What Do Chemical Engineer Do?
Job Description & Duties Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, plastics, detergents, cement, paper, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.
What Do Chemical Engineers Do On a Daily Basis?
- Perform laboratory studies of steps in manufacture of new products and test proposed processes in small-scale operation, such as a pilot plant.
- Determine most effective arrangement of operations such as mixing, crushing, heat transfer, distillation, and drying.
- Prepare estimate of production costs and production progress reports for management.
- Develop safety procedures to be employed by workers operating equipment or working in close proximity to ongoing chemical reactions.
- Develop processes to separate components of liquids or gases or generate electrical currents, using controlled chemical processes.
- Evaluate chemical equipment and processes to identify ways to optimize performance or to ensure compliance with safety and environmental regulations.
What Every Chemical Engineer Should Know
Chemical Engineers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.
Science: Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Systems Analysis: Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Mathematics: Using mathematics to solve problems.
Types of Chemical Engineer Jobs
- Processes Chemical Design Engineer
- Project Engineer
- Weapons Engineer
- Development Engineer
- Sand Technologist
Are There Job Opportunities for Chemical Engineers?
In the United States, there were 32,700 jobs for Chemical Engineer in 2016. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 7.3% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 2,400 new jobs for Chemical Engineer by 2026. The BLS estimates 2,400 yearly job openings in this field.
The states with the most job growth for Chemical Engineer are North Dakota, Utah, and Florida. Watch out if you plan on working in Kentucky, West Virginia, or District of Columbia. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Salary for a Chemical Engineer
The salary for Chemical Engineers ranges between about $64,890 and $169,770 a year.
Chemical Engineers who work in Texas, District of Columbia, or Alaska, make the highest salaries.
Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Chemical Engineers in different U.S. states.
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
|District of Columbia||$117,470|
Tools & Technologies Used by Chemical Engineers
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Chemical Engineers:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Access
- Data entry software
- Microsoft Project
- Autodesk AutoCAD
- Spreadsheet software
- Microsoft Visio
- Structured query language SQL
- The MathWorks MATLAB
- Microsoft Visual Basic
- National Instruments LabVIEW
- Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software
- Dassault Systemes CATIA
How do I Become a Chemical Engineer?
Individuals working as a Chemical Engineer have obtained the following education levels:
How Long Does it Take to Become a Chemical Engineer?
Who Employs Chemical Engineers?
The table below shows the approximate number of Chemical Engineers employed by various industries.
Other Jobs You May be Interested In
Those thinking about becoming a Chemical Engineer might also be interested in the following careers:
Career changers with experience as a Chemical Engineer sometimes find work in one of the following fields:
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More about our data sources and methodologies.
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