How to become a Cosmetic Chemist

Cosmetic Chemists are responsible for creating and formulating cosmetics and personal care products, such as makeup, soaps and cleansers, toothpaste, sunscreen, deodorant, hair dye, and more. They can be involved in every stage of the process, from initial acquisition of materials right through to the launch of a new product.

If you are curious, creative, and have an interest in chemistry, you might like to consider a career as a Cosmetic Chemist.


About you:


  • Analytical and thorough
  • Curious and inquisitive
  • Excellent problem solver
  • Fantastic communicator
  • Technically minded
  • Can work in teams or alone
  • Safety conscious
  • Can keep up with trends


The job:


  • Mixing raw materials to make new solutions
  • Ensuring products are safe and fit for use
  • Providing technical documentation to support your product
  • Keeping manufacturing areas clean and sterile
  • Brainstorming new product ideas and formulas
  • Investigating new and developing technologies
  • Researching current market trends and demands
  • Streamlining production and manufacturing processes


Lifestyle Impact: Low


  • Part Time opportunities: Low – around 17% of Chemists work part-time (source:
  • Average hours for full-time workers: 43 hours a week, which is around average (source:
  • Chemists’ salary (average) $75,000* per year (source: *Salaries vary depending on your skills and experience.
  • Future career growth: Stable (source:
  • You will be doing most of your work indoors, in laboratories and offices.
  • Your work schedule will most likely follow standard business hours – though you may have to put in extra time and effort if you want to start your own business.


Cosmetic Chemists are most in demand in these locations:


Although there is no data available specifically on Cosmetic Chemists, around 3,700 people worked as General Chemists in 2021 (source: Demand for Chemists is highest in Victoria. Most Chemists work in the Manufacturing and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services industries.


How to become a Cosmetic Chemist in Australia


You will need to complete a VET qualification at minimum in order to work as a Cosmetic Chemist in Australia. Further university-level training can boost your employment prospects.


Step 1 – Complete Year 12 with a strong focus on English, Maths, and Chemistry.


Step 2 – Study a Diploma of Personal Care Formulation.


Step 3 – Consider upskilling with a relevant undergraduate degree, such as Pharmaceutical Science or Chemistry.


Step 4 – Start working as a Cosmetic Chemist and build on your experience.


Step 5 – Consider starting your own business and creating your own line of personal care or cosmetic products.


Find out more here –


Similar Careers to Cosmetic Chemist


Food Technologist

Lab Technician

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Beauty Therapist


Find out more about alternative careers.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


What do Cosmetic Chemists do?


Cosmetic Chemists, also known as Cosmetic Scientists, research and formulate new cosmetics and personal care items.


Which industries employ Cosmetic Chemists?


Cosmetic Chemists work commonly in the Manufacturing and Professional, Scientific and Technical Services industries.


What options are there for career progression?


You might start working as a lab technician, before moving into roles in research and development. You might even like to start your own business and create your own brand of cosmetics or personal care items.


Do I need to go to university to become a Cosmetic Chemist?


Not necessarily – a VET qualification is the minimum requirement, but further university studies can boost your employability.


Where do Cosmetic Chemists work?


Cosmetic Chemists can work in manufacturing plants, laboratories, offices, and more. Demand is currently highest in Victoria, and most roles are in capital cities.


What are 3 things I can do right now to help me become a Cosmetic Chemist?


If you’re in high school and you’d like to find out if a career as a Cosmetic Chemist is right for you, here’s a few things you could do right now:

  1. Start following trends in the cosmetic and personal care industry – see where your interests might lie and where jobs might be growing in the future.
  2. See if you can find work experience or get casual work to start building on important skills that you’ll need for the job.
  3. Talk to a Cosmetic Chemist to see what a day in their life is like. If you don’t know anyone, see if you can watch videos or documentaries about a career in chemistry or manufacturing.

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