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    Hi, I love Chemistry a lot. It's by far my favourite subject and the one I find most interesting. However, i've been told by my teachers that Chemistry jobs are generally very boring and repetitive. Is this true? and if so there must be exceptions right?
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    (Original post by Billy Bryant)
    Hi, I love Chemistry a lot. It's by far my favourite subject and the one I find most interesting. However, i've been told by my teachers that Chemistry jobs are generally very boring and repetitive. Is this true? and if so there must be exceptions right?
    Jobs are generally boring and repetitive...
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    Well yea but doing something you love should counter that right? Maybe something like a research position would be best for me.
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    Really depends on what you're doing.

    One of the main jobs is organic synthesis for the pharmaceutical industry - basically making molecules in the lab for use as drugs or in drug manufacture and testing. You'd be stood at a bench doing experiments all day, but they'd be slightly different ones each time and you'd be thinking of ways to make new or challenging structures, and using analytical techniques to find out how well the reaction works. Which sounds pretty exciting to me (but then again I'm doing it for a year in september...).

    There's also pure analytical work (taking a sample and doing stuff to it so your big expensive machines can tell you what's in it), inorganic and materials synthesis (making paints, plastics, fertilisers, etc), petrochemicals (everything to do with oil), and research into whatever you feel like. If you enjoy doing something it won't be boring.

    The RSC probably do some materials for students about what careers you can do in chemistry, maybe see if your school have them or drop them an email?
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    (Original post by Preasure)
    Really depends on what you're doing.

    One of the main jobs is organic synthesis for the pharmaceutical industry - basically making molecules in the lab for use as drugs or in drug manufacture and testing. You'd be stood at a bench doing experiments all day, but they'd be slightly different ones each time and you'd be thinking of ways to make new or challenging structures, and using analytical techniques to find out how well the reaction works. Which sounds pretty exciting to me (but then again I'm doing it for a year in september...).

    There's also pure analytical work (taking a sample and doing stuff to it so your big expensive machines can tell you what's in it), inorganic and materials synthesis (making paints, plastics, fertilisers, etc), petrochemicals (everything to do with oil), and research into whatever you feel like. If you enjoy doing something it won't be boring.

    The RSC probably do some materials for students about what careers you can do in chemistry, maybe see if your school have them or drop them an email?
    That's what I do.
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    Chemistry Teacher...x
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    (Original post by Preasure)
    Really depends on what you're doing.

    One of the main jobs is organic synthesis for the pharmaceutical industry - basically making molecules in the lab for use as drugs or in drug manufacture and testing. You'd be stood at a bench doing experiments all day, but they'd be slightly different ones each time and you'd be thinking of ways to make new or challenging structures, and using analytical techniques to find out how well the reaction works. Which sounds pretty exciting to me (but then again I'm doing it for a year in september...).

    There's also pure analytical work (taking a sample and doing stuff to it so your big expensive machines can tell you what's in it), inorganic and materials synthesis (making paints, plastics, fertilisers, etc), petrochemicals (everything to do with oil), and research into whatever you feel like. If you enjoy doing something it won't be boring.

    The RSC probably do some materials for students about what careers you can do in chemistry, maybe see if your school have them or drop them an email?
    I think you meant "stood at a fume hood". We're not allowed to do anything on the bench .

    (Original post by Billy Bryant)
    Hi, I love Chemistry a lot. It's by far my favourite subject and the one I find most interesting. However, i've been told by my teachers that Chemistry jobs are generally very boring and repetitive. Is this true? and if so there must be exceptions right?
    Your teachers are only giving you their personal experience/opinion which you might not share. You can't truly know if you'd like it until you try it although loving chemistry is a good start. My chemistry teacher said he became a teacher because it's really frustrating when reactions don't work but I like the challenge of finding a route that does work.

    Yes, any job will be repetitive to some degree but I find the different kinds of techniques, reactions, purifications, problem solving and work socials to be sufficiently varied that I don't get bored. On the contrary, I find there isn't enough time in the day to do get everything I wanted done because the time goes so fast. I don't think I could stand doing some of the jobs the analytic staff do though but that's just me. I'd go mad if all I did was run the same test mix on the HPLC machines every day, or spend my whole time solving complicated NMRs!
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    (Original post by Kyri)
    I think you meant "stood at a fume hood". We're not allowed to do anything on the bench .



    Your teachers are only giving you their personal experience/opinion which you might not share. You can't truly know if you'd like it until you try it although loving chemistry is a good start. My chemistry teacher said he became a teacher because it's really frustrating when reactions don't work but I like the challenge of finding a route that does work.

