What do Chemical Engineers Do – Why are Chemical Engineers Important?

(Last Updated On: March 13, 2020)

Many of us have curiosity about what do chemical engineers do. Chemical engineers have been improving our well-being for over a century. From the development of small, fast computer chips to innovation in the chemical industry. Chemical engineers develop and design chemical manufacturing processes. Chemical engineers attribute applications of principles associated with chemistry, physics, biology, and mathematics to solve problems involving the production or use of chemicals, fuels, drugs, food and many other products.

The discipline ‘chemical engineering’ is often used to describe a wide field of engineering nature. Chemical engineering is to turn raw materials into useful, everyday products. The clothing we wear, we eat and drink. Many are unsure about the amount of chemistry involved in a chemical engineering degree.

A chemical engineer is someone who influences different areas of technology through the process of designing and designing processes for production, conversion, through innovation and quality standards. The chemical engineer will do this to solve any problem with the product, using physics, mathematics, chemistry and biology. Chemical engineers work in almost every industry and affect production directly or indirectly.

What do chemical engineers do

What do chemical engineers do

What are the chemical engineers

Chemical engineering applies the principles of chemistry, biology, physics and mathematics that are used in the production of chemicals, fuels, drugs, food and many other products. They design processes and equipment for large-scale production, planning and testing production methods and seed production treatments, and direct facility operations.

Chemical engineers usually do the following

Conduct tests and monitor process performance throughout production
Solve problems with the manufacturing process
Evaluate tools and processes to ensure compliance with safety and environmental regulations
Estimate the cost of production for management
Conduct research to develop new and improved manufacturing processes
Establish safety procedures for those dealing with dangerous chemicals
Develop processes for separating liquid and gas components or generating electric currents using controlled chemical processes
Design and layout of equipment

Some chemical engineers, known as process engineers, specialize in special processes, such as oxidation (reaction of oxygen with chemicals to create other chemicals) or polymerization (making plastics and resins).

Others specialize in specialized fields, such as nanomaterials (organic matter) or biological engineering. Still specializing in developing specific products of others.

In addition, chemical engineers work in energy, electronics, food, clothing, and paper production. One must understand how the production process affects the environment and the safety of workers and consumers.

Chemical engineers also conduct research in life sciences, biotechnology, and business services.

Work environment

Chemical engineers took about 39,700 jobs in 2013. The largest employers of chemical engineers are as follows:
Engineering services 13%
Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences 9
Petroleum and coal products manufacturing 6
Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing 6
Wholesale trade 4

Chemical engineers mostly work in offices or laboratories. They can spend time in industrial plants, refineries, and other places, where they monitor or direct operations or solve problem problems. Chemical engineers will be able to work with people who design other systems and practice with technicians and mechanics.

Some engineers travel extensively to plants or workites, both domestic and abroad.

Injuries and illness

Chemical engineers may be exposed to health or safety hazards when handling certain chemicals and plant equipment, but such exposure can be avoided if proper procedures are followed.

Work schedules

Almost all chemical engineers work full time. Occasionally, they may have to work extra hours to meet production goals and design standards, or to solve problems in the production process. Some chemical engineers work more than 40 hours per week.

How to be a chemical engineer

Becoming a chemical engineer requires a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering or a related field.

Chemical engineers must have a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering or a related field. Employers also value practical experience, so internships and cooperative engineering programs, in which students earn college credit and experience, can be helpful.


Chemical engineers must have a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering or a related field. Chemical engineering programs are typically 4 years full and include classroom, laboratory, and field research. High school students interested in studying chemical engineering will benefit from taking science courses, such as chemistry, physics, and biology. They should take math courses, including algebra, trigonometry, and calculus.

In some universities, students may choose to graduate in a 5-year engineering program that leads to both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree. A bachelor’s degree, which may include a degree up to Ph.D. Level, an engineer can work as a research and development or postsecondary teacher.

Some colleges and universities offer internships and / or cooperative programs in partnership with the industry. In these programs, students gain practical experience while completing their education.

