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What You Need to Know About Chemical Engineer

Example of Chemical Engineer Job 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.

List of Chemical Engineer Job Duties

  • Prepare estimate of production costs and production progress reports for management.
  • Perform laboratory studies of steps in manufacture of new products and test proposed processes in small-scale operation, such as a pilot plant.
  • Evaluate chemical equipment and processes to identify ways to optimize performance or to ensure compliance with safety and environmental regulations.
  • Design measurement and control systems for chemical plants based on data collected in laboratory experiments and in pilot plant operations.
  • Develop safety procedures to be employed by workers operating equipment or working in close proximity to ongoing chemical reactions.
  • Determine most effective arrangement of operations such as mixing, crushing, heat transfer, distillation, and drying.

What a 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

  • Development Engineer
  • Processes Chemical Design Engineer
  • Supplier Quality Engineer (SQE)
  • Explosives Engineer
  • Polymerization Engineer

Chemical Engineer Employment Estimates

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. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 2,400 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Chemical Engineers in U.S.

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 average yearly salary of a Chemical Engineer ranges between $64,890 and $169,770.

Salary Ranges for Chemical Engineers

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
Alabama $112,780
Alaska $134,440
Arizona $99,580
Arkansas $87,880
California $103,590
Colorado $100,670
Connecticut $89,660
Delaware $120,280
District of Columbia $117,470
Florida $96,120
Georgia $91,530
Idaho $114,140
Illinois $94,830
Indiana $99,010
Iowa $107,490
Kansas $98,090
Kentucky $101,180
Louisiana $111,090
Maryland $113,670
Massachusetts $109,950
Michigan $102,780
Minnesota $98,910
Mississippi $109,940
Missouri $105,990
Montana $87,350
Nebraska $90,600
New Hampshire $79,110
New Jersey $122,210
New Mexico $110,020
New York $100,380
North Carolina $99,810
Ohio $96,080
Oklahoma $107,290
Oregon $98,810
Pennsylvania $97,390
Rhode Island $90,180
South Carolina $87,880
Tennessee $106,830
Texas $147,720
Utah $95,000
Virginia $111,440
Washington $103,620
West Virginia $97,430
Wisconsin $92,310
Wyoming $105,490

What Tools & Technology do Chemical Engineers Use?

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
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Project
  • Autodesk AutoCAD
  • Spreadsheet software
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Structured query language SQL
  • The MathWorks MATLAB
  • Microsoft Visual Basic
  • R
  • Minitab
  • National Instruments LabVIEW
  • C
  • Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software
  • Dassault Systemes CATIA

How do I Become a Chemical Engineer?

Learn what Chemical Engineer education requirements there are.

Chemical Engineer Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Chemical Engineer?

Chemical Engineer Work Experience

Who Employs Chemical Engineers?

Chemical Engineer Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Chemical Engineer Industries

Similar Careers

Those thinking about becoming a Chemical Engineer might also be interested in the following careers:

Are you already one of the many Chemical Engineer in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

References:

Image Credit: Mikulova via Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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