Chemical pathologists oversee the clinical and analytical aspects of biochemical tests (urea and electrolytes, liver function tests, lipids, proteins, hormones, and many others - around 70% of a laboratory's workload) performed in a pathology laboratory. They provide interpretation of test results, advice on appropriate testing, and are involved in multidisciplinary teams for complex diagnoses. There is a lot of scope for involvement in audit and research, with many tools and a lot of data at the chemical pathologist's disposal.

Like all pathologists, chemical pathologists should possess excellent communication skills (written and verbal), have an inquiring mind, and enjoy helping to solve complex clinical problems. Although the role does not involve a lot of direct patient interaction, it requires a solid clinical foundation and a good understanding of the wide range of disease states in which biochemical testing plays a role. The ability to work well in a team environment (both inside and outside the laboratory) is crucial.

The training program offered through the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia is five years in duration when completed full-time, and must be completed in at least two different pathology laboratories which may be hospital-based or community-based.
Dual training in endocrinology and chemical pathology is also available, which usually involves completing Basic Physician Training first, followed by laboratory and clinical training, with a shorter period in the laboratory than that for single-discipline chemical pathology training.

Whilst a small specialty overall, trainee numbers are also small and most recent trainees have secured employment as consultants after completing their training. Opportunities exist to work interstate and overseas.