We have good news for you. You can have a cool career and make a good living. No need to choose between loving your job and paying your mortgage. The following profile, part of the BlackEnterprise.com Cool Jobs series, offers a peek into the nuts and bolts, perks and salaries behind enjoyable careers.
WHO: Balanda Atis, New Jersey
WHAT: Group Leader (Chemist) in Research & Innovation at L’Oréal USA
ANNUAL SALARY: $70,00-$118,900 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
THE GIG: As a trained chemist and group leader at L’Oréal USA, Atis oversees a group of chemists and engineers as they work together to create cosmetics products for the various brands under the L’Oréal umbrella. Atis and two other chemists spent six years developing new shades of makeup that complement the diverse skin tones of women of color. After taking skin tone measurements from over 27,000 women from 57 different countries, the end result was the launch of 30 new shades of make-up for various brands including L’Oréal’s True Match.
THE PERKS: Atis says one of the biggest joys from her job is being able to show by example that a science degree can be used for many careers outside of the usual ones.
THE WORKDAY: “When we were traveling to various places taking skin tone measurements, sometimes people thought we were just actors,” Atis says. “At first they didn’t believe that we were actually black women scientists. Once they figured that out, they would bring over their grandchildren and daughters to talk to us about our careers.”
THE ADVICE: Atis has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Rutgers University and a master’s of science from Fairleigh Dickinson University’s cosmetic science program. She says a science background and steady work experience are vital in successfully breaking into her field.