Where can I work?

Careers that started in Science is a publication profiling the careers of UQ Science graduates - see where the various programs and majors can lead.

A 2018 analysis of UQ’s StudentHub and GlobalGrad online jobs board and general job search engines found that numerous employers had roles on offer for chemistry and molecular biosciences graduates, including:

  • Agriculture (Monsato, Plant Needs)
  • Animal health (Zoetis Australia)
  • Australian Laboratory Services
  • Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organisation
  • Breweries (CUB, XXXX)
  • Chemicals industry (Intitec Pivot)
  • Commonwealth and State Governments (numerous departments and agencies, including CSIRO, BoM)
  • Education – secondary and tertiary
  • Environmental services/diagnostics (EnvrioNDO, ScienTEST)
  • Energy sector (Shell, BP)
  • Food manufacturing (Heinz, Mars, Peters)
  • Medical research institutes (Garvan, QIMR Berghofer, Victor Chang)
  • Pathology laboratories (Laverty, S&N, QML)
  • Pharmaceuticals (AdAlta, Biomarin, Pfizer, Vitex)
  • Product manufacturing (Glencore, Proctor & Gamble, Unilever)
  • Universities - research
  • Winemakers (Kirhill Wines, De Bortoli)

Opportunities exist in fields where a general molecular science understanding combines with other skills, e.g. patent work; human resources, information technology, marketing, administration or sales work for a scientific organisation; science journalism; law.

The most common relevant Australian employers of graduates from UQ’s School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences (some graduates are employed overseas) are:

Chemical Sciences

Vitex Pharmaceuticals, CSL Ltd, Fawk and Sullivan Australia, Liquimix, Intraceuticals, KPMG Australia, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, Commonwealth, State and Local Government departments, UQ and other Australian universities.

Biochemistry & Cell Biology

CSIRO, Queensland and Australian government departments,, Childrens Cancer Institute Sydney, Australian Wildlife Conservancy, Roche, Thermo Fisher Scientific, UQ and other Australian universities.


Sophia Genetics, Biomarin Pharmaceutical, Reinclonation, Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology, CSIRO,Commonwealth and State Government departments, well-known medical research institutes, various universities, law firms.

Food Science & Biotechnology

Food production companies, Novogene,Patheon Biologics, Swisse, Queensland Health,

UQ and other Australian universities and government agencies.


CSL Behring, CSIRO, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology, QML Pathology, Envirolab Services, Commonwealth and State Government departments, UQ and other Australian universities and research institutes.

What can I earn?

Chemists and molecular biocscientists overall earn a salary 28% above the Australian average.   New graduates can expect to earn around $54,000 in theif first full-time role.  General earnings range as follows:

  • Chemical scientist - $47,321 to $82,841
  • Life scientist (including biochemistry, cell biology, microbiology) - $52,006 to $105,378

The sources for the above figures are Job Outlook (an Australian Government website), MyFuture (a website by Education Services Australia Ltd);  Graduate Careers Australia; PayScale (a global salary indicator including Australia);  Queensland Biomedical and Life Sciences - 10 Year Roadmap (June 2016);  Deloitte Consulting's outlook for life scientists;  European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences;  Queensland State Development discussion paper on biomedical and life sciences.

Bachelor's graduates can go on to qualify as a school teacher.  At July 2017, Payscale reported the median annual salary for a high school teacher in Brisbane as $66,797.

Who can help?

General employment assistance is available to students at the UQ Student Employability Centre's 'Find a Job' Careers Service and the UQ Student Union, including appointments, workshops and online resources.

Industry placements - eligible second and third year, honours and masters students have the opportunity to undertake projects with  industry partners of UQ.  These can be for credit or as vacation or study break options.  For more information, go to the SCMB Study page and click on the program of interest.

Future Scientists Program - second and third year and Honours students have the opportunity to obtain vacation, sandwich semester, or ongoing part-time work experience, particularly in Chemistry, via the Future Scientists program, run by Kelly Scientific, the world's largest scientific staffing firm.

To explore your personal career options, visit www.myfuture.edu.auJoboutlook.gov.au is a careers and labour market research website that gives information on prospects and earings based on keyword occupation search.

Professional associations offer student memberships allowing access to employers, career events and more:

You can also find job advertisements by accessing online employment websites like seek.com.auau.jora.com, adzuna.com.au, researchcareer.com.au and searching with relevant keywords.  You can also subscribe to some of these sites to receive emailed job advertisements based on your chosen keywords.

Opportunities also exist overseas.

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