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PHYSICAL CHEMIST: Solving Scientific Problems

About this video 

As a physical chemist, a diverse set of skills is necessary to be successful. Not only is a love of science and math required but also a strong command of reading and writing in order to do work and then convey that work to others. The career objective involves solving a problem and helping others through the use of applied science.

Degree: Chemistry
Job Title: Physical Chemist

Job Summary: Chemists and Materials Scientists

Job Description

Chemists and materials scientists study the structures, compositions, reactions, and other properties of substances. They use their knowledge to develop new and improved products, processes, and materials.

On-the-Job Training

None

Quick Facts

Average salary
Average salary
National Statistic Change Location
Confirm
$40,000 - $120,000
Projected job growth
Projected Job Growth
0 to 10 percent
Typical schedule
Typical schedule
Full-time
Typical workplace
Typical workplace
Indoor, Office, Home, Travel, Physically demanding
Personal qualities
Personal Qualities
Analytical skills, Mathematical skills, Problem solving skills, Public speaking ability, Teamwork, Verbal communication skills, Written communication skills
P3.instances[0].transcript.parse_transcript_data({"transcript":"<p><span m='926'>Hi,</span> <span m='1389'>my name is</span> <span m='1852'>Dan,</span> <span m='2315'>and I</span> <span m='2778'>am a</span> <span m='3241'>physical</span> <span m='3704'>chemist</span> <span m='4167'>at a</span> <span m='4630'>university</span> <span m='5040'>in</span> <span m='5450'>the</span> <span m='5770'>San</span> <span m='5990'>Francisco</span> <span m='6380'>Bay</span> <span m='6610'>Area.</span> <span m='7335'>And</span> <span m='7760'>I</span> <span m='7940'>went</span> <span m='8230'>through</span> <span m='8990'>college</span> <span m='9510'>to</span> <span m='9620'>get</span> <span m='9890'>a</span> <span m='9940'>degree</span> <span m='10260'>in</span> <span m='10400'>chemistry,</span> <span m='11150'>and then</span> <span m='11640'>I</span> <span m='11770'>went</span> <span m='12110'>into</span> <span m='12350'>graduate</span> <span m='12770'>work</span> <span m='13630'>at</span> <span m='13720'>another</span> <span m='13980'>California</span> <span m='14450'>university.</span> <span m='15490'>And</span> <span m='15630'>finally,</span> <span m='16030'>I'm</span> <span m='16210'>now</span> <span m='16379'>doing</span> <span m='16670'>post</span> <span m='17010'>doctoral</span> <span m='17390'>research,</span> <span m='17880'>or</span> <span m='17990'>research</span> <span m='18480'>for a</span> <span m='18600'>living,</span> <span m='19410'>at</span> <span m='19460'>one of</span> <span m='19590'>the</span> <span m='19630'>local</span> <span m='19880'>universities.</span> <span m='20275'>And</span> <span m='20670'>so</span> <span m='20830'>my</span> <span m='20980'>typical</span> <span m='21400'>week</span> <span m='21670'>is</span> <span m='22170'>basically</span> <span m='23020'>trying</span> <span m='23330'>to</span> <span m='23380'>solve</span> <span m='23700'>a</span> <span m='23840'>problem with</span> <span m='24240'>science</span> <span m='25000'>that</span> <span m='25380'>concerns</span> <span m='26060'>energy</span> <span m='26610'>for</span> <span m='26690'>the</span> <span m='26760'>rest</span> <span m='26990'>of the</span> <span m='27120'>world.</span> <span m='27870'>And</span> <span m='28140'>that's</span> <span m='28360'>what</span> <span m='28480'>I</span> <span m='28550'>do</span> <span m='29020'>five,</span> <span m='29360'>six</span> <span m='29755'>days</span> <span m='30150'>a week.</span> </p><p><span m='31330'>My</span> <span m='31450'>career</span> <span m='31840'>path</span> <span m='32140'>to</span> <span m='32220'>get</span> <span m='32430'>there,</span> <span m='32590'>as</span> <span m='32740'>I</span> <span m='32780'>said,</span> <span m='33130'>is</span> <span m='33260'>basically</span> <span m='33940'>in</span> <span m='33980'>high</span> <span m='34170'>school</span> <span m='34540'>working</span> <span m='34890'>on</span> <span m='35240'>math</span> <span m='35545'>and</span> <span m='35850'>science.