Specialty chemicals are specific chemical products many industries rely on for the wide variety of effects these chemicals provide. Specialty chemicals are also referred to as specialties, effect chemicals, or performance chemicals. Companies in the specialties industry are generally looking for strong talent, so they are highly selective when hiring employees. Businesses often prefer to work with specialty chemical recruiters to ensure only the best talent is acquired to fill job roles. If you’re interested in a career in specialty chemicals, then this article will answer essential questions.

The Importance of Specialty Chemicals

Specialty Chemicals are essential to manufacturing and vital to numerous industries. Industrial sectors that depend on these products include automotive, food, aerospace, cosmetics, manufacturing, agriculture, and textiles. Some categories of specialty chemicals include agrichemicals, colors, adhesives, cleaning materials, construction chemicals, and cosmetic additives, to name a few.


While several chemical manufacturers produce consumer goods, such as bleach, cosmetics, and soap, most specialty chemical products are intermediate goods for other products. Further, the production volume for specialty chemical manufacturers is low because such goods are used less frequently. Companies in the industry typically supply chemicals to larger chemical organizations on a contract basis.

Why Work in Specialty Chemicals & Job Prospects

There’s ample opportunity for anyone who wants to get into the specialty chemicals field. The industry is experiencing exponential growth due to a rise in new end-use applications, innovation, growing environmental concerns, and other similar factors.


Opportunities in the specialty chemicals industry include the following, though not a limited list.


  • Account Manager
  • Principal Regulatory Affairs Specialist
  • PSM Engineer
  • Chief Technology Officer
  • R&D Manager
  • Plant Manager
  • Sales and Marketing Manager
  • Sr. Regulatory Affairs Scientist
  • VP Sales
  • Plant Engineer
  • R&D Chemist


The specialty chemicals market is one of the most crucial chemical industry segments across the globe. It’s dominated by large organizations with diversified portfolios, such as BASF, Dow Chemicals, DuPont, Akzo Nobel, and DSM.


Such employers may require the following, but requirements vary by company and the position sought.


  • A secondary or high school diploma.
  • Post-secondary education in sciences or chemical processing.
  • Some experience as a senior operator or staff in another (or same) organization.
  • A specific license or certification may be required, such as landfill, solid waste, or compost facility operator.
  • A valid driver’s license.
  • Good knowledge of chemical processes.


As noted earlier, requirements will vary by company, and the aforementioned isn’t a limited list. One of the best approaches to finding employment in specialties is to connect with specialty chemical recruiters you can trust. The organization may also help you meet specific requirements based on the job role.

Specialty Chemicals Industry Outlook

According to projections, the global specialty chemicals industry will reach $940 billion by 2026, growing at the compound annual growth rate (or CAGR) of 7.5 percent.


That level of growth is, in part, because the specialty chemicals market is majorly consumer-driven. Additionally, growing demand in developing nations for specialty chemicals, such as sealants and adhesives, fuels growth. Other factors include rapid industrialization, a growing construction sector, and increased consumption in certain industries (e.g., automotive, electronics, and medical).


Furthermore, companies in the specialty chemicals industry continue to address growing competitiveness through R&D, introducing more chemical types to the market. These organizations are aggressively adopting new market penetration strategies through business expansion in high consumption economies, such as India and China. They are also expanding production capacities for meeting market and demand, especially in end-user industries.


All of the aforementioned shows that the future of the specialty chemicals market is bright. That means many organizations will require able and talented individuals to fill positions.

Specialty Chemicals Product Insights

The industry as a whole is promising, but what specific areas should candidates pursue employment? Let’s take a look at some key specialty chemicals product insights from Grand View Research‘s report.


Construction chemicals – This area should become one of the most prominent product segments with significant growth projections between 2020 and 2027. Demand for specialized products like water-proofing, repair and renovation compounds, and such others are considerable.


Infrastructural growth – Both developing and developed nations alike are driving infrastructure growth. For example, the United States started more than $1,369 billion worth of construction projects last year, January. A significant step and one that illustrates the demand for specialty construction in North America.


End-use oil and gas – The expansion of refining capacities and shale oil and gas drilling activities has boosted consumption for many end-use products in the industry. The considerable growth in oil refinery across geographies or countries, such as Columbia, China, and Vietnam, drive growth in this sector.


The specialty chemicals industry offers candidates the opportunity to work in diverse and dynamic positions, serving clients worldwide. Chemical products are part of everyday life, used in many business operations and end-user functions. Ideal candidates should have some or all of the skills mentioned earlier, including problem-solving, laboratory techniques, instrumentation, scientific calculations, and others. You’ll also need non-technical skills, such as leadership, time management, oral and written communication, and teamwork, to name a few. Lastly, connect with good specialty chemical recruiters for the best chance of success.