We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How do I Become an Organic Chemist?

By Vicki Hogue-Davies
Updated Feb 23, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Organic chemists work with carbon compounds to develop and improve upon common products, such as detergents, cosmetics, plastics and more. They work for drug and biotech companies, at government agencies and in universities. To become an organic chemist, a bachelor's degree in organic chemistry — or a degree chemistry with study in organic chemistry — usually is the minimum education necessary. Most often, a doctoral degree is desired by employers, especially for organic chemists who will conduct advanced research, lead interdisciplinary teams and teach. According to the American Chemical Society, organic chemistry has the most doctoral degree graduates of any chemistry discipline in the United States.

Hundreds of colleges and universities offer undergraduate programs in chemistry and advanced degree programs in organic chemistry. To prepare yourself for obtaining a degree to become an organic chemist, you should study chemistry, other basic sciences and math in high school and develop strong computer skills. Organic chemists often use three-dimensional computer modeling to aid in studying complex molecules and work with sophisticated computerized instruments in the laboratory.

During your undergraduate years, look for opportunities to work in summer internships. An internship will provide hands-on training, possibly help you make contacts for future employment and can give you insight into career paths and what level of degree to pursue. Many people in the organic chemistry field who have bachelor's degrees work as research assistants, so the ability to follow direction and work on a team is important. People who obtain their doctoral degree often work in leadership roles, overseeing research and product development teams. To work in this role, leadership and motivational skills are needed.

Organic chemists often work on teams, but they also work independently, so having a flexible personality to work in either environment is a good prerequisite to become an organic chemist. Other characteristics helpful to become an organic chemist are good reading, writing and overall communication skills. A desire to work with your hands as well as your brain is important if you want to become an organic chemist, because you might spend a great amount of time in a hands-on laboratory environment.

Having some understanding of other chemistry disciplines and areas such as business and marketing can be important for an organic chemist. Organic chemists increasingly work as part of interdisciplinary teams to conduct research and develop products. For an example, an organic chemist might need to understand the identity of compounds as prepared by an analytical chemist or understand how a particular product will be received by consumers.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.