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What Do Computational Chemists Do?

Computational chemistry

If you have a passion for programming, chemistry, and experimental research, you could become a computational chemist.

In this blog, we're going to examine the life of a computational chemist, taking a closer look at what they do and the skills and qualifications needed to become one, as well as what salary you can expect.

What is computational chemistry?

Computational chemistry is the process of using high-performance computing to assist in solving chemical problems. For example, you might create and use a simulation to identify how certain sites on protein molecules bind to a new drug molecule and how the new molecule would behave. This reduces the need for practical experiments that could be awkward and costly.

A computational chemist's job description typically includes:

  • Using both software and hardware for data collection and analysis

  • Undertaking statistical analysis of large datasets

  • Designing experiments

  • Providing customer service and sales support

  • Developing synthesis processes

  • Simulating and analysing reaction pathways, molecular interactions, and other chemical phenomena


Computational chemistry careers

There are a number of different career paths available to computational chemists, including:

  • Private or government-funded pharmaceutical research

  • Developing computer codes and algorithms

  • Program administration

  • Academic research

  • Teaching


What skills do I need to become a computational chemist?

In order to become a computational chemist, you'll need more than just computer literacy and a lab coat. Each job will have its own unique set of requirements, but in general, becoming a computational chemist will require:

  • A chemistry PhD
  • Lab experience
  • A coding certification

You may want to consider obtaining experience in more than one coding language to demonstrate your computer literacy and increase your employability.


What is the average computational chemist salary?

As a computational chemist, you can expect a starting salary of around £37,000 per annum, increasing to over £50,000 with experience and seniority.

Find computational chemistry jobs

Here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions, we specialise in helping graduates and professionals to find their dream roles in life science industries such as computational chemistry. Browse the latest UK vacancies now, or get in touch to find out more!

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