Employability and careers

Career prospects are bright for chemistry and molecular biosciences graduates.

Whichever science courses and programs you undertake, you’ll leave UQ knowing how to think like a scientist and equipped with skills in areas of problem-solving, communication, teamwork, critical thinking and data analysis. These lifelong skills are sought by employers across a range of sectors in Australia and abroad, and you can apply them in scientific roles as well as non-science areas.

You can start planning for your career before you graduate by volunteering, building networks, participating in leadership and personal development programs, and seeking advice from UQ's Careers & Employability team.

    Build your employability

    Visit the UQ Careers & Employability website for advice and resources, including information about:

    • volunteering
    • networking
    • global and work experiences
    • research opportunities
    • mentoring programs and leadership awards
    • career pathways
    • interview advice and what employers look for in a graduate
    • job and internship listings.

    Professional associations

    Sign up for a student membership with one of the professional associations we're linked to.

    Many of them allow access to employers, career events and more.

      Employment options

      Global change has created complex challenges relating to energy, food security and climate change, and worldwide demand for science jobs remains high.

      Many opportunities exist in fields where a general molecular science understanding combines with other skills (for example patent work). 

      Our graduates find employment across a broad range of disciplines and sectors, including most recently:

      • academia and education (school teaching, university tutoring)
      • agriculture and animal health (Elders Rural Services, Kalyx, Monsanto, Zoetis Australia)
      • brewing and winemaking (Carlton & United Breweries, De Bortoli Wines)
      • chemicals industry and pharmaceuticals (CSL Limited, Fawk & Sulllivan, Intitec Pivot, Mylan-Alphapharm, Merck, Pfizer, Roche)
      • environmental services/diagnostics (Envirolab Services, Australian Wildlife Conservancy)
      • energy (Shell, BP)
      • food and product manufacturing (Patheon Biologics, Heinz, Proctor & Gamble, Swisse)
      • government (departments and scientific agencies, such as Queensland Health, Department of Agriculture & Water Resources, CSIRO)
      • healthcare and health technology (Cook Medical, Sophia Genetics, Vaxxas)
      • law and intellectual property (KPMG, private law practices)
      • marketing and science journalism (CSIRO Publishing, Scope TV program)
      • medical research and testing, (QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Children’s Cancer Institute, University research schools and institutes)
      • pathology services (Sullivan Nicolaides, QML Pathology)
      • scientific equipment suppliers (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Australian Laboratory Services).

      Log in to UQ's StudentHub (requires UQ login) to see current job listings for students and graduates.

      Typical salaries

      Chemists and molecular biocscientists typically earn a salary 28 per cent above the Australian average.

      New graduates can expect to earn around $54,000 in their first full-time role. 

      Generally, you can expect to earn:

      • chemical scientist: $47,321 to $82,841
      • life scientist (including biochemistry, cell biology, microbiology): $52,006 to $105,378.

      Source: UQ Careers & Employability team