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Career Map: Chartered Chemist

This document was developed in August 2014. The information is accurate at time of writing. Requirements may have changed by the time you apply. Before completing your application, please refer to the website of the Association of the Chemical Profession of Ontario for the latest information or contact the Association directly.

Copyright in this Career Map is held jointly by the Queen’s Printer for Ontario and the Association of the Chemical Profession of Ontario, © 2014. This Career Map may be used or reproduced by any third party for non-commercial, not-for-profit purposes, provided that no fee, payment or royalty of any kind shall be charged by the third party for any further use or reproduction of the Career Map by any person. Any proposed commercial or for-profit use or reproduction of this Career Map requires a written license from the Queen’s Printer for Ontario and the Association of the Chemical Profession of Ontario.

The Professional Chemist in Ontario

Professional chemists search for and use new knowledge about chemicals to improve the way we live. Chemists monitor and safeguard the environment, the workplace and consumer goods. They often work in teams with other chemists, chemical engineers, and chemical technicians.

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) developed by the Government of Canada defines chemists this way: "Chemists conduct research and analysis in support of industrial operations, product and process development, quality control, environmental control, medical diagnosis and treatment, biotechnology and other applications. They also conduct theoretical, experimental and applied research into basic chemical and biochemical processes to create or synthesize new products and processes. Chemists are employed in research, development and quality control laboratories; chemical, petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries; mineral, metal and pulp and paper industries as well as in a wide variety of manufacturing, utility, health, educational and government establishments." (NOC Code: 2112 Chemists)

The Association of the Chemical Profession of Ontario (ACPO), legally constituted in 1963 by provincial legislation, sets strict academic standards for its members and monitors their professional and ethical conduct. Members of the Association hold the title “Chartered Chemist” and are permitted to use the designation C.Chem. after their names. The Right to Title for a Chartered Chemist in Ontario as set out in accordance with the Act of 1984, "An Act respecting the Association of the Chemical Profession of Ontario".


The Association is directed by a Council, elected from the membership of the Association. Up to three (3) non-members may be appointed to the Council, but may not hold office. The President of the Association is the Chair of the Council.

Code of Ethics

The Code of Ethics of the Association of the Chemical Profession of Ontario provides guidelines to ensure that Chartered Chemists in Ontario adhere to high ethical standards of practice to protect the public, themselves and their colleagues.

The Code of Ethics instructs that all Chartered Chemists shall:

  • place the public welfare above any consideration of self-interest and resolve any conflicts in favour of the public good;
  • ensure that environmental and ecological concerns are taken into account in the performance of their duties;
  • protect the public welfare through cooperation with government, enforcement and consumer agencies;
  • report to the appropriate regulatory agency, without fear or favour, any deliberate breach of standards which may endanger the safety and welfare of the public;
  • present a good image to the public by maintaining high ethical standards of practice.

Duties of Chartered Chemists to themselves are: to maintain a high level of competence by continuing education throughout their practice.

Also, the Chartered Chemist has the duty, specified by the Code of Ethics, to safeguard the employer and fellow workers.

Requirements For "Right to Title"

The "Right to Title" for a Chartered Chemist in Ontario, as set out in accordance with the ACPO Act, entitles a member to use the title of Chartered Chemist or C. Chem. when representing themselves in professional matters. This is a symbol of professional integrity that colleagues, employers, and the informed public trust and regard as an assurance of the quality of services provided.

The abbreviation C. Chem., on a business card or at the end of a report or letter, indicates that the chemist has met the exacting acceptance standards of the Association, and recognizes the responsibility of performing all chemical duties in accordance with the Association’s Code of Ethics, to safeguard the public, the employer, the chemist and fellow workers.

Employers are asked to encourage their eligible chemists, who are members of the Association, to use the C. Chem. designation on business cards and on letters and documents, to demonstrate that the company employs individuals of the highest academic, ethical and professional standards.

Individuals who possess the following academic qualifications or training and experience may be admitted as members (work experience based on 40 hours per week):

  1. An Honours undergraduate degree or its equivalent from an accredited university program in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, or the Chemical Sciences, plus two years of work experience acceptable to the Association. Post-graduate training will be credited as equivalent to work experience.
  2. Other academic qualifications, such as a three-year undergraduate degree with a major in Chemistry, extensive work experience (minimum 5 years), and a record of professional competence in the chemical field as evidenced by publications or patents.
  3. Individuals who have at least six years of acceptable experience in the chemical field, but who do not possess the above academic qualifications, may qualify for membership by passing the Graduate Record Examination®, Chemistry Section.
  4. In specials cases, the Board of Examiners may present individuals to the Council for consideration based on their exceptional contributions to the science of chemistry as recognized by their peers.

