What’s it like Working in a Chemical Sales Job?

Amy Hawthorne

by Amy Hawthorne

27th September 2012

Cat Bridges from ReAgent explains some of the technicalities of working in sales for a chemical company.

My Chemical Background

When I started working at ReAgent 2 years ago, I hadn’t studied Chemistry since I left school where fortunately I had a brilliant, enthusiastic teacher who used to set her arm on fire to demonstrate how alcohol burns! After that Chemistry always stuck in my mind and quickly became one of my favourite subjects. However, my job is a lot more extensive and over two years I have gained a vast amount of knowledge about basic Chemistry and its applications (without setting anyone on fire!).

Safe Transport

Within the Sales Team here at ReAgent, we have to make a number of responsible decisions about each new order that comes in. For example, have you ever considered the legalities of transporting the many chemicals we sell? Of course not – well, why would you? It is our job to make sure that they get to you safely, so we only use ADR licensed transport companies (Accord Dangereuses Route – French for ‘Carriage of Dangerous Goods’ – or words to that effect) to get your hazardous chemicals to you, and registered carriers for everything else.

Dealing with Legalities

Not only are there various laws to abide by when selling chemicals, either to businesses or to the general public, we also have a moral obligation not to sell certain chemicals that are not covered by the law. This being the case, when distributing a controlled substance, we ask all our customers to fill out a declaration form so we have an understanding of how the chemical is going to be used and by whom. This is important, as certain innocent sounding chemicals can be used and combined to produce drug precursors, or even worse, explosives for example.

Pronunciation and Spelling of Chemical Names

One thing I have learned is that pronunciation and spelling are very important. There is a big difference between Sodium Chlorite and Sodium Chloride as one is a disinfectant and the other you put on your chips. You don’t want to get that confused!

But then also there are different names for the same thing; for example, Hydrochloric Acid is also known asMuriatic Acid and Deionised Water is the same as Demineralised Water but is different from Distilled Water – still with me?

Chemistry is COOL

Finally, Chemistry is cool – providing you are responsible, that is!

Find out more about careers in chemistry in our chemistry careers resources hub.


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