An analytical chemist assesses the chemical structure and nature of substances for a variety of purposes including drug development, forensic analysis and toxicology.
Analytical chemists analyse samples using a range of modern analytical techniques including ion/electro-chromatography, gas/high performance liquid chromatography and spectroscopy. They are employed by a variety of public and private sector organisations, and can specialise in areas such as toxicology, pharmaceuticals, quality control or forensics.
- Using a range of software, techniques and equipment to carry out research and analysis.
- Analysing and interpreting data.
- Making sure that data is accurately recorded in accordance to guidelines.
- Reporting/presenting results.
- Writing research papers, reports, reviews and summaries.
- Keeping up to date with scientific and technical developments.
- Ensuring that health and safety issues are adhered to.
- Preparing product licence documentation.
- Liaising with customers, suppliers and research/scientific staff.
- Developing new analytical methods.
Travel: is limited; work is mainly laboratory based.
Working hours: typically nine to five, with some longer hours depending on deadlines and workload.
Location: Opportunities are available with various government agencies, research organisations, hospitals and consultancies across Ireland and Northern Ireland.
- Government agencies
- Research organisations
A strong academic background is essential; relevant degree subjects are chemistry, applied/analytical chemistry or biochemistry.
A postgraduate qualification in analytical chemistry alongside work experience in a laboratory environment could further career development in the field. HE Institutions such as University College Cork offer suitable courses.