Analytical chemists use a diverse range of methods to investigate the chemical nature of substances. The aim of such work is to identify and understand the substance and how it behaves in different conditions.
In the pharmaceutical industry, for example, analytical chemists are involved throughout the drug development process; they study the physical or chemical properties of drug substances and formulations, with a view to determining the quality and stability of drug products.
Analytical chemists may be involved in work as diverse as:
chemical or forensic analysis;
drug formulation and development.
Typical work activities
Techniques used or activities carried out may vary depending on the employer or area of specialism, but may include:
analysing samples from various sources to provide information on compounds or quantities of compounds present;
using analytical techniques and instrumentation, such as gas and high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), ion chromatography, electrochromatography and spectroscopy (infrared and ultraviolet, amongst others);
interpreting data and adhering to strict guidelines on documentation when recording data;
reporting scientific results;
using a range of analytical techniques, instrumentation and software;
developing new techniques for the analysis of drug products and chemicals;
working collaboratively in cross-functional teams;
liaising with customers, staff and suppliers;
being aware of, and keeping up to date with, health and safety issues in all aspects of the work undertaken;
validating methods and equipment.
More senior analysts are likely to be involved in:
This website is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with CSS enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets if you are able to do so.