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.

Graduate Careers Australia conducts a Graduate Outcomes Survey annually.  It asks recent graduates if they are working, seeking work or studying.  For those working, information about job title and employer is collected.  For the five years up to 2015 (latest available data), it showed that the most common relevant Australian employers of UQ SCMB graduates were:

  • Biochemistry & Cell Biology – CSIRO; Australian, State and local governments; QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute; Conservation Volunteers Australia; Eco Networks; universities
  • Chemical Sciences – Alphapharm; Dyesol (solar energy); Fawk and Sullivan Australia; Coim Group Pty Ltd; KPMG; Commonwealth, State and local Governments; universities
  • Genetics – Nephrocare; SNORE Australia; Sullivan & Nicolaides Patholgy;  CSIRO, Commonwealth and State governments; QIMR Berghofer Medical Reserch Institute; law firms; universities
  • Microbiology – CSIRO; Glaxo Smith Kline; Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology; QML Pathology; QIMR Berghofer; ELISA Systems Pty Ltd; Commonwealth, State and local governments; universities and other research institutes
  • Food Science & Biotechnology (grouped together) – Queensland Health; various food production companies; Symbio Laboratories; a number of government agencies; universities and research/medical institutes.

A 2017 analysis of UQ's StudentHub online jobs board found that roles offered to 'biological and chemical sciences' graduates in recent years were with numerous employers, including:

  • Australain Laboratory Services
  • Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organisation
  • Australian Government (several departments and agencies, including CSIRO)
  • Canstar Pty Ltd
  • Carlton & United Breweries
  • Education/research sector (secondary and tertiary)
  • Garvan  Institute of Medical Research
  • Kraft/Heinz Australia
  • Mars Australia
  • Max Biocare
  • Merck
  • Monsato
  • Nestle Australia Ltd
  • Pepsico
  • Pernod Ricard Winemakers
  • Proctor & Gamble
  • QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute
  • Roche Australia
  • ScienTEST Analytical Services
  • Shell and BP
  • State Government departments and agencies
  • Symbio Laboratories
  • Unilever
  • Wineaway Pty Ltd
  • Woodside Energy

Career prospects are bright for graduates of chemistry and molecular biosciences.  Job market projections indicate that there will be high demand world-wide for science jobs.  Global change is creating enormous challenges relating to energy, food and climate change.

In a multi-disciplinary world, chemistry and molecular biosciences play a key role in ensuring breakthrough outcomes in many fields including food, energy, biosecurity, health, water and resources efficiency.  In particular, there are growth areas in biotechnology, chemical, pharmacuetical and food procesing industries, environmental protection, resource management, and areas focusing on responses to climate change and alternative energy.

The Bachelor of Science degree is a generalist degree - it gives you job capability skills to work in non-science areas too.  You are taught to think like a scientist and you can apply the skills of problem solving, communication, teamwork, critical thinking and data analysis to all sorts of jobs.  These lifelong skills are sought by employers far and wide.

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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