Starting salaries remain 'depressed' for 2004 chemistry grads

April 18, 2005

When adjusted for inflation, median salaries for 2004 bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. chemistry graduates were about 10 percent below the salaries received by chemists who graduated three or four years earlier, reports Chemical & Engineering News in its April 18 issue. The weekly newsmagazine is published by the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

The report is based on the most recent ACS annual survey of starting salaries and employment for new chemists. This year's survey covers chemists who graduated between July 2003 and June 2004.

In "constant-dollar terms," according to the magazine's report, median salaries remained "depressed." The survey shows a median salary for inexperienced bachelor's graduates with full-time permanent jobs at $32,500, compared to $32,000 for 2002-2003 graduates. Ph.D. graduates' salaries rose from $63,300 to $65,000 over the same period, while salaries dipped slightly from $44,500 to $43,600 for M.A. graduates.

Overall, starting salaries and employment for new chemistry graduates survey "did not get any worse than the previous survey," according to the report, which noted there were even some modest gains.

A total of 38 per cent of 2003-2004 Ph.D. graduates found fulltime employment, compared to 37 percent in the previous 12 months. The gain for bachelors' graduates also was small, up from 24 percent to 25 percent. Master's class employment rose from 41 per cent to 48 percent over this period.
For the full story in C&EN, click on:

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization, chartered by the U.S. Congress, with a multidisciplinary membership of more than 158,000 chemists and chemical engineers. It publishes numerous scientific journals and databases, convenes major research conferences and provides educational, science policy and career programs in chemistry. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

American Chemical Society

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