R&D Chemist 

(Female, Age 38) from Passaic, NJ

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 38 who works as a R&D Chemist in Passaic, NJ. We have removed all names and personal information in order to protect privacy. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete one of our job profile surveys so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job Title R&D Chemist
Salary $65,000
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week 45
Company Size (not answered)
Location Passaic, NJ
Years Experience 13.5 years

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career 0
Education (not answered)
Income Rating 0 / 10
Interest Rating 0 / 10
Work-Life Rating 0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating 0 / 10

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
I work for a small company that does coating and laminating. There are less than 50 people working here and it is a family owned business that was started by the grandfather of the current generation.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
I am the chemist, so I work in the lab on developing new products. I am also responsible for ordering the chemicals for production and I do a lot of data entry for the production processes.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
health insurance, 401K, sick days, vacation

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
under compensated

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
Yes, I work with the guys in production and the secretary. I usually enjoy working with others, but there are days when people are over-stressed and then it is more difficult to get things done.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
I have an office and a lab, but I also work in the factory sometimes. The lab is a bit small and could use more equipment. The office is rather large, but needs better organization – that’s my fault because I just put stuff down when I get interrupted and then it gets messy. The factory is noisy and rather dismal with concrete floors and cinder block walls. It’s cold in the winter and hot in the summer and the machines can be rather loud.

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 5
Benefits: 7
Hours: 6
Co-Workers: 3
Supervisors: 4
Job Title: 8
Level of Responsibility: 2
The Actual Work: 1

A day in the life of…

Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:

5am to 6am
6am to 7am
7am to 8am
8am to 9am Leave to go to work. Arrive at work. Get coffee and say hi to people. Check email.
9am to 10am Some data entry. Put samples in oven for later use. More data entry. Get some safety equipment delivered to another employee.
10am to 11am Check and calibrate CEM (Continuous Emissions Monitor) a pollution control device. First reading good, second way off. Notice the temperature is very low, so call for service and order new part. Finish calibration and check rest of readings.
11am to 12pm Talk to boss about samples in oven and CEM part on order. Pick up paperwork and samples from yesterday’s production. Sort paperwork.
12pm to 1pm Data entry from paperwork. Give boss some samples to look at. File paperwork that I’m done with.
1pm to 2pm More data entry. Lunch. Give boss more samples. More data entry. Get phone call about chemicals being delivered. Arrange for someone to unload the truck. Get paperwork from delivery.
2pm to 3pm Call to order some more chemicals. Check email. Forward the important one. Receive a sample that came UPS – it came quickly. More data entry.
3pm to 4pm Personal phone call. More data entry. Drop off paperwork for the slitting department. Get chemicals from oven to make samples. Let samples dry. Talk to accounting about the new account I need to get set up.
4pm to 5pm Test samples. More data entry. Check email. Talk to night shift. Remind them about filling out paperwork properly. Call vendor about mal-functioning piece of equipment and arrange for a new one.
5pm to 6pm Check email. More data entry. Leave to go home.
6pm to 7pm
7pm to 8pm
8pm to 9pm
9pm to 10pm
10pm to 11pm
11pm to 12am

Table of Contents

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?

What was the application process?
Phone call, application, interview, second interview

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
I had to interview first with my boss. During the interview, a machine problem came up, so he asked me to come back the next day for a second interview. The next day, I had an interview with my boss’s brother and then a second interview with my boss. I was hired part time in the second interview and then a week later I was asked to work full time.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
The only question I really remember was my boss asking if I knew anything about latex. I said sure, it’s generally called paint and you put it on walls.

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes, there really wasn’t too much that I needed to learn to do.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
Other than the knowledge that I had from college, this job had minimal training. I was shown how to use a few tools in the lab and a few other tools in the factory.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
Yes, I have a fairly broad-based engineering degree that allows me to understand the mechanical aspect of most of the equipment I work with. I also have enough of a background in chemistry to do the basic chemistry needed for this job.

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
Get an education and look at smaller companies. You might have to start part time or know someone that already works for the company.

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
The ability to think logically and quickly. Knowledge of chemistry and machinery. Do not be afraid of machines and have some mechanical ability.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
yes, at least a bachelor’s degree

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
Listen to the people that have been there for a while. You can learn from anyone, so don’t talk down to someone with a lesser education. Learn how to deal with the day to day and then worry about learning how to deal with problems.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
Yes, I enjoy my job and I am still learning new things. When I stop learning, then it will be time for a change.

What are your current career goals?
I want to keep learning and keep earning. I could work at another company, but at this point, this company is meeting my major requirement of keep learning.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
I have really only worked at one company and although there are bad days, there are more good days than bad. I will move on when the bad outweighs the good.

Prior work history

Please list your most recent jobs prior to this current job:

Title Length Salary Description
Prior Job 1 Student Assistant 2 years n/a I worked for the Residence Halls office while I was a graduate student. I was responsible for scheduling the empty dorm rooms for guest use and cleaning by the janitorial crew. I also would go around with the exterminator to open the dorms for spraying. I counted and deposited the money received from the guests. I also helped hand out keys and fill out maintenance requests.
Prior Job 2 Student Assistant 4 years n/a I worked for the Office of the Dean for Student Affairs. I did filing, answered phones, made copies and did general clerical work. I helped keep track of incoming freshman classes and was on hand during freshman orientation to help.

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:3.8

GPA School Degree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
3.5 Stevens Institute of Technology Bachelor of Engineering in Chemical Engineering with a Minor in English and American Literature
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)
3.6 Stevens Institute of Technology Master of Engineering in Chemical Engineering with a concentration in Polymer Engineering

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