Good chemistry

The 21st century promises many mind-boggling developments in the field of chemistry

The modern world – from plastic cups to Viagra to laptops made out of rare organic metals – would be unthinkable without chemistry. But you don't need to be a modern-day Marie Curie to enjoy a satisfying career in the field. People with all types of educational qualifications can find a niche that suits them.

Level 1

Completing high school and getting practical experience through a TAFE Certificate is enough to get work as a pest and weed controller, petroleum and gas plant operator, plastics and composites processor or chemical plant operator. TAFE NSW offers a wide range of courses that can assist you in starting any of these careers.

Level 2

Positions that fall into this category include a primary products inspector, veterinary nurse, water and wastewater plant operator, laboratory worker, food-processing technician and agricultural technical officer. A TAFE qualification with the relevant work placement and practical training should give you the relevant skills and significantly improve your job prospects in these fields.

Level 3

Level 3 jobs require a diploma or advanced diploma and TAFE NSW offers a wide range of related courses for both qualification levels. Some jobs in this category will require a university degree but for others, like a medical laboratory technician, metallurgical technician, enrolled nurse or geoscience technician, a TAFE qualification is sufficient.

Level 4

Jobs like medical practitioner, veterinarian or chemical engineer will require university study. But if you don't make it into your chosen course on the first go, TAFE NSW provides a great pathway, with some qualifications counting as a credit transfer to a future university degree. And there are also a handful of Level 4 jobs – such as forester, nutritionist and winemaker – that a TAFE qualification can prepare you for.

The 21st century promises many mind-boggling developments in the field of chemistry that will undoubtedly offer plenty of work for those in the occupations listed above, not to mention the creation of jobs we can't even imagine yet.