Chemistry

The Elements of Success in Chemistry Start with the Knowledge in this Program

Looking over a CWI student in a science lab adding liquid to a beaker

Program Overview

Embark on a fascinating journey into the world of chemistry at College of Western Idaho (CWI), where you are the center of a unique educational experience. You will experience an in-depth exploration of the physical and chemical laws that govern our world. Here, you will dive into subjects like organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, and biochemistry, laying a strong foundation for your academic and career aspirations.

At CWI, your education is both comprehensive and tailored to your needs. With small class sizes and accessible faculty, you will receive the personalized attention and support necessary for success. The Chemistry program is not just about mastering chemical concepts; it's about preparing you for higher studies and careers in various fields like healthcare, research, and environmental science.

Degree or Certificate Type

Associate of Science

Academic Certificate

Time to Complete

0.5 – 2 years

Primary Location

Two CWI students in lab coats and safety glasses in a lab

Learning Opportunities

  • In-Depth Chemical Knowledge: Gain a thorough understanding of various chemical principles.
  • Hands-On Laboratory Experiences: Develop practical skills through laboratory work.
  • Foundation for Advanced Studies: Prepare for further education in chemistry or related disciplines.
  • Personalized Learning Path: Benefit from the guidance of dedicated faculty and tailored course options.
  • Pathway to Diverse Careers: Equip yourself for a range of careers in science and technology.

Area of Study

Degrees & Certificates

Chemistry – Associate of Science Degree

Biotechnology Laboratory Assistant – Academic Certificate

A grooup of people in lab coats and one is looking at the camera

Career Opportunities

  • Secondary School Teachers, Except Special and Career/Technical Education

    Teach one or more subjects to students at the secondary school level. Excludes “Career/Technical Education Teachers, Secondary School” (25-2032), “Special Education Teachers” (25-2050), and “Substitute Teachers, Short-Term” (25-3031).

    264

    Annual Openings*

    $23.82

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $49,546

    Annual Median Salary

    12.88%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians

    106

    Annual Openings*

    $21.35

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $44,408

    Annual Median Salary

    20.37%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Biological Technicians

    Assist biological and medical scientists. Set up, operate, and maintain laboratory instruments and equipment, monitor experiments, collect data and samples, make observations, and calculate and record results. May analyze organic substances, such as blood, food, and drugs.

    58

    Annual Openings*

    $15.15

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $31,512

    Annual Median Salary

    21.23%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health

    Conduct research or perform investigation for the purpose of identifying, abating, or eliminating sources of pollutants or hazards that affect either the environment or public health. Using knowledge of various scientific disciplines, may collect, synthesize, study, report, and recommend action based on data derived from measurements or observations of air, food, soil, water, and other sources. Excludes “Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists” (19-1023), “Conservation Scientists” (19-1031), “Forest and Conservation Technicians” (19-4071), “Occupational Health and Safety Specialists” (19-5011), “Fish and Game Wardens” (33-3031), and “Forest and Conservation Workers” (45-4011).

    35

    Annual Openings*

    $30.65

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $63,752

    Annual Median Salary

    13.54%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Engineers, All Other

    All engineers not listed separately. Excludes “Sales Engineers” (41-9031), “Locomotive Engineers” (53-4011), and “Ship Engineers” (53-5031).

    28

    Annual Openings*

    $48.86

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $101,629

    Annual Median Salary

    25.83%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Soil and Plant Scientists

    Conduct research in breeding, physiology, production, yield, and management of crops and agricultural plants or trees, shrubs, and nursery stock, their growth in soils, and control of pests; or study the chemical, physical, biological, and mineralogical composition of soils as they relate to plant or crop growth. May classify and map soils and investigate effects of alternative practices on soil and crop productivity.

    25

    Annual Openings*

    $37.20

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $77,376

    Annual Median Salary

    5.96%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Natural Sciences Managers

    Plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, statistics, and research and development in these fields. Excludes “Computer and Information Systems Managers” (11-3021) and “Architecture and Engineering Managers” (11-9041).

    23

    Annual Openings*

    $45.78

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $95,222

    Annual Median Salary

    26.85%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Chemists

    Conduct qualitative and quantitative chemical analyses or experiments in laboratories for quality or process control or to develop new products or knowledge. Excludes “Biochemists and Biophysicists” (19-1021) and “Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers” (19-2042).

    23

    Annual Openings*

    $29.87

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $62,130

    Annual Median Salary

    17.56%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Chemical Technicians

    Conduct chemical and physical laboratory tests to assist scientists in making qualitative and quantitative analyses of solids, liquids, and gaseous materials for research and development of new products or processes, quality control, maintenance of environmental standards, and other work involving experimental, theoretical, or practical application of chemistry and related sciences.

    22

    Annual Openings*

    $18.79

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $39,083

    Annual Median Salary

    13.45%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Biochemists and Biophysicists

    Study the chemical composition or physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, growth, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, serums, hormones, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.

