Wondering when you’ll ever use chemistry?

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Chemists are not the only people who need to understand chemistry. In fact, if you’ve ever cooked a meal, baked a cake, cleaned a pool, painted your nails, or mixed concrete then you’ve used chemistry.

In chemistry, we explore the elements that make up our world and how they interact. And we’re not just talking about lithium or helium, we’re talking about the elements that make up the places where you live, the things you eat, and your own body.

Here are 5 jobs that rely on their chemistry training:

  1. Hairdressers
  2. Concreters
  3. Medical Staff
  4. Forensic Scientists and Criminologists
  5. Cosmetic Chemists

You’ll start learning about chemistry before you’ve even realised that’s what you’re doing, when you learn about how ice forms (and melts), or how you can mix flour, sugar, eggs, and butter to make cake. Later on, you’ll start to learn about the individual elements and how they can be combined to make more complex chemical structures, and if you study engineering, science, or medicine once school is over then you will need to expand on your knowledge even further.

When will I use chemistry in real life?

Most adults use chemistry every day to clean their skin and teeth, prepare food, take medication, and keep their homes clean. You might not think about it very much, because in many cases someone else has put the chemicals together and given you instructions to know what to do with them, but it’s important that you have an understanding of how it works, otherwise you have no way of knowing what you are using, and you need to trust the manufacturer.

5 jobs that use chemistry

You’ll also probably use chemistry at work – and there are lots of jobs that require a basic knowledge of chemistry. Here are some interesting jobs that use chemical principles everyday:

  1. Hairdressers

If you become a hairdresser you’ll use chemicals to treat and dye your customers hair, so it’s important that you understand what they do and how they work. Some chemicals react when mixed, so you’ll need to know when this is likely to happen and what you can do about it.

  • Concreters

You’ll need to know how to mix the right combination of chemicals and materials to create concrete for a variety of situations, and you’ll also need to understand how environmental factors, such as the air temperature, affect the concrete.

  • Medical staff

Nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and other people who administer medication need to understand the chemicals that are involved in their production, and how they interact with each other. They also need to be able to calculate the right amount of each medication to suit their patient’s condition.

  • Forensic Scientists and Criminologists

They need to identify unknown chemicals and use a variety of testing methods to uncover what has happened.

  • Cosmetic Chemists

These scientists use chemicals to create fragrances, make-up, and skin-care products. They may work for a manufacturer creating products, be involved in designing and creating new products, or part of a quality testing an assurance team.

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