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Chemical Engineers

Chemical Engineers
Quick Facts : Chemical Engineers*
2010 Median Pay$90,300
Entry Level EducationBachelor's degree
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 201230,200
Job Outlook6% (Slower than average)
Employment Change1,800

Chemical engineers apply the principles of chemistry, biology, and physics to solve problems involving the production or use of chemicals, fuel, drugs, food, and many other products. They design processes and equipment for large-scale manufacturing, plan and test methods of manufacturing products and treating byproducts, and supervise production.

What Chemical Engineers Do

  • Develop safety procedures for those working with potentially dangerous chemicals
  • Evaluate equipment and processes to ensure compliance with safety and environmental regulations
  • Conduct research to develop new and improved manufacturing processes
  • Do tests and monitor performance of processes throughout production
  • Develop processes to separate components of liquids or gases or to generate electrical currents using controlled chemical processes

Work Environment

Chemical engineers work mostly in offices or laboratories. They may spend time at industrial plants, refineries, and other locations, where they monitor or direct operations or solve onsite problems. Nearly all chemical engineers work full time.
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Job Outlook

Employment of chemical engineers is expected to grow 6 percent from 2010 to 2020 as growth depends largely on demand for the products of various manufacturing industries.
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The average salary of chemical engineers was $90,300 in May 2010.
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Chemical Engineers*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Chemical Engineers


Architecture and Engineering Occupations


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Chemical Engineers*
Percent Change in Employment

Chemical Engineers


Architecture and Engineering Occupations


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Becoming a Chemical Engineers

Chemical engineers need a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering, sometimes known as a chemical and biomolecular engineering. Employers also value practical experience, so cooperative engineering programs, in which students earn college credit for structured job experience, are valuable as well. Having a Professional Engineer license may increase chances for employment.
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