Complete Guide on How to become a Chemical Engineer

Chemical engineering is a rewarding career path that offers very good compensation and interesting work.

 

In addition, chemical engineering is suitable for a wide range of people with different interests and talents.

To become a chemical engineer, though, is somewhat challenging. You must attain the proper educational requirements, gain certain experience, and commit yourself to a job search.

However, Becoming a chemical engineer requires intense instruction from a formal postsecondary program.

There are multiple levels of education available to chemical engineers, both at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

This article is intended to give a detailed overview of the chemical engineer profession, as well as the educational paths available. what students can expect from each one, where to acquire them, it’s cost. job outlook, salary and all requirements on how to become a chemical engineer.

 

Chemical engineers apply math and science knowledge to create new manufacturing methods and develop new processes and proper safety procedures for working with chemicals.

Materials like plastics, mass-produced pharmaceuticals, cleaner forms of fossil fuels and genetic research are all made possible due to the work of chemical engineers.

Furthermore, they typically must have a bachelor’s degree, though a master’s degree may be required for advanced positions and some employers prefer licensing.

 

What is chemical engineering?

Chemical engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with chemical production and the manufacture of products through chemical processes.

This includes designing equipment, systems, and processes for refining raw materials and for mixing, compounding and processing chemicals to make valuable products.

What do chemical engineers do all day?

Chemical engineers design, create and optimize the systems and equipment used in chemical, industrial, biological and environmental processes.

They produce a range of materials, from fuels and fertilizers to processed foods, beer, and wine, polymers and pharmaceuticals.

They also design and operate large-scale chemical process equipment and factories, and play an important role in making industries safer, more efficient and cleaner.

 

Why chemical engineering?

Chemical engineers work to improve the quality of people’s lives.

Most items used by people every day need chemical engineers to produce them. Chemical engineers are helping to end starvation, disease, and poverty.

Benefits of being a chemical engineer.

here are reasons why you should become a chemical engineer:

#1. Chemical engineers acquire a wide variety of skills

Chemical engineers have technical knowledge of chemistry, biochemistry, engineering, materials science and information technology.

However, they also know about economics, management, safety, and the environment.

 

The tools used include sophisticated scientific experiments, the latest developments in computing, and large-scale pilot plants.

 

#2. Chemical engineers are highly employable

Chemical engineers are employed across a wide range of businesses by both large and small companies.

Chemical engineering remains one of the best-paying professions in the UK with salaries rising by 30% over the last decade.

Surveys show that chemical engineers earn more, on average than other types of engineers and more than pure scientists.

#3 Chemical engineering offers many exciting career choices

Chemical engineers have many career opportunities. A graduate might perform groundbreaking scientific research, work as a field engineer, or occupy a senior management position.

Graduates employed by multinational companies often travel all over the world.

#4. Chemical engineering is not a restrictive choice

Even those graduates who choose not to accept jobs in the industry are highly employable in other areas because they are experienced at solving problems and have good analytical and management skills.

Chemical engineering graduates can go on to successful careers in finance, consultancy or scientific journalism, to name but a few.

 

#5. Chemical engineers can change the world

Chemical engineers work to improve the quality of people’s lives.

Most items used by people every day have needed chemical engineers to produce them.

Chemical engineers are helping to end starvation, disease, and poverty.

They are working to save the environment by developing alternative technologies to combat acid rain, lead pollution, and the greenhouse effect.

How much does it cost to study chemical engineering?

The average annual out-of-state cost for a bachelor program in Chemical Engineering is about $45,790 with an estimated average four-years degree total cost of about $183,160.

The most affordable bachelor program is offered by United States Military Academy at an annual $0 out of state total cost.

What is a chemical engineer’s salary?

An entry-level Chemical Engineer with less than 1-year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of about $65,698 based on 862 salaries.

An early career Chemical Engineer with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of about $70,620 based on 1,734 salaries.

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A mid-career Chemical Engineer with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of about $85,258 based on 688 salaries.

An experienced Chemical Engineer with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of about $99,405 based on 414 salaries.

In their late-career (20 years and higher), employees earn an average total compensation of about $123,610.

In summary, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree programs are available to students interested in a career in chemical engineering.

Those with undergraduate degrees have several career options including biochemical engineering, medicine, petrochemical engineering, biomedical engineering, research and development.

Chemical engineering degree programs

Chemical engineering degree programs can be found at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Take a look at the different programs offered in chemical engineering.

Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering

Bachelor’s degree programs in chemical engineering offer students a broad, introductory education in the field.

Students learn to understand and describe molecular to macroscopic transformations and other complex phenomena.

While some programs are designed to directly prepare students for graduate study. many include laboratory experience and practical training for students interested in finding a career upon graduation.

However, Courses in bachelor’s degree programs in chemical engineering draw upon multiple disciplines including; physics, chemistry, biology, and mathematics. Classes typically required include:

  • Introduction to chemical engineering
  • Organic chemistry
  • General biochemistry
  • Thermodynamics and kinetics
  • Fluid mechanics
  • Chemical engineering laboratory

Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering

A master’s degree in chemical engineering typically includes extensive research components, and many students focus their studies in a particular area of specialization within this broad field of study.

