• Job outlook is very strong, with a high demand for people with
technical understanding and computer expertise.
• Average annual salary: $84,448 (2007).
• Educational requirements vary considerably, depending on
the specific area in which you want to work. Indexers and
document analysts generally have a bachelor’s degree in
chemistry, although a master’s or doctoral degree may be
required for more specialized work. Additional training and
a master’s degree in library science (M.L.S.) are necessary
to be a chemical librarian in an academic or industrial work
environment, and information specialists in industry often
have an advanced degree in their scientific discipline.
• The ability to efficiently and effectively search for chemical
structures and for biosequences is also a highly desirable skill.
Market researchers, consultants, and individuals in sales and
management positions generally combine their technical
training with a business degree.
• Most jobs require a good deal of reading and analyzing
technical data. Chemistry training is vital to understanding
the material and distilling what is most important from it.
The presentation and organization of information is also a
component of the job.
• Most spend a good deal of the day at their desks, in front
of a computer. Some may travel or work in the laboratory,
depending on the nature of their positions. Because it is a
service industry, there is a high level of contact with other
Most chemical information professionals start out as researchers,
with varying areas of expertise. Over time, they may start
managing other researchers, sometimes taking charge of a division
or an entire library or information center. They may also move into
Future employment trends
The job outlook for chemical information specialists is steady for
the foreseeable future. Since this is a fairly specialized market,
obtaining a position often requires a willingness to relocate.
Computer expertise is becoming a prerequisite, and patent or
intellectual property work is a growing area.