Chemistry is a wide field, and believe it or not, there are many jobs that relate to writing within this discipline. There are customer support writers, report writers, textbook writers, technical writers, research associates, investigations writers, and more. Let’s go into detail about these chemistry writing jobs.
Customer Support Writers
Customer support writers work for chemistry companies and write back to concerned customers about issues they are having with equipment or with other technical issues, such as not understanding terminology. To be in this position, you need to know enough about chemistry to aid people, but being an expert in chemistry is not necessary. Mostly, a customer support writer focuses on the knowledge of specific software, machines, and apparatus.
One good thing about this position is that companies are hiring these individuals consistently, and it might be a good entry-point for your chemistry career. You should have a love of both chemistry and technology, but even a recent college graduate can perform well in this position. Many companies want to hire recent graduates, as they are easier to train and have a desire to grow within a company.
The national salary average for a technical support chemist is around $36,000 a year, which is a cozy salary for a recent college graduate. There is also a lot of room to move up from this position, so your salary will only increase in the coming years if you work diligently. There is nothing demeaning in taking a support position in the early years of your career, or at any time in your career for that matter.
This is one of the most important positions within chemistry. Reports are written for educational institutions, for laboratories, for journals, and for companies. Report writers need to write up what happened during experiments, during tests, and during lectures. Writing reports requires one to know about the structure of reports, and the formatting of them. Each publisher of reports will ask for different requirements. However, there is a basic format that reports are commonly written in:
- Materials and Methods;
- Literature Cited;
Knowing these sections in and out will help you become a competent report writer.
In order to become a report writer within the field of chemistry, it helps to obtain a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree in chemistry to get chemistry writing jobs. Taking an internship within high school and/or college will aid you in your job search, as employers love when recent college graduates have previous experience in report writing. This experience will allow you to feel comfortable when getting hired for a full-time position and be competent enough to handle the workflow you will encounter in new settings.
Report writers usually make between 50,000 to 70,000 dollars a year. This can create a comfortable life and a fulfilling career. Report writers are commonly highly qualified and knowledgeable, so you have to keep this in mind when trying to go for a career as a chemistry report writer.
Within chemistry writing jobs, another common position is the textbook writer. Textbook writers are a staple of the chemistry community, as students must read innumerable textbooks in order to go through their education. Therefore, textbook writers are constantly in demand.
To become a textbook writer for chemistry, one needs to get a degree in either chemistry, writing, journalism, technical writing, editing, communications, or a related degree. Also, doing an internship while getting your bachelor’s or master’s degree is essential to being noticed by employers as a new college graduate for hire. In addition, you need to compile a portfolio of your writing that should be shown to employers. This portfolio should represent your finest work and should be adapted to each job you apply for.
Textbook writers make a stable income, and as was mentioned before, they are in demand. The content may not be deemed exciting or interesting, yet arranging and designing how future students will learn is riveting. Focusing on the idea of how to learn through reading and illustrations can give you inspiration to write a textbook without the headache of boredom. If you are looking for chemistry writing jobs, being a textbook writer is one of the best options.
In terms of chemistry writing jobs, technical writers are essential in the workforce. They write technical documents such as reports, plans, policy documents, guidebooks, website text, and internal company documents that are used for the organization and education of employees. They are the backbone of the writing used in companies for official use.
Technical writing is one of the most in-demand jobs period. Information technology companies vie for technical writers to join their team to compose their documents on websites, for internal use, and sometimes for external use in communication with customers. A technical writer makes anywhere between 50,000 to 100,000 dollars per year, and sometimes more than that. Because of the responsibility and skill that a technical writer needs to possess, they are paid much higher than usual writing positions.
You can get a degree in technical writing, however you can become a technical writer with a degree in journalism, communications, writing, editing, linguistics, and others. There are many paths to become a technical writer, however, focusing on this specialization during your studies is encouraged if you are desiring to become a technical writer straight out of college. Completing internships within companies during your studies will drastically increase your chances to get hired as a recent college graduate. But be warned: companies usually hire individuals who have a plenty of previous experience and a solid portfolio of work. Being a technical writer takes a certain amount of expertise. This is why companies do not commonly hire entry-level technical writers. I know it sounds like a catch-22, where you have to gain experience as a technical writer, but you are not given an opportunity to do so. That is why completing an internship in technical writing is vital.
A research associate seems to be an entry-level position in terms of chemistry writing jobs, but this is not necessarily the case. Usually, you need to have an advanced degree in chemistry, beyond a master’s degree, to become a research associate. Essentially, a research associate works under a principal researcher, but acts as a scholar. They should not be confused with a research assistant, which usually does not have an advanced degree yet.
The good thing about this position is that you will not be explicitly monitored and it is a regular staff position. And sometimes, they will be given independence to complete research. This is an academic research position at an educational institution, and will require the taking of copious notes and the writing of research reports.
Research associates make around 50,000 dollars annually, but it depends largely on location and the capacity of the educational institution that hires you. There is a great opportunity for growth in this position. If you make your mark, you can become a principal researcher, or obtain other positions that monitor the research of others.
Out of all the chemistry writing jobs, this is one of the most interesting and far reaching. An investigations writer within chemistry is not a detective for the police or anything of that sort. Yet, they do act in a similar capacity. They investigate issues with research facilities, with chemical plants, and teams of chemists. They can be journalists, technical writers, or reporters.
They are important in the research process, as without them, bias and cover-ups can run rampant. Reporting on research outside their company’s or institution’s duty can expose the good and bad of chemical research and work within chemistry. There have been many cases of malpractice within research studies and the manufacturing of chemicals in plants. The investigations writer brings a balance to the outlook on these practices.
Since this position is so varied, it is difficult to give an exact salary estimate, though through approximation, we can say investigative writers can make from 40,000 to 1000,000 dollars annually. This is a sizable chunk of change and the position can be rewarding in its challenge and mission. Therefore, becoming an investigations writer within chemistry is a viable choice for experienced writers, researchers, and chemists.
As you have seen, there are many chemistry writing jobs, despite chemistry being deemed as mostly a scientific endeavor devoid of writing. But the most important thing for writers within chemistry is to take internships while studying, to have a solid portfolio of work to show to employers (and being able to adapt it according to each job you apply for), to have a regular practice of writing and editing, and to be knowledgeable in chemistry. With all these things combined, you can easily obtain employment as a writer within the field of chemistry. Being a writer and chemist together form a more complete person: it combines both left- and right-brained activity, which translates into a more interesting work environment and a lifelong career of intrigue.