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
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.