A Service Member in a lab coat

Service Branches

  • navy logo
  • Air Force logo

Work Environment

Chemists in the military work in a variety of settings both indoors and outdoors depending on the area of specialization. Many chemists perform their work in laboratories or offices. Other chemists spend extensive hours outdoors collecting and analyzing data in the field. Although they observe strict safety precautions some chemists may be exposed to hazardous substances.

  • Military Status


  • Median Military Salary This is the median, or the midpoint, of the salary range for this career.


    Military Salary Range Salary varies based on years of service, degree level, special pays, family status and location.

    $55,711 - $250,342


Chemists conduct and advise on research having military and/or medical application, such as protection of personnel from chemical, biological, and radiological agents; development, handling, and use of improved petroleum and synthetic fuels and lubricants; and, purification and control of atmosphere, as on nuclear submarines. Chemists also perform experiments, devise instrumentation and techniques to record and collect test results, correlate and analyze data compiled in research, and brief results.

Military Training

Officers typically enter the Military after they have completed a four-year college degree; enlisted service members can transition to officer positions through a variety of pathways and earn a degree while serving. Job training for chemists primarily consists of classroom instruction and on-the-job learning in various training environments. Like other officers they complete a comprehensive training program covering responsibilities military structure and etiquette traditions and leadership development.

Helpful Attributes

  • Interest in collecting and analyzing data
  • Interest in scientific and technical work
  • Scientific, numerical, and technical skills

Related Civilian Careers

  • Natural Sciences Managers
  • Statisticians
  • Chemical Technicians