Specializations include thermodynamics, nanotechnology, biotechnology, and biomedical engineering.

Chemical engineering degree programs at the master’s level include many advanced versions of the same courses offered at the bachelor’s degree level. Coursework topics may include:

  • Advanced chemical engineering
  • Advanced thermodynamics
  • Advanced process systems engineering
  • Advanced separation processes
  • Advanced heat and mass transfer
  • Semiconductor processing technology

Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering

A Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering prepares students for advanced research and education opportunities in the field.

Most students enroll with the intention of pursuing a career in higher education.

Chemical engineering Ph.D. programs typically require students to complete a dissertation and comprehensive examination.

Depending on the program, students with significant prior education in chemical engineering may only be required to take a few courses for the Ph.D., such as:

  • Polymer chemistry and engineering
  • Advanced reaction kinetics
  • Advanced transport phenomena
  • Applied mathematics in chemical engineering
  • Advanced bioengineering

Popular Career Options

Upon completion of a chemical engineering undergraduate degree program, graduates are prepared for careers in the following fields:

  • Biochemical engineering
  • Medicine
  • Petrochemical engineering
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Research and development

A master’s degree in chemical engineering prepares graduates for advanced positions in many of the same fields as a bachelor’s degree, as well as fields like:

  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Textile manufacturing
  • Paper and pulp industry
  • Environmental regulation

Schools that offer chemical engineering.

#1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Massachusetts Institute of Technology is a private institution that was founded in 1861.

It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 4,602, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 166 acres. It utilizes a 4-1-4-based academic calendar.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s ranking in the 2020 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #3. Its tuition and fees are $53,790.

Located outside Boston in Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT focuses on scientific and technological research and is divided into five schools.

University research expenditures have exceeded $700 million a year, with funding from government agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Defense.

MIT’s highly ranked graduate schools include the School of Engineering and Sloan School of Management. in addition to strong programs in economics, psychology, biology, chemistry, earth sciences, physics, and mathematics.

Freshmen are required to live on campus, and about 70 percent of all undergraduates live on campus.

Architect Steven Holl designed one dorm, commonly called “The Sponge.”  The Independent Activities Program, a four-week term in January, offers special courses, lectures, competitions, and projects.

Distinguished alumni include Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and former Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Tuition and Fees – $53,790

Room and Board – $16,390 

Total Enrollment – 11,574

Application Deadline – Jan. 1

#2. University of California–Berkeley

University of California—Berkeley is a public institution that was founded in 1868.

It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 30,853, its setting is a city, and the campus size is 1,232 acres. It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar.

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The University of California—Berkeley’s ranking in the 2020 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #22.

Its in-state tuition and fees are $14,184; out-of-state tuition and fees are $43,176.

The University of California—Berkeley, often referred to as Cal, is situated overlooking the San Francisco Bay.

Typically, 95 percent or more of incoming freshmen at Berkeley choose to live on campus.

There are more than 1,000 student organizations, ranging from political groups to a hang gliding club and everything in between.

Berkeley also has a thriving Greek life with dozens of fraternity and sorority chapters.

The California Golden Bears, Berkeley’s athletic teams, compete in the Pac-12 Conference and are known for their traditional arch rivalry with Stanford University.

Berkeley has 14 schools and colleges, including a number of graduate and professional schools, such as the School of Optometry and the Graduate School of Journalism.

Other graduate programs offered include those in the highly ranked Haas School of Business, Graduate School of Education, College of Engineering and School of Law.

Tuition and Fees (in-state) – $14,184 

Tuition and Fees (out-of-state) – $43,176 

Room and Board – $18,754 

Total Enrollment – 42,501

Application Deadline – Nov. 30

#3. Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology is a public institution that was founded in 1885.

It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 16,049, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 400 acres.

It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. Georgia Institute of Technology’s ranking in the 2020 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #29.

Its in-state tuition and fees are $12,682; out-of-state tuition and fees are $33,794.

Georgia Tech, located in the heart of Atlanta, offers a wide range of student activities.

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, an NCAA Division I team, compete in the Atlantic Coast Conference and have a fierce rivalry with the University of Georgia. Since 1961, the football team has been led onto the field at home games by the Ramblin’ Wreck, a restored 1930 Model A Ford Sport Coupe. Georgia Tech has a small but vibrant Greek community. Freshmen are offered housing but aren’t required to live on campus.

In addition to its campuses in Atlanta and Savannah, Georgia Tech has campuses in France, Ireland, Costa Rica, Singapore, and China.

Georgia Tech has six colleges. Its highly ranked graduate schools include the College of Engineering and Scheller College of Business. Georgia Tech is very active in research.

Georgia Tech Research Institute conducts government and industry research, and the school’s efforts are key to the Georgia Research Alliance, which plays a role in the state’s economic development strategy.

Tuitions and fees (in state) – $12,682 (2019-20)

Tuition and Fees (out-of-state) – $33,794

Room and Board – $14,830 

Total Enrollment – 32,723

Application Deadline – Jan. 1

#4. University of Texas–Austin

University of Texas—Austin is a public institution that was founded in 1883. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 40,804, its setting is urban, and the campus size is 437 acres.

