Chemical sciences

Industry Sector


Scotland has a world-class research base with a reputation for making pioneering advances in chemical engineering.  

Chemical sciences range from biotechnologies and pharmaceuticals – creating medicine, agrichemicals – like pesticides and fertilizer, and pigments, to refining and petrochemicals. 

In this industry, you could work for a global business like Ineos, DSM, SASOL and Syngenta or innovative Scottish companies such as Ingenza and Celtic Renewables. 

The industry now

  • Scotland is home to a diverse community of around 240 chemical sciences companies 
  • As of 2020, there are 11,600 people working in chemical science across lots of different roles. The median salary for advertised roles in this industry is £30,000 
  • This industry, alongside the life sciences industry, contributed £4,798m to the Scottish economy in 2020, it’s increased by 22% from 2010 


*Information provided by Oxford Economics, Burning Glass Technologies, and Scottish Enterprise

The future

Due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic, the jobs market is constantly changing. All future figures are estimated:

  • There are lot of ways to get into the chemical sciences industry from Modern Apprenticeships to graduate roles 
  • Some of the key skills required to succeed in a chemical science career are teamwork, project management and customer service