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Good Job Security and Increased Pay in the Chemical Sciences, Pay Report Shows

sponsored by The Royal Society of Chemistry

The Royal Society of Chemistry’s latest employment research is part of our continuing drive to uncover disparity and be the voice of the chemical sciences. The 44th edition of this authoritative report reflects responses from our members across the world to provide benchmarking data for individuals, employers, and recruiters – helping to inform career pathways or inspire the next step for career development.

Beyond that, it’s more than a salary a survey

The report provides evidence that can help drive positive change within the chemical sciences and beyond. The research helps us to understand the challenges, barriers and specific needs of our community, to help develop and deliver support initiatives to continue advancing the chemical sciences. 

  • The full report provides significant detail, but the highlights include: 
  • Pay has increased for survey respondents compared with 2019 
  • Job security has increased by five percent (up to 70 percent) compared with 2019 
  • Leadership, networking and influencing are still the top skills survey respondents want to develop 
  • Home working opportunities have increased compared with 2019  

Inclusion and diversity in the chemical sciences

Ensuring a fair and equal career progression across the chemical sciences is crucial, and the report informs an evidence-based approach to tackling inclusion and diversity. It explores pay gaps, differing experiences for women, people from minoritized ethnic groups, disabled people, LGBT+ people, carers, and those who have taken career breaks. 

It highlights that the chemical sciences still need to address equality issues as women, disabled people, those with caring responsibilities, and LGBT+ people were less likely to agree there are equal opportunities for all where they work, or to feel that their working environment is diverse and inclusive. 

For instance, only 21 percent of disabled respondents held a position of high responsibility compared with 37 percent of non-disabled respondents. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, disabled people experienced more difficulties in developing their skills. The research within this report contributes to making grants and funding available to support these needs and reduce the barriers to skills development. Find out more by visiting

Influencing change

The report findings support the strategy and services offered by our benevolent fund, the Chemists’ Community Fund, our wider membership and our professional development activities. The report plays a key role in our response to current political topics, including advising the UK government on immigration changes, teacher retention, the UK Government’s comprehensive spending review, and other policy priorities. This is part of our wider strategic goal to advocate and be the voice of the chemical sciences community. 

The report has evolved from its roots to serve a larger and more diverse community today. However, the fundamental reasons for collecting and publishing it have not changed since its origins over 100 years ago. The pay and reward survey gives our members the opportunity to showcase the chemical sciences and the many and varied possible career pathways. This is incredibly useful to undergraduate students and those considering a career in chemistry. The data also helps their peers make evidence-based decisions about their careers. 

Key Stats

• Highest paying sectors are the industrial or commercial company (£51,200), public sector (£51,000) and consulting (£47,000). 

• The top three motivations for work: Being passionate about what I do; Doing work that has a positive impact on society; Having autonomy and work-life balance

Download your copy today

If you’re a member, you can access the authoritative report at the following link: If you’re not a member, you can find out more about joining or purchasing the 2021 Pay and Reward Report by visiting whatchemistsearn If you have any queries about the report, or if you’re a member who would like to speak with the Career Management team please contact us ([email protected]).

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