Educational Requirements for "Right to Title"

The following is a list of the number of units required in Chemistry (for all applicants, whether specialized in Chemistry, Biochemistry, Chemical Engineering, etc.)

  • General Chemistry (1 lecture unit & 1 lab unit)
  • Organic Chemistry (1 lecture unit & 1 lab unit)
  • Inorganic Chemistry (1 lecture unit & 1 lab unit)
  • Analytical Chemistry (1 lecture unit & 1 lab unit)
  • Physical Chemistry (1 lecture unit & 1 lab unit)
  • One additional lecture unit and lab unit from the following: Biochemistry, Natural Products, Polymers, Microbiology, Pharmacy, Photochemistry, Physical Chemistry, Transition Metals, Materials Science, Advanced Instrumentation, Electrochemistry, Industrial Chemistry, Geochemistry, Spectroscopy, Solid State, Statistics, Others.
  • Two units from Pure or Applied Mathematics
  • One unit from Calculus-based Chemistry: Thermodynamics, Quantum Chemistry or Physics, Field Theory, Fluids Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics, Electro kinetics

Typically, a full unit is a course given all year long (30 weeks) for 3 hrs/week, and represents 90 hrs of instruction. Thus, 5 full units (450 hours) in the subject areas, 5 lab units (450 hours), and 2 advanced units (180 hours) add up to 12 full units, a total of about 1,100 hours in chemistry.

An Honours Degree in Chemistry normally includes 2 full units (180 hours) in pure or applied mathematics, and 1 full unit (90 hours) in calculus-based chemistry, for a total of 15 full units (1,350 hours).

The Honours Degree prepares the graduates of these programs to practice their profession in a competent and ethical manner, and obtaining this degree also helps to maintain national standards of education in chemistry.

An Honours Degree in Chemistry is comprised of: 1 full lecture unit (2 terms) and 1 full lab unit in each of 5 areas (General, Organic, Inorganic, Analytical, Physical Chemistry), plus ½ unit in Biochemistry or equivalent, ½ unit advanced course and 1 unit lab with a major proportion of chemistry.

In order to evaluate the qualification of candidates for full membership, the Board of Examiners of the ACPO uses the same definition for Honours Degree as that given by the Canadian Society for Chemistry which is responsible for the accreditation of undergraduate chemistry programs in Canadian universities.

Language Proficiency

The ACPO does not require that applicants, for whom English is a second language, pass a language proficiency exam. However, working as a Chartered Chemist in Ontario may require excellent oral and written English language skills. Applicants might want to consider upgrading their English skills if required to work in Ontario. See the Contact and Resources section of the Career Map for information on where you can take English as a second language courses in Ontario.

Professional Affiliation

There are three categories of membership available for the ACPO:

  1. Full Member of the ACPO:
    These are individuals who have satisfied the formal requirements of the Association and are eligible to call themselves Chartered Chemists and to use the abbreviation C. Chem. after their names;
  2. Associate of the ACPO:
    These are individuals who are working as chemists, or in chemistry-related fields, and are in the process of fulfilling the formal requirements for membership;
  3. Affiliate of the ACPO:
    These are student members currently studying chemistry, biochemistry or chemical engineering in an accredited university program in Canada.

Application Process

You may obtain information about applying to the ACPO and request an application package from the ACPO main office at:

1 Yonge Street, Suite 1801
Toronto, ON M5E 1W7
Phone: 1-416-364-4609 or 1-800-260-0992
or the ACPO’s Website:

To apply to the ACPO from within Ontario or from wherever you are currently residing, the following information must be submitted:

  1. A completed application form which includes addresses, educational information, work information, your signature and two signatures from professional references.
  2. Certified copies of all degrees. Submit copies of original documentation in their original language of instruction. If these documents are in a language other than French or English, you must provide an official translation in English or French certified by the issuing institution such as a lawyer, a notary, or a commissioner of oaths.
  3. An original or certified copy of your university transcript(s) showing grade or standing received in each subject.
  4. A copy of your resume.
  5. A $90.00 cheque made out to the "Association of the Chemical Profession of Ontario".
  6. A copy of the degree evaluation done by an ACPO approved firm if you hold a degree obtained from outside of Canada.

