How to Become a Chemical Engineer

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Contributor, Benzinga
May 27, 2020

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Considering a career as a chemical engineer? You can play an integral role in developing products used in everyday life and earn a comfortable salary and work in many types of sectors. 

Don’t miss Benzinga’s guide — we’ll show you how to become a chemical engineer. 

Chemical Engineer Overview

Before deciding whether this profession is right for you, it’s a good idea to learn more about what the role entails and the education requirements that must be met to get hired. You should also have an idea of the average salary and projected growth rate for the profession.

We’ll cover this information and more to help you make an informed decision. 

Job Description

Chemical engineers help resolve challenges that relate to chemicals, fuel and drugs and more. They use chemistry, biology and physics to find solutions, create more efficient manufacturing processes, develop safety protocols and identify issues with manufacturing processes. 

You can also work as a process engineer or specialize in biomedical engineering and nanometrics. Expect to work in a laboratory or office setting. 

Salary Information

In May 2019, the median annual wage for chemical engineers was $108,770, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Here’s how the salary breaks down by industry for the top employers of chemical engineers: 

  • Engineering services: $112,990
  • Petroleum and coal products manufacturing: $119,010
  • Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing: $98,160
  • Research and development in engineering, life and physical sciences: $116,250 
  • Wholesale trade: $100,510

Education Requirements

You need a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering or a similar discipline to work as a chemical engineer. A master’s degree is not required, but it’s a plus to help you level up your career. 

If you want to work as a professor or in a research-related role, consider earning a doctoral degree in chemical engineering. 

Job Outlook

The demand for chemical engineers is expected to increase 6% through 2028, notes

Tips for Becoming a Chemical Engineer

Be mindful of these tips as you work toward becoming a chemical engineer. 

Earn a Degree

You want a degree from a reputable college or university. Look for programs that are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology Inc. (ABET) and extend opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience. Your top options should have high job placement rates for recent graduates of the chemical engineering program. 

Also, be mindful of the cost of attendance. The institution should assess rates for tuition and fees that are comparable to what you will find with similar programs. 

Complete an Internship 

The college or university you’re attending may offer internship programs. Take advantage to gain invaluable real-world experience before entering the field. During the internship, you can forge valuable connections that may serve you well for years to come.  

Continue Your Education   

Still undecided if a career as a chemical engineer is a good fit? Or maybe you want to learn the basics and supplement what you’re learning in the classroom. Online courses are worth considering. Options are available for all skill levels for a fee that won’t break the bank. 

Best Online Chemical Engineering Bachelor's Degree Program

Want a bachelor's degree program in chemical engineering that doesn’t conflict with your busy schedule? This option is worth considering. 

University of North Dakota

University of North Dakota offers a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering. This ABET -accredited program spans 4 to 5 years, and you can specialize in energetics, petroleum engineering or sustainability. Students also participate in design or research competitions and industrial internships. When you graduate, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to work as an environmental, plant process, process design, product development, project or quality control engineer. 

If you want to earn your master’s degree in chemical engineering, the University of North Dakota also features a combined program. It allows you to earn your bachelor’s and master’s degree in just 5 to 6 years. 

These online courses introduce you to chemical engineering and can help you understand what it’s like to work in the field. 

1. Introduction to Chemical Engineering 

Source: Udemy

Master the basics of chemical engineering with this introductory course from Udemy. This course is most ideal for aspiring chemical engineers and first-year engineering students. 

It’ll help you acquire fundamental knowledge in the discipline and discover best practices to solve complex chemical engineering problems. It is offered by STEM Academy and entails 2 core segments:

  • Chemical engineering 
  • Calculus

A seat in this course is only $59.99. Register today to unlock full lifetime access to 6.5 hours of on-demand video and 31 downloadable resources. You will also receive a certificate of completion when you reach the finish line. 

2. Chemical Engineering as a Professional Career

Source: Udemy

Just $49.99 gets you a seat in this highly rated course that pulls back the curtain on the chemical engineering profession. This course includes 4 primary segments: 

  • What is Engineering? 
  • Student Life
  • Chemical Engineering Curriculum
  • Professional Life 

The class includes detailed lessons on the various types of engineering disciplines, life as an engineering student and what most chemical engineering program curricula entail. You can also participate in discussions on what to expect when working in the field. 

Register today to get instant access to 52 lectures condensed into 3 hours of on-demand video and 1 article. The course is backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee if it isn’t a good fit. 

Instruction is provided by chemical engineering guru Emmanuel Ortega. 

Prepare for a Career as a Chemical Engineer

Start preparing for a challenging but rewarding career as a chemical engineer today. Check out our recommended online bachelor’s degree programs, consider the online courses and select the options that work best for you. 

Southern New Hampshire University Online

SNHU Online Offers:

  1. Flexible schedules
  2. Affordable tuition
  3. Online tutoring
  4. Access to electronic research materials
  5. Specialized academic advising
  6. Supportive online community