What Can You Do With A Chemical Engineering Degree?

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Chemical engineering is the process of designing, constructing, and operating chemical plants that use the application of chemistry to create products for everyday use. What, then, can you do with a degree in chemical engineering? This article provides just a few examples of career paths you can travel once you earn a degree in chemical engineering in addition to schools with exceptional chemical engineering degree programs.

Products of Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineers assist in turning raw materials into useful, everyday products, so it is important that they focus their studies on subjects like chemistry, physics, and various types of math. Years of schooling at higher education facilities help prepare individuals for creating some of the most essential products necessary for life. Some examples of types of products chemical engineers work to create are listed here.

Electronic equipment






How to Get a Chemical Engineering Degree

If you are interested in pursuing a degree in chemical engineering, you should be sure to focus on succeeding in math and science during high school. Consult your guidance counselor for advice on what specific courses you should take in high school to prepare you for further education in chemical engineering, and be sure to apply to multiple schools early on in your senior year.

The University of Washington’s Department of Chemical Engineering provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to earn a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission at ABET, and an option to specialize in Molecular Engineering. The university also offers graduate students the chance to earn a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering and even a doctoral degree. Students pursuing a masters degree or doctoral degree are often required to complete a thesis, demonstrating the knowledge they have learned throughout their schooling in chemical engineering and how that knowledge can be applied to careers in chemical engineering.

The College of Engineering at the University of Delaware provides excellent study abroad programs for students interested in exploring the workings of chemical engineering outside of the United States. In addition to studying abroad, students also have the opportunity to partake in internships with companies that will help them expand their knowledge and experience in chemical engineering. Students at the University of Delaware take courses in thermodynamics, physics, applied mathematics, organic chemistry, and more. Studying chemical engineering is also a good way to prepare for a career in pharmaceuticals.

In the College of Engineering and Computing at Miami University, students can choose to major in Chemical Engineering or select it as a minor if they choose to major in a separate subject. While earning a bachelors degree in chemical engineering, students can also decide to pursue a concentration in one of three related fields–biochemical engineering, environmental engineering, or paper science and engineering. Students learn techniques for researching and applying their findings to solve related problems and improve production processes within the field of chemical engineering at Miami University.

Careers in Chemical Engineering

While you are attending a trade school, college, or university for chemical engineering, it is important to research types of career paths you will be able to choose from upon earning your degree. This will help you better form your studies around a specific career that interests you. This section contains various types of career paths you may qualify for once you earn your degree in chemical engineering.

Entry Level Careers in Chemical Engineering

With a bachelors degree in chemical engineering and very little experience in the field, you just may qualify for one or more of the positions described here.

Engineering Technician

Engineering technicians assist engineers in researching and designing new infrastructures as well as testing their quality. Engineering technicians often work in manufacturing plants, research laboratories, or on construction sites to apply their knowledge in chemical engineering to real world situations. Engineering technicians can possess various types of engineering degrees, such as electrical engineering, chemical engineering, and civil engineering. Experience gained from internships and study abroad programs is incredibly beneficial for people looking to enter the engineering world as engineering technicians.

Engineering technicians can earn around $41,000 annually.

Materials Engineer

Materials engineers are responsible for reviewing and testing specific materials necessary in the production process of everyday products. Materials that materials engineers work with include things such as metals, alloys, ceramics, and even plastics that are used in the process of creating new products. A material engineer typically has a bachelors degree in chemical engineering or a related field with advanced problem solving and research skills.

Materials engineers can earn anywhere from $50,000 to over $100,000 annually, based on education and experience levels.

Pipeline Engineer

jobs you can get with a chemical engineer degree
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Pipeline engineers spend much of their time designing and assisting in the transportation of products that contribute to the distribution of gas and oil around the world. Pipeline engineers also revisit job sites from time to time to perform safety inspections throughout the course of the completion of projects. As with any job, tasks of a pipeline engineer may vary based on experience levels. Companies look for people with bachelor degrees in structural or chemical engineering and who may have a year or two experience in the field. Pipeline engineers have excellent communication skills and are able to pay strict attention to details that others would otherwise overlook. It is also important that applicants are licensed within the field, as well.

Pipeline engineers may earn around $80,000 annually, based on education and experience levels.

Advanced Careers in Chemical Engineering

Once you gain experience and/or earn a masters degree or doctoral degree in chemical engineering, many more career opportunities will become available to you. Just a few are described briefly below.

Chemical Plant Manager

Chemical plant managers oversee the various departments within a chemical plant to ensure overall production runs smoothly with very little issues or setbacks. They manage the safety of the plant and its products as well as the quality of work performed and finalized products, and informs employees of production procedure changes and/or updates. Chemical plant managers possess a bachelors degree in chemical engineering as well as typically over three years of experience working in the field of chemical engineering. Most companies prefer people with master degrees in chemical engineering or business administration.

Chemical plant managers can earn over $90,000 annually, based on knowledge and experience levels.

Design Engineer

A design engineer spends his or her time developing new ideas for products or structures in one of various industries. Design engineers are always looking for ways to improve products or invent new products for specific companies, boosting business. In order to effectively design safe, budget-friendly products, design engineers need to consider safety regulations and material costs. Design engineers can have bachelor degrees in various types of engineering, typically related to the field of their interest, and they are often particularly talented when it comes to solving problems in order to design desirable products.

Design engineers can earn around $91,000 annually, based on knowledge and experience.

Companies that Hire People with Chemical Engineering Degrees

Once you finally earn your chemical engineering degree, it is time to venture into the waters of today’s job market. Many companies in countries around the world have jobs available for people with chemical engineering degrees; it is merely a matter of finding them. Below is a brief list of companies that hire people with chemical engineering degrees.

High Concrete Group LLC – located in Denver, PA; hires positions for design engineers, project controllers, project managers, etc.

ESG Automotive Inc. – located in Troy, MI; hires positions for design release engineers, audio engineers, quality engineers, etc.

Superior Essex Inc. – headquarters in Atlanta, GA, with locations around the world; hires positions for product development engineers, manufacturing engineers, applications engineers, etc.

Siluria Technologies – headquarters in San Francisco, CA; hires positions for chemical research engineers, chemical engineers, engineering manager, materials development scientists, etc.

If chemistry, math, and technology are your thing, then you should consider earning a degree in chemical engineering. With advanced problem solving skills and a creative mindset, you are sure to land a job in the field of your dreams in no time.

Author: Rose Boettinger

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