    Yes, any job will be repetitive to some degree but I find the different kinds of techniques, reactions, purifications, problem solving and work socials to be sufficiently varied that I don't get bored. On the contrary, I find there isn't enough time in the day to do get everything I wanted done because the time goes so fast. I don't think I could stand doing some of the jobs the analytic staff do though but that's just me. I'd go mad if all I did was run the same test mix on the HPLC machines every day, or spend my whole time solving complicated NMRs!
    Agreed! Even routine testing throws up all sorts of awkward situations: insufficient sample, contaminated sample, samples containing water, samples late, urgent samples, mislabelled samples. Of course it's not the same as every other lab, but that's what I'm experiencing at the moment. You can also move on to repairing different kit, specialising with particular tests, calibration of machinery, stock control, (in the case of refineries and production lines) processes and schedules...
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    try working in the petroleum industry, i'm sure the money would compensate for the boredom
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    (Original post by Kyri)
    I think you meant "stood at a fume hood". We're not allowed to do anything on the bench .
    Yeah I know, didn't know if the OP knew much about lab equipment so I thought I'd keep it simple.
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    Or you could do the sensible thing and do the degree then use it for a good career.
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    (Original post by Kyri)
    I think you meant "stood at a fume hood". We're not allowed to do anything on the bench .
    We are, but I guess that doesnt extend beyond first year
    Your teachers are only giving you their personal experience/opinion which you might not share. You can't truly know if you'd like it until you try it although loving chemistry is a good start. My chemistry teacher said he became a teacher because it's really frustrating when reactions don't work but I like the challenge of finding a route that does work.

    Yes, any job will be repetitive to some degree but I find the different kinds of techniques, reactions, purifications, problem solving and work socials to be sufficiently varied that I don't get bored. On the contrary, I find there isn't enough time in the day to do get everything I wanted done because the time goes so fast. I don't think I could stand doing some of the jobs the analytic staff do though but that's just me. I'd go mad if all I did was run the same test mix on the HPLC machines every day, or spend my whole time solving complicated NMRs!
    I had my doubts n the degree, as the only people who went on to do Chemistry in my circles were my teachers. But my tutor has organised some graduates to come and explain their career progress to us, and it convinced me
    Generally, I think Chemistry jobs are not widely advertised, maybe its due to it being a specific subject (then again its applicable to many everyday things) :dontknow:
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    (Original post by AutVinceriAutMori)
    We are, but I guess that doesnt extend beyond first year

    I had my doubts n the degree, as the only people who went on to do Chemistry in my circles were my teachers. But my tutor has organised some graduates to come and explain their career progress to us, and it convinced me
    Generally, I think Chemistry jobs are not widely advertised, maybe its due to it being a specific subject (then again its applicable to many everyday things) :dontknow:
    You'll probably be doing work on the bench throughout your undergraduate course. This is mainly because there's not enough fume hood space for everyone at the same time and also because you're using known compounds with known hazards. In an industrial lab with health and safety rules to follow you can't do any chemistry on a bench and we're even not allowed to put any chemicals (in bottles) on the benches we sit at.

    Chemistry is, as you said, specific and requires someone with specific knowledge so I've only really seen it advertised at universities or in science magazines/websites like New Scientist. Advertising anywhere else would likely only be reaching people with no knowledge/interest in chemistry.
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    (Original post by AutVinceriAutMori)
    We are, but I guess that doesnt extend beyond first year
    We only work outside of a fume hood when using weak aqueous solutions or things like titrations and solid state chemistry. Any experiment that involves making stuff is in the hood, as you're usually using volatile compounds you don't want evaporating off into the lab. Plus there's the fact that you're heating stuff up and using vacuum, and most of the second year organic stuff is on a Schlenk line anyway.
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    (Original post by Preasure)
    We only work outside of a fume hood when using weak aqueous solutions or things like titrations and solid state chemistry. Any experiment that involves making stuff is in the hood, as you're usually using volatile compounds you don't want evaporating off into the lab. Plus there's the fact that you're heating stuff up and using vacuum, and most of the second year organic stuff is on a Schlenk line anyway.
    I guess your university care more about your health than mine did :p:. It's hardly surprising that I used to leave the lab with a horrid sore throat. Never happens anymore though.
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    (Original post by AutVinceriAutMori)
    Generally, I think Chemistry jobs are not widely advertised, maybe its due to it being a specific subject (then again its applicable to many everyday things) :dontknow:
    Eh? Mars, GSK, Corus, Pzier, Johnson Matthey, AZ, 3M, Kraft... don't advertise?
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    (Original post by Preasure)
    and most of the second year organic stuff is on a Schlenk line anyway.
    Really? I thought that was only done for inorg...?
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    (Original post by Kyri)
    In an industrial lab with health and safety rules to follow you can't do any chemistry on a bench and we're even not allowed to put any chemicals (in bottles) on the benches we sit at.
    Depends on the company.
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    (Original post by Quady)
    Really? I thought that was only done for inorg...?
    Schlenk Lines are used for any synthesis that's air sensitive, and it's a useful way of putting a system under vacuum or nitrogen if you need to.

    We do use them for inorganic and catalyst synthesis but we do a fair bit of organic under nitrogen too. Lots of intermediates in synthesis are oxidised by air or water vapour.
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    (Original post by Preasure)
    Schlenk Lines are used for any synthesis that's air sensitive, and it's a useful way of putting a system under vacuum or nitrogen if you need to.

    We do use them for inorganic and catalyst synthesis but we do a fair bit of organic under nitrogen too. Lots of intermediates in synthesis are oxidised by air or water vapour.

    Organic sythn is usually (in my experience) done using a nitrogen purge through the solution and an outlet rather than going to the whole hog of a Schlenk line. Since org intermediates are not explosive/highly reactive unlike inorg reagents/intermediates. It might help yeild a couple of percent but its not worth it when demonstrating how a reaction works compared to the setup time and safety issues around Schlenk Line.
 
 
 
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