I'm working on some stuff to expand what Alchemist can do in-game and I just wanted to throw some stuff out there. As per Core (p. 52) alchemists can be hired at a rate of 250 gold coins per month. However, the Alchemy proficiency is structured in the same way as standard "craft" proficiencies where each additional purchase (up to 3) increases the character's ability in the given task. If we use the Craft Proficiency as an example, therefore, a character with one rank in Alchemist would be an Apprentice, one with two ranks is a Journeyman and one with three Ranks is a Master. However! The pay structure for such individuals is 10, 20 and 40 gp/month, so it's obvious we can't use the Craft (or similar Proficiency) pay scale.
So! This thread states that Alchemists with three ranks (Masters) can work as 5th level mages, but at twice the base cost and time. If we take a standard potion -- let's say Healing -- we know that it has a base cost of 500 gp and takes one week to produce, so a Master Alchemist can produce a healing potion at a cost of 1000 gp and two weeks. It has also been established that Master Alchemist with a *formula* can cut this time in half, which is the rate I want to use as a benchmark. So, as a baseline a Master Alchemist can produce 500 gp worth of work per week, or 2000 gp per month (assuming she is *successful* with the potion making), eight times the salary given on p. 52 of Core.
As another reference point, the entry for Annalist Hometri Socolo on p. 30 of the Sinister Stone of Sakara states that the Annalist will charge 40 gp to identify magical items -- Alchemists can identify potions on a roll of 11+ -- but I don't have any idea how long it actually takes to ID items (whether using Alchemy or Magical Engineering, actually).
What I need to do is as follows, to start:
1. Reconcile the disparity in costs, above.
2. Determine the values of production for the three tiers of Alchemists, and how they work together.
3. Determine the values of production for the other things that Alchemists can do, outside of potion making.