You can obtain information regarding the assessment of your degree under "Foreign Credentials Recognition" on the Canadian Information Centre for International Credentials (CICIC) website or receive certification of your education from the Comparative Education Service (CES) or the World Education Services-Canada (WES Canada). See the Contact and Resources section of the Career Map.

Please allow approximately two (2) months for ACPO assessment results once we receive all your documentation, including: your complete application, accompanying documents, and the applicable fee. If your application package is incomplete it will take longer, so make sure that you include all the necessary documents. Wherever possible, you will receive the results of the assessment by e-mail and mail.

Appeals can be directly submitted to the Chair of the ACPO Board of Examiners.

Fees and Dues

Application Fees schedule effective for the current Membership Year:
ACPO Application Fees Fees:
C. Chem. $90
Out of Province C. Chem. $90
Associate $90
Affiliate No fee
  1. Application fee is non-refundable and must accompany the application for registration. Incomplete forms may be returned and an additional fee charged to the applicant.
  2. The appeal’s fee to the Board of Examiners is $90, but is refundable if the appeal succeeds.

All cheques for membership application, together with a completed application, should be sent to the ACPO main office at:

1 Yonge Street, Suite 1801
Toronto, ON M5E 1W7

Annual Membership Dues effective for the current Membership Year:
ACPO Annual Membership Dues Fees:
C. Chem. $150
Out of Province C. Chem. $150
Associate $75
Affiliate Free
Retired C. Chem. $45

Please note: Membership dues are payable upon receipt of your invoice, which is issued annually. The dues are tax deductible, subject to current tax laws in Canada.

Replacement Stamps and Certificates are available to Chartered Chemists at $60 each.

All cheques for annual membership dues should be sent to the ACPO Payment Office at:

ACPO Payment Office
P.O. Box 61515
1119 Fennel Avenue East
Hamilton, ON L8T 5A1

Member Benefits

For information about membership benefits such as Right to Title, Career Transition Services, Chartered Chemist Newsletter and a list of local ACPO councillors, visit the ACPO.

Labour Market Information

Chemists’ salaries vary according to their levels of experience.

The primary occupation to look for is Chemist (National Occupational Classification (NOC) Code 2112); the occupation of Chemical Technologists and Technicians (NOC Code 2211) would also be applicable.

A survey conducted in 2009 yielded the following information on hourly wages:

Salary information for NOC 2112 & NOC 2211:
Profession Average wage
High wage
Low wage
Chemist 26.00 37.60 18.40 2009
Chemical Technologists and Technicians 20.00 – 21.40 27.20 – 29.85 14.00 – 14.95 2009

For more information on labour market conditions for this profession, including provincial and regional market conditions, consult the Government of Canada Job Bank website

Contacts and Resources

For information on how to become a Chartered Chemist in Ontario or where to get an assessment of your university transcripts, contact:

Association of the Chemical Profession of Ontario
1 Yonge Street, Suite 1801
Toronto, ON M5E 1W7
Phone: 1-416-364-4609 or 1-800-260-0992
or access the ACPO’s Web site:

For information on finding a certified translation service, contact:

Association of Translators and Interpreters of Ontario (ATIO)
1 Nicholas Street, Suite 1202
Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7
Tel: 613-241-2846
Fax: 613-241-4098
Toll-free: 1-800-234-5030

Go to for information on language training and settlement services, or visit

For a government contact on accessing professions and trades in Ontario, contact:

Global Experience Ontario
Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration
Tel: 416-327-9694 or 1-866-670-4094
Telecommunication Device for the Deaf
416-327-9710 or 1-866-388-2262
Fax: 416-327-9711

For assessments of international academic qualifications, contact:

Comparative Education Service (CES)
School of Continuing Studies
University of Toronto
162 St. George Street
Toronto, ON M5S 2E9
Tel.: +1 416 978-2185
Fax: +1 416 978-7022
Web site:

World Education Services-Canada (WES Canada)
2 Carlton Street, Suite 1400
Toronto, ON M5B 1J3
Tel.: +1 416 972-0070
Fax: +1 416 972-9004
Toll-free: +1 866 343-0070 (from outside the 416 area code)
Web site: