Not much of what we see in daily life hasn't been touched by industrial chemistry in some way. A hundred years ago, virtually every substance people used was still more or less in its natural form. Today, cheaper and better synthetics dominate our world.
The adhesives, pigments, and plastics we mostly tend to associate with chemistry only scratch the surface, however. You can find chemists in all the following fields:
- Consumer products
- Environmental conservation
- Food and flavorings
- Oil and gas
- Water treatment
- Pulp and paper
and many more.
Chemistry rarely operates in a vacuum. In addition to normally working with other scientists, engineers, and managers, chemists themselves are also very knowledgable about the industry they work in and science in general.
Much of advanced chemistry is based on higher mathematics, so a logical and methodical approach to solving complex problems is a desirable trait in students. The job and training for it naturally entail a great deal of lab work, so manual dexterity and attention to detail are also recommended traits.