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A college degree is necessary to become a formulation scientist. Researchers in this field develop new product formulations for a wide variety of products, from cosmetics to therapeutic medications. Many colleges and universities have programs that offer sufficient preparation to people who are interested in this field of chemistry. It also is possible to pursue additional training outside of school in specific topics through the sponsorship of an employer or scientific organization. The pay scale for formulation scientists is quite variable, depending on what kind of work they do and where they live.
High school students who think that they might want to go into formulation science should consider taking extra math and chemistry classes. They should apply to colleges and universities that have strong chemistry programs. If possible, it helps to attend a school that specifically offers a degree in formulation science, because this might provide the best education for someone who wants to become a formulation scientist. Students who are not sure about where to go might consider looking at the curriculum vitae of formulation scientists who work in the positions in which they are interested, to see where those scientists went to school.
While in college to become a formulation scientist, it might be advisable to look into internship and cooperative education opportunities. These allow students to get real-world experience and might provide a chance to explore different careers in formulation science. For students who intend to go on to graduate school, these experiences can also help with the development of research topics. Internship listings usually are available through department offices as well as professional organizations.
A college graduate might be able to become a formulation scientist with an undergraduate degree. Many firms hire people with bachelor's degrees to engage in basic formulation activities. Over time, these employees can become more skilled and can engage in more complex, challenging tasks. For other positions, a graduate degree is necessary to become a formulation scientist, and it might be helpful to have a doctoral degree and sometimes some post-doctorate experience.
Graduate degrees can provide more opportunities to a person who wants to become a formulation scientist. They offer a chance to engage in advanced research and might provide more professional connections. Graduates can work in academia, training other chemists and formulation scientists, or they can pursue government or private sector work. Many formulation scientists also belong to professional organizations to have access to conferences, trade publications and other resources that might be useful for continuing education. Research in this field is constantly advancing, and it is important to keep up with events.