</span> <span m='36960'>And</span> <span m='37120'>of</span> <span m='37200'>course,</span> <span m='37460'>other</span> <span m='37640'>things</span> <span m='37860'>you</span> <span m='37940'>may not</span> <span m='38160'>think</span> <span m='38680'>are</span> <span m='38800'>important to</span> <span m='39220'>science,</span> <span m='39650'>but</span> <span m='40096'>reading,</span> <span m='40542'>writing,</span> <span m='40988'>and</span> <span m='41434'>communicating,</span> <span m='42330'>and</span> <span m='42480'>basically</span> <span m='42930'>getting</span> <span m='43600'>a</span> <span m='43690'>bunch</span> <span m='44030'>of</span> <span m='44100'>skills</span> <span m='44700'>that</span> <span m='44830'>allow</span> <span m='45110'>you</span> <span m='45360'>to do</span> <span m='45590'>your</span> <span m='45740'>work</span> <span m='46160'>and</span> <span m='46420'>then</span> <span m='46680'>convey</span> <span m='47170'>your</span> <span m='47290'>work</span> <span m='47710'>to</span> <span m='47810'>people</span> <span m='48200'>who</span> <span m='48390'>aren't</span> <span m='48920'>working</span> <span m='49180'>in your</span> <span m='49440'>area.</span> <span m='49725'>That's</span> <span m='50010'>very</span> <span m='50410'>important.</span> <span m='51300'>So</span> <span m='52370'>again,</span> <span m='52680'>build</span> <span m='52930'>up</span> <span m='53040'>a</span> <span m='53120'>skill</span> <span m='53450'>set</span> <span m='53840'>that is</span> <span m='54280'>very</span> <span m='54510'>diverse</span> <span m='55210'>in</span> <span m='55860'>not</span> <span m='56260'>just</span> <span m='56580'>being</span> <span m='56845'>able to</span> <span m='57110'>do</span> <span m='57250'>what</span> <span m='57400'>you</span> <span m='57530'>do,</span> <span m='58180'>but</span> <span m='58330'>also</span> <span m='58830'>talk</span> <span m='59080'>to people</span> <span m='59482'>about it.</span> <span m='59884'>And</span> <span m='60286'>that's</span> <span m='60688'>very important,</span> <span m='61090'>and not a</span> <span m='61250'>lot</span> <span m='61420'>of</span> <span m='61480'>people</span> <span m='61930'>tell you</span> <span m='62380'>to do.</span> </p><p><span m='63730'>My</span> <span m='63840'>motivation</span> <span m='64480'>was,</span> <span m='65010'>I</span> <span m='65110'>guess</span> <span m='65400'>I</span> <span m='65459'>really</span> <span m='65759'>liked</span> <span m='66060'>science</span> <span m='66450'>class.</span> <span m='66980'>It was</span> <span m='67310'>neat,</span> <span m='67770'>you had</span> <span m='67970'>different</span> <span m='68730'>problems</span> <span m='69330'>and</span> <span m='69440'>challenges,</span> <span m='70140'>and</span> <span m='70220'>if one</span> <span m='70540'>challenge</span> <span m='70940'>didn't</span> <span m='71650'>specifically</span> <span m='72500'>interest</span> <span m='72910'>you,</span> <span m='73380'>there</span> <span m='73480'>was</span> <span m='73590'>another</span> <span m='73870'>one</span> <span m='74030'>a</span> <span m='74080'>week</span> <span m='74280'>later.</span> <span m='74680'>And</span> <span m='74880'>so</span> <span m='75160'>it's</span> <span m='75400'>nice</span> <span m='75680'>to</span> <span m='75760'>be</span> <span m='75880'>able</span> <span m='76000'>to</span> <span m='76050'>help</span> <span m='76330'>people</span> <span m='76970'>with</span> <span m='77530'>the</span> <span m='77760'>challenges</span> <span m='78180'>that</span> <span m='78380'>science</span> <span m='78715'>brings.</span> </p><p><span m='79790'>And</span> <span m='79960'>then</span> <span m='80140'>finally,</span> <span m='80480'>what</span> <span m='80720'>I kind</span> <span m='80920'>of</span> <span m='80950'>wish</span> <span m='81250'>I</span> <span m='81340'>would</span> <span m='81710'>have</span> <span m='81890'>known</span> <span m='83300'>was</span> <span m='83480'>that</span> <span m='84060'>just</span> <span m='84390'>because</span> <span m='84680'>you</span> <span m='84830'>want</span> <span m='85030'>to</span> <span m='85410'>do</span> <span m='85580'>something</span> <span m='86010'>in</span> <span m='86110'>science</span> <span m='86550'>doesn't</span> <span m='86860'>mean you</span> <span m='87170'>just</span> <span m='87490'>work</span> <span m='87840'>on</span> <span m='88040'>that</span> <span m='88270'>area</span> <span m='88470'>of the</span> <span m='88740'>science.