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NOC 2021 Version 1.0


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21101 – Chemists

Chemists conduct research and analysis in support of industrial operations, product and process development, quality control, environmental control, medical diagnosis and treatment, biotechnology, nanotechnology and other applications. They also conduct theoretical, experimental and applied research into basic chemical and biochemical processes to create or synthesize new products and processes. They are employed 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.


Example titles

  • Agricultural chemist
  • Analytical chemist
  • Bioanalytical chemist
  • Biochemist
  • Chemist
  • Clinical chemist
  • Coatings chemist
  • Electrochemist
  • Environmental chemist
  • Food chemist
  • Inorganic chemist
  • Medicinal chemist
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopist
  • Oceanographic chemist
  • Organic chemist
  • Organic mass spectrometrist
  • Organometallic chemist
  • Pharmacological chemist
  • Physical chemist
  • Polymer chemist
  • Quality control chemist
  • Research chemist
  • Soil chemist
  • Textile chemist
  • Theoretical chemist

Main duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:
  • Analyze, synthesize, purify, modify and characterize chemical or biochemical compounds
  • Develop and conduct programs of analysis to ensure quality control of raw materials, chemical intermediates or final products
  • Conduct programs of sample and data collection and analysis to identify and quantify environmental toxicants
  • Conduct research to develop new chemical formulations and processes and devise new technical applications of industrial chemicals and compounds
  • Conduct research to discover, develop, refine and evaluate new products such as those used in nanomedicine, nanoelectronics and other applications of chemistry
  • Conduct 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
  • May participate in the commercialization of new products
  • May supervise other chemists and chemical technicians and technologists.

Employment requirements

  • A bachelor's degree in chemistry, biochemistry or a related discipline is required.
  • A master's or doctoral degree is usually required for employment as a research chemist.
  • Licensing by a provincial association of chemists is required in Quebec and available but voluntary, in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia.

Additional information

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


Breakdown summary

Broad occupational category
2 – Natural and applied sciences and related occupations
1 – Occupations usually require a university degree
Major group
21 – Professional occupations in natural and applied sciences
Sub-major group
211 – Professional occupations in natural sciences
Minor group
2110 – Physical science professionals
NOC 2021 Version 1.0
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