "Chemist" in the Job Title box, there were 44 positions posted as of 9/11/14.)
  • The LinkUp job search engine can be used to look for positions anywhere in the country.  (By typing "Chemist" in the job title box, there were 809 positions posted as of 9/11/14.  Options are available to narrow your search.)
  • The American Chemical Society regularly hosts a Career Fair in conjunction with the semi-annual national meetings.  These typically occur in August and March.  Click here to visit the ACS website to get more information.  The ACS has other career tools and job listings that are only available to ACS members.
  • The Michigan State Police (MSP) hire civilians to serve as Forensic Scientists.  Typically, a major in Forensic Science or a natural science is expected.  Information about MSP Forensic Scientists and where to find vacancies can be found by following this link to the MSP website.

Student Co-op Positions or Internships

Click here for the link to our page on Co-op Positions and Internships.  This includes information on summer research internships for undergraduates.


Chemistry tutors are generally in demand.  There are on-campus positions available through the Holman Success Center to serve as a supplemental instructor for a chemistry course or to do peer tutoring (contact the Holman Success Center at 487-1849 or success.center@emich.edu).  There are also off-campus tutoring opportunities which can be arranged individually or via companies that hire and coordinate tutors.  The EMU Chemistry Department does not have any connection with any of these companies.  Occasionally, we are contacted by them to provide their contact information to potentially interested students and, unless we have heard of problems, we will post it.  One such company is FrogTutoring.  They do in-home tutoring in the Detroit area.

Medical Scribe

Scribe America is looking to recruit students to work as part-time, full-time, day shift and night shift scribes. The scribe will work side by side with physicians assisting with documentation for each patient evaluated by the doctor. It is an opportunity for any student interested in medicine to gain first-hand experience following a physician.  If you are interested, you can visit their website:  http://www.scribeamerica.com/ for more information.

PhysAssist scribes offers both full time & part time Medical Scribe opportunities for those looking to gain clinical experience and direct physician interaction. They have programs locally in Ann Arbor, as well as multiple locations in the Detroit metro area and West Bloomfield. PhysAssist specializes in Emergency Medicine & Urgent Care, so you will find their programs in the ER's within these areas. For more information and to apply please visit  www.iamscribe.com  or email  Recruiting@iamscribe.com .

Employment Opportunities within the Chemistry Department

Tenure-Track Faculty Positions

There are no positions available at this time and do not anticipate running a search in the foreseeable future (before Fall 2019, at the earliest).

Full-Time Lecturer Positions

There are no positions available at this time.  If a position became available, it would be posted at www.emich.edu/jobs.

Part-Time Lecturer Positions

Part-time Lecturers are normally used during fall and winter semesters for teaching primarily lower-level classes.  Occasionally, there is need for upper-level expertise in particular areas of demand.  Most of the hiring occurs in the summer for lecturers starting in the fall, but there may also be openings beginning in winter semester.  It has been very rare that we have any spring-summer teaching available for part-time lecturers.

Anyone interested in part-time teaching should have an advanced degree in chemistry, or a closely-related field.  If you are interested, draft a letter of interest, attach your vita, and send it to the department head, using the contact information found on the Chemistry Department home page.  If there are openings for new part-time lecturers, the department head will review the information received and contact those with the most suitable backgrounds to arrange for an interview.  Openings may also be posted at www.emich.edu/jobs.

Staff Positions

We are fully staffed and do not anticipate any openings in the foreseeable future.

Student Help Positions

Most of the hiring for student help positions is done before the start of Fall semester.  However, there may be the rare opportunity for hiring before Winter semester or at other times, as needed.  At this time, the majority of the student employment positions are laboratory preparation assistants, with a smaller number of secretarial assistants.  Students who are interested in working in the Chemistry Department should fill out the Student Employment Application and return it to the Chemistry Department Office, 541 Science Complex.

The Department of Chemistry is part of the College of Arts & Sciences, 214 Pray-Harrold