What do chemists do for a living? 

Expert Answers
kuprus05 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Nowadays, many chemists are employed to operate a range of devices that can be used to identify unknown substances. One of the most widely used, High Performance Liquid Chromatography, is tied to a Mass Spectrometer. The HPLC is used to separate a mixture of substances, and the Mass Spec is used to determine the identity of each of the unknown substances. This can be useful as the previous responder mentioned in forensics where samples are collected from crime scenes. With more and more monitoring of waste water, wetlands, and consumer products, chemists are enlisted to identify and quantify unknown substances all the time.

udonbutterfly | Student

A chemist is usually someone you can catch doing constant experiments and constant researching chemical substance. There are many types of chemist like...

Biochemist who only work with chemicals that can be found in living organisms like asprin and dna matter.

Or delve even further into in a biochemist there would the Neuro-chemist who deals with the nerves in the human bodies nervous system.

thewanderlust878 | Student

A chemist is a specialization of a scientist. Chemists usually deal with different types of chemical substances in their everyday work. That is, after all, what they went to school for! It also depends on what type of chemist one is in order to determine what they do for a living. In a more general sense, chemists do research and try to get a better understanding of chemical itself. For example, forensic chemists work with the law enforcement in order to solve cases. If there is a substance found at a crime scene, it is the forensic chemist's job to figure out what that substance is. Sometimes they can tell easily, other times they would have to break the compound down and figure it out from its most basic form. Some of the more popular jobs chemists have include being a:

  • forensic chemist
  • biochemist
  • neuro chemist
  • nuclear chemist
  • theoretical chemist

If you would like more information on what different chemists in different fields do, I suggest taking a look at the link posted below. 

Hope this helps!