Salaries higher for new chemistry grads, but job market still soft, C&EN reports

Starting salaries are up for new chemistry graduates, though not as high as in the past, and the job market continues to be tight, according to the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) latest annual starting salary survey, reported in the Aug. 7 issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the Society’s weekly newsmagazine.

The median salary of inexperienced bachelor’s level chemistry graduates increased from $32,500 for the 2004 class to $35,000 for 2005 graduates, from $43,600 to $45,000 for master’s level graduates, and from $65,000 to $72,400 for new Ph.D. graduates for the same period. The median is the point at which half of the salaries are above a certain point and half are below that point. Inexperienced graduates are defined as those with fewer than 12 months of technical work experience prior to graduation.

When inflation is taken into account, however, the median starting salaries for 2005 graduates at all degree levels were still below what they had been for 2000 graduates, indicating a continued soft job market. In addition, the percentage of new 2005 doctoral chemistry graduates with temporary or permanent fulltime employment during the week starting Oct. 5, 2005, was 38 percent, down from 50 percent of the new graduates in 2000. The majority of those not employed were in post-doctoral programs. A total of 9 percent of the new doctoral grads were unemployed.