The median annual wage of chemists was $68,320 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $39,250, and the top 10 percent earned more than $116,130.
Median annual wages in the industries employing the largest numbers of chemists in May 2010 were the following:
|Federal government, excluding postal service||$100,910|
|Research and development in the physical,|
engineering, and life sciences
|Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing||67,540|
|Colleges, universities, and professional schools; state,|
local, and private
The median annual wage for materials scientists was $84,720 in May 2010. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $45,810, and the top 10 percent earned more than $130,070.
Most chemists and materials scientists work full time and keep regular hours, though longer hours are not uncommon.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition