Is Chemical Engineering a Good Career?
Are you trying to find the right career path? This article will help you understand whether chemical engineering is the right option for you. It explains what it is, what your career opportunities are, and the things to expect when studying. Basically, chemical engineering is about converting raw materials into products such as food, drink, clothes, and energy. Chemical engineers may create new products or improve existing ones.
Chemical engineering is a good career for those who are interested in math and physics. The career may be challenging but it is very rewarding. You are likely to succeed if you have a genuine interest in the subject. There are plenty of career opportunities and it gives you a chance to change into other types of engineering.
Studying chemical engineering has plenty of benefits. Of all scientific subjects, I find that chemical engineering has the most modern applications. It will help you understand some of the most important areas of research in science. Keep reading to learn about the average chemical engineering salary, requirements for the degrees, and the career prospects. This article will answer the following questions;
- Is chemical engineering a good career?
- Is chemical engineering a good major?
- Is chemical engineering worth it?
- And is chemical engineering hard?
Is chemical engineering a good career?
If you are just getting out of high school, you may be trying to identify the right career. Even current engineering students may be in doubt about whether they are pursuing the right degree. Keep reading to understand why chemical engineering is a good career.
Chemical engineering is one of the highest paying branches of engineering. Even though it does not start with instant success, it is possible to succeed if you have some patience. Other benefits of chemical engineering include the following;
Chemical engineering translates lab processes to practical applications for commercial purposes. The career is built on the main foundations of engineering; chemistry, physics, and math. Chemical engineers may design new products or troubleshoot existing issues. Most of them work in large-scale manufacturing plants.
- Studying Chemical Engineering Sets You Up For Professional Success
Studying chemical engineering helps students change their thought process to that of an engineer. It equips you with analysis and decision-making skills that are important in both engineering and other professions.
- It is a Growing Global Profession
The chemical engineering profession is globally recognized. I would recommend it for anyone that would like to work anywhere in the world. You can find chemical engineering bodies even in countries that have few professional bodies. The career continues to grow in all parts of the world. You may work as an expat.
- Good Graduate Prospects
After graduation, finding a job in chemical engineering is easy. It is one of the most employable engineering options. It offers opportunities to work management, out in the field and the lab. Studying chemical engineering opens doors to industries such as; health, food and safety, biochemical engineering, consultancy, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, power generation, plastics, waste management, and education.
Studying chemical engineering does not limit your options. If you are no longer interested in working as a chemical engineer, you can pursue options such as production and manufacturing in mining.
- It Is Recession-Proof
Even in times of recession, chemical engineers can retain their living standards. The salaries of chemical engineers remain high even when those of other professionals decline.
Chemical engineering is a prestigious career. Anyone that wishes to pursue it must be smart. The title sounds fancy so it will earn you respect.
- It Is Practical
Chemical engineering is a hands-on career. If you like practical work, it is the right option for you.
Electronic, aerospace, biomedical, and military industries need the skills of chemical engineers to develop or troubleshoot technical products such as;
- Biocompatible materials for prosthetics
- Vehicle adhesives
- Optoelectronic devices
The fact that chemical engineers have so much use to these industries makes the job highly rewarding. Some of their most common tasks include the following;
- Estimating the cost of production
- Monitoring the performance of production processes
- Ensuring that processes comply with environmental, safety, and health regulations
- Planning and designing equipment layout
- Researching to improve the processes of manufacturing
Average chemical engineering salary the USA and the UK
Most chemical engineers work in research laboratories, manufacturing plants, and pilot plant facilities.
The salaries may vary depending on where one works. In the UK, the average chemical engineering salary is £34,667 annually. Those who are just starting may earn £25, 000. Others may earn up to £55,000.
In the United States, the average salary of a chemical engineer is $74,732. The wages range from $66,340 to $103,733. The earnings change depending on seniority. Senior-level chemical engineers earn an average of $41.49 per hour. Medium-level chemical engineers earn about $35.93 per hour, and junior-level chemical engineers earn an average of $33.06 per hour.
Is chemical engineering hard?
Chemical engineering is definitely in a challenging career. It demands the knowledge of both practical and theoretical physics, chemistry, economics, and math. Studying to become a chemical engineer requires one to have patience and a genuine interest in science.
You need to be good at math as you will take a few semesters in calculus and differential equations. Knowledge of chemistry is important since you will learn about both physical and organic chemistry.
Other subjects that chemical engineers learn include; thermodynamics, kinetics, fluid dynamics, and materials science.
Chemical engineers learn basic engineering courses as well. This may be difficult for those who aren’t genuinely interested in science subjects.
Chemical engineering is a major that includes multiple disciplines. Its breadth is one of the reasons why it may be considered difficult. Chemical engineers act as a link between science and manufactured items. They help transform raw products into useful goods for commercial use. They may work with paper, fuels, foods, chemicals, or drugs.
They may also solve problems or make existing products more efficient or economically feasible.
Chemical engineers influence the way lots of products are made. This means that they can work in diverse industries. Any industry that changes raw materials into finished goods needs a chemical engineer. They may work as pharmaceutical engineers, maintenance managers, chemist technologists, food hygiene engineers, and chemical process engineers.
To answer the question ‘Is Chemical Engineering hard?’, it does not need to be a tough career just because it is an intersection of math, physics, and chemistry. Even though all of the three subjects are known to be difficult, they can be mastered. If you like science, you can obtain an understanding of the career. If you are gifted in one of the subjects but not the others, you must invest your time and effort to learn them. Chemical engineering may be tough but it is very rewarding.
Is Chemical Engineering a Good Major?
If you are fresh out of school or trying to find your career path, the question ‘Is chemical engineering a good major?’ may creep up. The general public does not have a good understanding of chemical engineering even though it is a relatively old discipline. It is a good major because employers respect it. Having a chemical engineering degree shows that you have mastered the elements of math, physics, and chemistry. It is recognized in all parts of the world.
Your major may be; Bachelors of Engineering or Masters of Engineering. The Masters of Engineering option lasts one to two years longer than the Bachelor of Engineering. Whatever option you choose, you will start with the basic courses such as; computing, applied mathematics, and physics. Throughout the course, you will continue to build on them and learn more advanced courses. You will get opportunities to specialize in different areas.
During the course, you will learn both theoretical and practical work. You get the chance to work in laboratories with industrial equipment. You also get a chance to learn about financial, environmental, and ethical issues that relate to chemical engineering. If you are looking for a minor to take with chemical engineering, math and physics are good options.
One of the best things about studying chemical engineering is the fact that you can become a different kind of engineer. You may be an environmental, nuclear or petroleum engineer. This is because it will help you develop a variety of skills that you can use in other professions.
Is chemical engineering worth it?
If you are struggling with the question ‘Is chemical engineering worth it?’ the answer is yes. You may work in an office, out in the field, or a lab. Most of them spend a lot of their time in industrial plants and refineries. They work with professionals who design other systems and those who implement designs. It is a great career for those who like to work with people. Some chemical engineers travel to both domestic and abroad worksites. This means that they get to work with all types of people.
Chemical engineers do not have regular work hours. If the idea of working the regular hours bores you, chemical engineering may be a good option. You will get the opportunity to work extra or fewer hours depending on your production targets. You, however, must be ready to work long hours. Two out of five chemical engineers work over 40 hours every week.
Entry-level engineers work under the supervision of more experienced ones. In some companies, junior chemical engineers receive additional training through seminars and classrooms. This means that you can continue to earn experience and knowledge as you work. When moving to higher positions, you will gain more independence and the ability to solve problems. Another great perk of the career is that it promises a high salary.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.