It utilizes a semester-based academic calendar. The University of Texas—Austin’s ranking in the 2020 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #48. Its in-state tuition and fees are $10,818; out-of-state tuition and fees are $38,228.

The University of Texas—Austin is one of the largest schools in the nation. It’s divided into 18 schools and colleges, the biggest of which is the College of Liberal Arts.

It also has highly ranked graduate programs, including the McCombs School of Business, Cockrell School of Engineering and School of Nursing.

Students can participate in more than 1,300 clubs and organizations or in the sizable UT Greek system.

The university has several student media outlets, and its sports teams are notorious competitors in the Division I Big 12 Conference.

UT also offers hundreds of study abroad programs, with the most popular destinations being Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, and China. Freshmen do not have to live on campus.

Tuition and Fees (in-state) – $10,818

Tuition and Fees (out-of-state) – $38,228

Room and Board – $11,812

Total Enrollment – 51,832

Application Deadline – Dec. 1

#5. Stanford University

Stanford University is a private institution that was founded in 1885. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 7,087, its setting is suburban, and the campus size is 8,180 acres.

It utilizes a quarter-based academic calendar. Stanford University’s ranking in the 2020 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #6. Its tuition and fees are $53,529.

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Stanford University’s pristine campus is located in California’s Bay Area, about 30 miles from San Francisco.

Stanford offers a wide range of student organizations, including the Stanford Pre-Business Association and Stanford Solar Car Project, which designs, builds and races a solar car every two years.

The Stanford Cardinal are well known for the traditional “Big Game” against Cal, an annual football competition that awards the Stanford Axe — a sought-after trophy — to the victor.

Stanford also has successful programs in tennis and golf. Only freshmen are required to live on campus, but students are guaranteed housing for all four years, and most choose to remain on campus.

Greek life at Stanford represents approximately 25 percent of the student body.

Four of Stanford University’s seven schools offer undergraduate and graduate coursework, and the remaining three serve as purely graduate schools.

Graduate programs include the highly ranked School of Education, School of Engineering, School of Law, School of Medicine and Graduate School of Business.

The Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment oversees collaboration between environmental research, teaching, and outreach.

Stanford has a number of well-known theatrical and musical groups, including the Ram’s Head Theatrical Society and the Mendicants, an all-male a cappella group.

Notable Stanford alumni include former U.S. President Herbert Hoover, Hall of Fame NFL quarterback John Elway, actress Sigourney Weaver and golfer Tiger Woods, who played collegiately at Stanford.

Tuition and Fees – $53,529

Room and Board – $16,433

Total Enrollment – 17,381

Application Deadline – Jan. 2

How to become a chemical engineer.

Here are the steps you must take to become a chemical engineer:

#1. Research Career Duties and Education

Chemical engineers use their knowledge of chemicals and biochemicals to create better products and come up with solutions for the environment.

You may be responsible for the production of items that can decrease contamination in the environment and remove chemicals from the food we eat.

You should have excellent problem-solving skills because you’ll need to find new ways to improve consumer products, such as clothing, cosmetics, beverages, food, and drinking water.

You may also responsible for pharmaceutical and healthcare products, such as over-the-counter medications, artificial organs, and angioplasty catheters

#2. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering

Bachelor’s degree programs in chemical engineering will include math and science courses in physics, math, biology, chemistry, and engineering.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), you should look for an engineering program that is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (www.bls.gov).

You’ll be introduced to essential topics such as heat and mass transport, thermodynamics, chemical engineering design, pollution prevention, and chemical process control.

In addition to taking traditional classroom courses, you’ll spend a considerable amount of time working in engineering labs.

#3. Complete an Internship or Cooperative Education Experience

According to the American Chemical Society, you should consider participating in internship or co-operative (co-op) education experience while in college (www.acs.org).

These experiences will help you understand the real-world functions of a chemical engineer and allow you to practice your skills in a hands-on environment.

Many employers prefer to hire college graduates with internship or co-op experience.

#4. Join a Professional Organization

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AICE) reports that chemical engineers should keep their skills updated and learn about the newest technologies and products available in their profession (www.aiche.org).

The AICE provides networking events, continuing education courses and seminars for professional chemical engineers looking to advance their careers, find employment or acquire additional education.

#5. Consider Earning a Master’s Degree in Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineers with graduate degrees may earn higher salaries and find advanced employment opportunities as senior staff supervisors and managers.

According to the BLS. A master’s degree program in chemical engineering generally requires between 28 and 32 credit hours of study and may cover topics such as mass and momentum transfer, kinetics, viscous flow and thermodynamics.

Master’s degree programs may include a teaching practicum where you would gain experience teaching undergraduate-level courses.

 

Conclusion

In conclusion, Chemical engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with chemical production and the manufacture of products through chemical processes.

To become a chemical engineer, though, is somewhat challenging. You must attain the proper educational requirements, gain certain experience, and commit yourself to a job search.

Author: Amakvitaa

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