Many years ago, finding work in Nigeria as a university graduate was not an easy task. After several years of school, study, and professional training, many graduates still have to wait to get a job.
The reason for the job scarcity isn't necessarily due to the absence of vacancies, but because of the lack of some essential job-seeking knowledge. Many graduates leave school without adequate information on the job opportunities waiting for them outside.
Undoubtedly, there are several types of jobs available to chemistry graduates in Nigeria. You can work as a research specialist, chemical engineer, pharmaceutical chemist, geochemist, or analytical chemist.
You can also work in various industries like food, energy, petroleum, and healthcare. If you do not want to ply your trade in the labour market, you can decide to embark on a teaching or academic career.
In essence, chemist careers in Nigeria are numerous, and the onus is on you to choose what suits you best. In this article, we wish to discuss the different industrial opportunities and chemist careers in Nigeria.
Requirements for Working as a Chemistry Graduate
No matter the types of jobs available to chemistry graduates in Nigeria, there are common requirements that you must fulfil in order to stand a chance.
First and foremost, you must start your preparation from junior secondary school. At this stage, your focus must be on subjects like English, mathematics, integrated science, and introductory technology.
After a three-year stay in junior secondary school, you will proceed to senior secondary school to complete your secondary education.
At the senior level of your secondary education, your focus must be scoring high in subjects like English, mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology. You need to have a minimum of five credits in these subjects to qualify for university admission.
At the end of your secondary education, you must apply to a university such as the University of Lagos or any other tertiary institution in other parts of the country to study courses like basic or industrial chemistry, chemical engineering, or in some instances, biochemistry.
Studying any of these courses will make you eligible for several chemistry graduate jobs in Nigeria. The programme duration ranges from four to five years, depending on the course type and university.
All you need to apply for admissions are your academic qualifications, like five O' level credits and a pass mark in the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).
Typically, your application will be considered within a few months, and a list of successful applicants will be pasted. During your stay at the university, you will learn research skills, industrial application of basic chemical reactions, and laboratory administration.
At the end of your four-year or five-year university stay, you will be awarded a B.sc Hons or B.eng Hons, or B.ED Hons depending on the specific course. The B.eng Hons is specific to people who studied chemical engineering.
As soon as you complete your Bachelor's degree, you can go for an optional postgraduate course or try your luck in various industrial positions. As a graduate, having a postgraduate degree increases your chances of getting one of the available jobs for chemistry graduates in Nigeria.
You can also attend a one-year training programme or a one-year professional course in research and laboratory skills.
These extra certificates are optional but will undoubtedly increase your chances of getting one of the available jobs for chemistry graduates in Nigeria.
Apart from these academic qualifications, you must also have some skills to be eligible for several chemistry graduate jobs in Nigeria.
One of the essential skills is logical and analytical thinking. A chemist must be able to come out with reasonable conclusions from various industrial applications and research. I
t would help if you also were armed with virtues like patience and teamwork. The reason is that no matter the level of your education, you need people's help to thrive in your professional career.
Find more as a chemistry graduates - what does the future hold for you on superprof.
Hiring a Private Chemistry Tutor With Superprof
As we noted above, you must have good scores at all levels of your education if you wish to venture into any of the career options for chemist graduates. One of the best ways of upgrading your scores in science or engineering courses is by hiring a private tutor.
You can get a science tutor with international exposure on Superprof. It is a platform that many students and graduates use to get a personal science tutor and career mentor that is experienced in various career options for chemist graduates.
You can search for other professional chemists on the platform without any fees or hidden costs as a chemist.
All you need to do is visit their official website and search for a preferred mentor. On your first visit, you can read through their profiles to get more information about their academic qualifications, career pursuits, and training fees or costs.
You can also set up a free trial class to ascertain your compatibility with the science tutor. However, certain training fees and costs are attached to getting mentorship or tutorials on the platform.
These fees and costs depend on the training mode, duration, and frequency. The tutor will prepare special training modules for you after the first encounter.
The training modules will depend on your level of education, career requirements, time, and work demand. If you have more time on your hands, you can apply for physical sessions. However, many students prefer online sessions due to limited time and flexibility.
The good news is that the first lesson with any Superprof tutor is free!
Working as a Chemistry Research Specialist
One of the best careers for chemistry graduates is research. Many graduates with a degree in chemistry want to work in a laboratory where they can use their skills to develop new theories, products, and machines. Research chemists usually have a postgraduate degree or a professional certificate in the field.
Other optional requirements include fluency in English, a certificate in professional courses or other science courses.
These professionals have the opportunity to work in private and public owned laboratories in Lagos state or other regions, higher institutions, local and international pharmaceutical firms, energy industries, and environmental agencies.
The task description of a research chemist is to write papers, reports, and various information in a laboratory. They are also responsible for setting up a laboratory where they will carry out various experiments and record their data after careful analysis.
These experts are also a key staff of most international companies, universities, and government ministries.
You can apply to any private or public firm in Lagos, Oyo, or other parts of the country. You should be ready to incur some costs as part of the requirements.
Other information about new opportunities in this niche can be found on the web. You can visit some international company websites to check for openings.
Working as a Chemical Engineer
You. can also ply your trade as a chemical engineer. The field combines two core sciences that deal with chemical plant design and other engineering applications. You must have spent some time in university studying chemical engineering if you wish to work in this field.
Many years ago, few institutions offered this course in the country, but the story has changed over time. The task description of these experts is to create safety procedures and use various separation techniques to solve various scientific puzzles.
They are also required to create training modules for other experts in the field.
Work opportunities for these engineers can be found in private and public laboratories, pharmaceutical companies, environmental agencies, food and energy corporations.
You can learn more about becoming a chemical engineer in our other article.
Working as a Pharmaceutical Chemist
Working as a pharmaceutical chemist is also one of the most lucrative careers for chemistry graduates in Nigeria. The requirements for getting a position like this include having a degree in courses like chemical engineering, pharmacy, or industrial chemistry.
You must also be fluent in English which might be part of the optional requirements in some firms.
Many years ago, there were very few local pharmaceutical firms in Nigeria. Now, we have many local and international firms, especially in Lagos state, looking for students and graduates. The application process usually involves some costs and fees after you apply to your preferred firm.
The task description of pharmaceutical chemists is to produce new drugs, study their properties, and use previous information to improve drug quality. An expert in this field is required to create new training modules for other enthusiasts in the field.
These experts are also required to study raw materials and explore their medicinal purposes for a long time. The field is similar to other niches that study drugs like pharmacology and toxicology.
You can ply your trade-in public agencies or other new private pharmaceutical firms.
Working as an Analytical Chemist
People who have a degree in chemistry can also work as analytical chemists in laboratories. The requirements are similar to other sub-specialities in this field. Their task description is to analyze raw materials and reagents used in various industries.
As such, work opportunities for these specialists include positions in public and private laboratories, energy and food industries.
To sum it up, it is apparent that chemistry graduates in Nigeria can ply their trade in almost every industry that has anything to do with science. They can look for positions in waste management agencies, petroleum mining firms, and geochemistry agencies.
A simple visit to the websites of various firms and industries will go a long way in knowing existing vacancies.
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