A Day In The Life of an Extraction Chemist

We interviewed Scott McCabe, an Extraction Chemist from our Bedford laboratory to find our more about his day to day life working for RPS

Can you tell us a little about your background and how you came to be working in your role?

Growing up in the North Wales countryside, I have always been around nature and care about the environment. I studied chemistry at university and also worked in laboratories during my studies.

The idea of testing for pollutants and contaminates has always intrigued me. I have always enjoyed doing more practical work.


What do some of your day-to-day activities involve?

I get at work at eight in the morning, read over my daily schedule, print out a worksheet to determine which samples I will be utilising, and then locate the samples, typically in one of the fridges. I would next read over the appropriate procedure required for the analysis, this may be a straight vial extraction, a liquid extraction, or a solid extraction. Most of our analysis is UKAS accredited and I have received training on these methods to ensure I can complete the analysis. I like that I am cross trained in many different areas / teams and every day i can be doing something different.

How would you describe RPS in terms of its People and Culture?

Everyone at RPS is extremely approachable and helpful, and this friendliness is part of the culture. You can always ask anyone questions and voice concerns, and everyone is very supportive when it comes to their work.

For instance, if it's getting close to the end of the day and someone seems to be running out of time, others will help them finish by doing their paperwork or helping them vial up.


What key advice would you give to someone who was considering joining RPS?

Before I found this job, I thought I would need lots of experience to work in a laboratory, but RPS offers excellent training and helps you gain the experience required for this field of work. The whole teams helps to make you feel comfortable working in the lab quickly.

Also, the first week I was working here it felt a little overwhelming because people on your team know lots of information about the work that needs to be completed and it feels like it will take a long time to get to that level of understanding but, after around two weeks it clicks and you can adapt your knowledge to anything in RPS.

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  • Are you interested in joining our laboratory team? Visit our careers page for more information on how you could be a part of our team and be involved in the work that we do.

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