    13

    Annual Openings*

    $51.72

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $107,578

    Annual Median Salary

    26.37%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Forensic Science Technicians

    Collect, identify, classify, and analyze physical evidence related to criminal investigations. Perform tests on weapons or substances, such as fiber, hair, and tissue to determine significance to investigation. May testify as expert witnesses on evidence or crime laboratory techniques. May serve as specialists in area of expertise, such as ballistics, fingerprinting, handwriting, or biochemistry.

    11

    Annual Openings*

    $24.10

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $50,128

    Annual Median Salary

    15.26%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Chemical Engineers

    Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, plastics, detergents, cement, paper, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.

    9

    Annual Openings*

    $62.82

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $130,666

    Annual Median Salary

    16.61%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Food Scientists and Technologists

    Use chemistry, microbiology, engineering, and other sciences to study the principles underlying the processing and deterioration of foods; analyze food content to determine levels of vitamins, fat, sugar, and protein; discover new food sources; research ways to make processed foods safe, palatable, and healthful; and apply food science knowledge to determine best ways to process, package, preserve, store, and distribute food.

    8

    Annual Openings*

    $31.56

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $65,645

    Annual Median Salary

    16.7%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Geological Technicians, Except Hydrologic Technicians

    Assist scientists or engineers in the use of electronic, sonic, or nuclear measuring instruments in laboratory, exploration, and production activities to obtain data indicating resources such as metallic ore, minerals, gas, coal, or petroleum. Analyze mud and drill cuttings. Chart pressure, temperature, and other characteristics of wells or bore holes.

    5

    Annual Openings*

    $23.85

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $49,608

    Annual Median Salary

    10.71%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Hydrologic Technicians

    Collect and organize data concerning the distribution and circulation of ground and surface water, and data on its physical, chemical, and biological properties. Measure and report on flow rates and ground water levels, maintain field equipment, collect water samples, install and collect sampling equipment, and process samples for shipment to testing laboratories. May collect data on behalf of hydrologists, engineers, developers, government agencies, or agriculture. Excludes “Hydrologists” (19-2043).

    4

    Annual Openings*

    $28.28

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $58,822

    Annual Median Salary

    -7.13%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Museum Technicians and Conservators

    Restore, maintain, or prepare objects in museum collections for storage, research, or exhibit. May work with specimens such as fossils, skeletal parts, or botanicals; or artifacts, textiles, or art. May identify and record objects or install and arrange them in exhibits. Includes book or document conservators.

    3

    Annual Openings*

    $18.12

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $37,690

    Annual Median Salary

    26.25%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

  • Materials Scientists

    Research and study the structures and chemical properties of various natural and synthetic or composite materials, including metals, alloys, rubber, ceramics, semiconductors, polymers, and glass. Determine ways to strengthen or combine materials or develop new materials with new or specific properties for use in a variety of products and applications. Includes glass scientists, ceramic scientists, metallurgical scientists, and polymer scientists.

    2

    Annual Openings*

    $39.64

    Hourly Median Wage*

    $82,451

    Annual Median Salary

    9.06%

    Growth (2021 – 2031)*

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*Data sourced from Lightcast™ (2023), a global leader in labor market analytics, and limited to the state of Idaho. Contact CWI Institutional Research for questions regarding this data.

Admissions

Step 1

Step 2

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Academic CalendarNew Student Checklist

Clubs

Green beaker bottle icon
Chemistry Club

College of Western Idaho's Chemistry Club brings students together with common interests to exchange ideas and further enhance their careers in chemistry.

News

Adjunct Faculty, Dr. Ray Walsh’s, Magnetic Coulomb Barrier was awarded first place at the American Academy of Physics Teacher’s Apparatus Competition.

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Join University of Idaho professor, Jason Barnes, April 13 to learn more about the Dragonfly space mission, a project to explore Titan, Saturn’s largest moon.

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CWI is excited to offer paid summer research opportunities for students through the Idaho INBRE Research Program. Apply by March 18.

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College of Western Idaho INBRE students showcase work examining the physiological effect of social media on people.

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Faculty who teach General Education courses recognized for exemplary teaching, creativity, excellence, delivery, and service.

Read more about GEM Awards for Excellence

College of Western Idaho is excited to offer paid summer research opportunities for students through the Idaho INBRE Research Program.

Read more about INBRE: Paid Summer Research Opportunities

Visiting Scientist, Dr. Carolyn Hovde Bohach, to present, "A Scientific Journey: Cattle, The Silent Resevoir of E. coli", Nov. 29. 

Read more about Visiting Scientist Series Welcomes Dr. Carolyn Hovde Bohach

Recruits learn valuable skills during Basic Fire School, hosted annually at the College.

Read more about Recruits Learn to Battle Flames

College of Western Idaho student, Jacob Tenorio, makes history during the Pacific Northwest LSAMP Conference.

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The mention of bed bugs causes most people to cringe, but College of Western Idaho (CWI) alumna Leticia Camacho, had a group of fellow scientists laughing as she played a YouTube video of bed bug...

Read more about 2017 Summer Research Community Symposium

A group of students and faculty from College of Western Idaho (CWI) recently attended the 2017 Idaho INBRE* Statewide Research Conference.

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