</span> <span m='88995'>It's</span> <span m='89250'>actually</span> <span m='89570'>very</span> <span m='89910'>important</span> <span m='90175'>to</span> <span m='90440'>be</span> <span m='90690'>very broadly</span> <span m='91440'>skilled</span> <span m='92480'>and</span> <span m='92520'>get</span> <span m='92750'>a</span> <span m='92810'>diverse</span> <span m='93310'>set</span> <span m='93600'>of talents.</span> <span m='94690'>Mainly,</span> <span m='95070'>like</span> <span m='95290'>I</span> <span m='95320'>said,</span> <span m='95730'>reading</span> <span m='96040'>and</span> <span m='96150'>writing.</span> <span m='96430'>I</span> <span m='96560'>hated</span> <span m='96900'>reading</span> <span m='97340'>and writing</span> <span m='97760'>when I was little.</span> <span m='97910'>I</span> <span m='98230'>wish</span> <span m='98600'>I</span> <span m='98800'>had done</span> <span m='99240'>a lot more</span> <span m='99680'>reading and writing.</span> </p><p><span m='100560'>Other</span> <span m='100820'>things</span> <span m='101140'>that are</span> <span m='101210'>kind</span> <span m='101680'>of</span> <span m='101800'>specific</span> <span m='102180'>to science,</span> <span m='102390'>I wish</span> <span m='102660'>I'd done</span> <span m='103075'>a little more</span> <span m='103490'>electrochemistry</span> <span m='104160'>or</span> <span m='104230'>some</span> <span m='104440'>of</span> <span m='104560'>this,</span> <span m='105350'>and</span> <span m='105470'>I</span> <span m='105530'>didn't</span> <span m='105770'>see</span> <span m='106000'>that</span> <span m='106290'>in the beginning.</span> <span m='106650'>And</span> <span m='107010'>so</span> <span m='107520'>the main</span> <span m='107750'>point</span> <span m='108060'>is,</span> <span m='108600'>always</span> <span m='109040'>talk</span> <span m='109540'>to</span> <span m='109800'>older</span> <span m='109920'>people</span> <span m='110450'>who are</span> <span m='110700'>kind</span> <span m='111010'>of</span> <span m='111070'>doing</span> <span m='111350'>what you</span> <span m='111630'>do</span> <span m='112070'>and</span> <span m='112420'>ask</span> <span m='112750'>them</span> <span m='112890'>that</span> <span m='113110'>question,</span> <span m='113505'>what do they</span> <span m='113900'>wish they would have</span> <span m='114295'>done?</span> <span m='114690'>And I</span> <span m='114850'>wish</span> <span m='115130'>I would</span> <span m='115210'>have</span> <span m='115550'>gotten</span> <span m='115890'>advice from them.</span> </p><p><span m='116230'>So</span> <span m='116920'>my</span> <span m='117000'>advice</span> <span m='117380'>is,</span> <span m='117590'>if</span> <span m='117700'>you</span> <span m='117880'>like</span> <span m='118120'>things</span> <span m='118420'>in</span> <span m='118520'>high</span> <span m='118680'>school</span> <span m='119030'>or</span> <span m='119180'>college,</span> <span m='120160'>talk</span> <span m='120410'>to</span> <span m='120490'>people who</span> <span m='120850'>do</span> <span m='120960'>those.</span> <span m='121500'>See</span> <span m='121900'>what</span> <span m='122240'>they</span> <span m='122570'>say</span> <span m='122810'>is</span> <span m='123080'>their</span> <span m='123170'>biggest</span> <span m='123670'>talent,</span> <span m='124030'>what's</span> <span m='124485'>their</span> <span m='125070'>main</span> <span m='125310'>point</span> <span m='125560'>that helps</span> <span m='125890'>them</span> <span m='126470'>work</span> <span m='126680'>during</span> <span m='126890'>the</span> <span m='126970'>day,</span> <span m='127400'>and then</span> <span m='127820'>try</span> <span m='128180'>and</span> <span m='128280'>do</span> <span m='128400'>that,</span> <span m='128729'>and</span> <span m='128949'>then</span> <span m='129030'>most</span> <span m='129350'>of all</span> <span m='129615'>just</span> <span m='129880'>listen.</span> <span m='130620'>And</span> <span m='131110'>you'll</span> <span m='131280'>get</span> <span m='131450'>through</span> <span m='131750'>and be a</span> <span m='133050'>very</span> <span m='133220'>successful</span> <span m='133680'>person</span> <span m='133980'>in life.</span> </p>","file":{"id":167947,"video_id":"2700505149001","name":"121589357","duration":134652,"thumbnail_url":null}});