risk level
Based on 399 votes
by year 2032
or $40.71 per hour
as of 2023

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Automation risk

51% (Moderate Risk)

Moderate Risk (41-60%): Occupations with a moderate risk of automation usually involve routine tasks but still require some human judgment and interaction.

More information on what this score is, and how it is calculated is available here.

Some quite important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Finger Dexterity

  • Originality

  • Social Perceptiveness

User poll

34% chance of full automation within the next two decades

Our visitors have voted there's a low chance this occupation will be automated. However, the automation risk level we have generated suggests a higher chance of automation: 51% chance of automation.

What do you think the risk of automation is?

What is the likelihood that Chemists will be replaced by robots or artificial intelligence within the next 20 years?


The following graph(s) are included wherever there is a substantial amount of votes to render meaningful data. These visual representations display user poll results over time, providing a significant indication of sentiment trends.

Sentiment over time (yearly)


Fast growth relative to other professions

The number of 'Chemists' job openings is expected to rise 6.3% by 2032

Total employment, and estimated job openings

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period between 2021 and 2031
Updated projections are due 09-2023.


High paid relative to other professions

In 2023, the median annual wage for 'Chemists' was $84,680, or $40 per hour

'Chemists' were paid 76.2% higher than the national median wage, which stood at $48,060

Wages over time

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics


Moderate range of job opportunities compared to other professions

As of 2023 there were 83,530 people employed as 'Chemists' within the United States.

This represents around 0.06% of the employed workforce across the country

Put another way, around 1 in 1 thousand people are employed as 'Chemists'.

Job description

Conduct qualitative and quantitative chemical analyses or experiments in laboratories for quality or process control or to develop new products or knowledge.

SOC Code: 19-2031.00


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Leave a comment

G (Highly likely) says
It involves very precise instructions and repeated tasks. It also involves having a wide range of knowledge
Apr 16, 2024 at 04:50 PM
Michael (Highly likely) says
Lab automation systems do already have a high impact on the number of jobs in the sector, especially in the Pharma industry. Analytical chemistry is a little harder to automate than the synthesis branch and might even grow in the future, but the days for synthetical organic chemistry are counted. GMOs do increase the pressure further, since its becoming much cheaper and faster to genetically modify bacteria and fungi into producing your product, than to develop complicated synthesis routes over several steps. Anorganic chemistry and material sciences might become more important, but will not be able to make up for the losses in the organic branch
Feb 29, 2024 at 03:59 PM
Will N (Highly likely) says
Chemistry, like law, is 80% lookup, 10% calculation and 10% inspiration
Jun 02, 2023 at 08:56 PM
Sobes (Low) says
A QC Chemistry Lab is usually run my corporations who would gladly shed as much human capital costs as possible.

There are autotitrators and autosamplers for many different equipment (Dissolution systems, HPLC, GC, UPLC, Mass spec and so on). These technologies have been around for decades yet analysts are still required to prepare samples, analyze them and then interpret and report data .

The two tenants which make a job susceptible to replacent by automation are Predictability and complexity. Some chemical analysis (more specifically wet chemistry, non-instrumental techniques) is more complex than what current automation systems can handle (i.e. chemical digestion of a sample, followed by extraction with a solvent, evaporation of the solvent) also sample quality is unpredictable (hence why QC labs exist, if every manufacturing method was flawless there would be no need for QC/QA).
Mar 07, 2023 at 08:38 AM
MLearry says
The profession of Material Scientists has a 22% representation. A Chemist must take Physical Chemistry, Physics, and an elective related to Physical Chemistry.

Aspects of Inorganic Chemistry, Physical Organic Chemistry, and Polymers (as a part of Organic Chemistry) are very relevant to developing new materials with desirable properties. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in the U.S.A. categorizes Chemists and Material Scientists as one and the same profile.

Job opportunities for Material Scientists do allow Chemists to be considered as Material Scientists when the Chemist has experience and multiple credits in Physical Chemistry, Polymers, and/or Inorganic Chemistry. Many Chemists follow this professional direction. In fact, some departments are even named 'Materials Chemistry'.

This fact indicates that one of these professions has an incorrect percentage representation on this website. Either Materials Science should have 51% (or a percentage much closer to Chemistry) on this website, or Chemistry should have 22% (similar to Materials Science). The large discrepancy simply reflects a mistaken view on the nature of their work.

Chemistry, by default, incorporates aspects of Physical Chemistry applicable to materials. It is suggested to reassess the activities of chemists to correct the percentage that has been flawed in a previous assessment.
Feb 28, 2023 at 07:39 AM
Kyle (Low) says
Aspects definitely will be. I trimmed my own work by 80%. But the core field will be maintained, as I just got to do newer cool stuff instead of banal work
Jun 13, 2021 at 09:43 PM
Anthony says
Seems to be one of the few good things about the chemistry job market. So glad I chose to study something different.
Aug 28, 2020 at 05:38 AM
KPS says
Safer side..... That's good
Jun 21, 2020 at 04:20 PM
Jay (No chance) says
The work of chemists is too technical for AI.
Aug 16, 2019 at 07:34 PM
Álvaro (No chance) says
Scientists will never be replaced by robots
Jul 08, 2019 at 01:55 AM
Ires (No chance) says
Automation will never overtake the job of a scientist
Jun 14, 2019 at 02:29 AM

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