Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering professionals explore chemical characteristics and research new ways to use them. Learn about degree programs and courses of study in addition to career outlook and salary info for engineers.

Is Chemical Engineering For Me?

Career Details

Chemical engineers apply the scientific method to the safe and economical use of chemicals in manufacturing, research and industry. Many chemical engineers specialize in a particular field of chemistry, chemical processes or the manufacture of a set of products. Chemical interactions can be complex, and it is the job of the chemical engineer to ensure that they are also safe, efficient and ecologically responsible. As a chemical engineer, you may find work in a wide range of manufacturing companies, including those that produce food, clothing, electronics and energy. There are also a variety of opportunities for chemical engineers in healthcare and business services.

Employment Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for chemical engineers is expected to grow slower than average between 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov), with just a 4% increase predicted . The best opportunities are expected for those working in certain service-providing industries, including biotechnology and energy. The BLS also reported that chemical engineers earned an average annual wage of $102,270 by May of 2012.

How Can I Work in Chemical Engineer?

Undergraduate Education

Many colleges and universities offer 4-year bachelor's degree programs in chemical engineering. As a student in this type of program, you may take courses in subjects such as organic chemistry, biochemistry, fluid mechanics and higher math, along with significant laboratory and research work.

Graduate Education

Master's degree programs in chemical engineering, which take 1-2 years to complete, can be useful if you're interested in pursuing higher-level supervisory positions or a career in academia. Programs at this level offer concentrations in a particular discipline and provide an opportunity for either extended research or multi-disciplinary study. As a chemical engineering graduate student, you may take courses like chemical engineering analysis, thermodynamics, applied tensor analysis and biological material.

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