ABET Engineering Program Approval. ABET-accredited programs in chemical engineering include courses in chemistry, physics, and biology. These programs also include applying science to the design, analysis and control of chemical, physical, and biological processes.

Important Attributes

Analytical skills Chemical engineers need to solve design problems that do not work as planned. They must ask the right questions and then find the answers.

Creativity Chemical engineers need to explore new ways to apply engineering principles. They work to invent new materials, advanced manufacturing techniques, and new applications of chemical and biophysics.

Frankness. Chemical engineers can learn a wide range of concepts in chemical engineering, but their job is to apply those concepts to specific production problems.

Interpersonal skills Because their role is to turn the scientific industry into a manufacturing industry, chemical engineers must develop good working relationships with other workers involved in the production process.

Math skills. Chemical engineers use advanced mathematics topics such as calculus to analyze, design, and solve problems.

Problem solving skills. In designing the equipment and processes for production, these engineers will be able to preview and identify issues including labor safety and production and environmental protection issues.

License, certification, and registration

Licensing for chemical engineers is not common for other engineering professions, nor is it necessary for entry level positions. A Professional Engineering (PE) license, which allows for higher levels of leadership and freedom, can be acquired later in its career. Licensed engineers are called professional engineers (PEs). A PE can supervise the work of other engineers, sign in projects and provide services directly. State licenses are usually required

Degree from an ABT-accredited engineering program
A score passed in the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) test
Relevant work experience, usually at least 4 years
A pass score of the Professional Engineering (PE) test

After receiving a Bachelor’s Degree, the primary FE examination can be taken. The engineers who passed this examination are usually called trained engineers (EITs) or engineer interns (EIS). After fulfilling the work experience requirements, EIT and EI can accept the second test, which is known as the policy and practice of engineering (P.E.).

Each state issues its own license. As long as the requirements of the licensing state meet or exceed their own licensing requirements, most states grant licenses to other states. Engineers in some states need to continue their education to keep their licenses.

Other Experiences

During high school, students can participate in summer camps in engineering to see how these and other engineers do. Joining this camp can help students plan their coursework for the rest of their time in high school.

Career Progress

Entry-level engineers usually work under the supervision of experienced engineers. In big companies, new engineers can get formal training in classrooms or seminars. Because junior engineers gain knowledge and experience, they go to more difficult projects with more freedom to improve designs, solve problems and decide.

Finally, a team of chemical engineers engineers and technicians could move under the supervision. Some may be architectural and engineering managers. It is usually necessary to work according to the guidance of a more experienced chemical engineer to prepare for the management position.

An engineering background enables a chemical engineer to discuss the technical aspects of a product and assist in product planning and use. For more information, see the profile of sales engineers.

Degrees associated with Chemical Engineering

Degrees associated with Chemical Engineering


As per the BLS, the annual wage gap in memory was $ 104.910 in May 2018. Medieval wage is the wage where half of the workers earned more than an occupier and earned half less. The lowest 10 percent fewer earned $ 64,890, and the highest 10 percent earned 169,770 dollars more.

In May 2018, the annual annual salaries of chemical engineers in the leading industry are as follows:
Petroleum and coal products manufacturing $113,380
Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences 108,440
Engineering services 107,840
Wholesale trade 103,110
Pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing 100,800

The American Institute of Chemical Engineers 2015 survey report indicates that the median salary of those who do not have supervisory responsibilities is 106,300 dollars.

Almost all chemical engineers work full time. Occasionally, they may have to work extra hours to meet production goals and design standards, or to solve problems in the production process. Some chemical engineers work more than 40 hours per week.

Quick Facts: Chemical Engineers

As per the BLS, a quick glimpse chemical engineers are as follows:

2018 Median Pay $104,910 per year
$50.44 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Bachelor’s degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training None
Number of Jobs, 2016 32,700
Job Outlook, 2016-26 8% (As fast as average)
Employment Change, 2016-26 2,500

Work outlook

The employment of chemical engineering will increase by 8 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is the average for almost all occupations as fast as average. Demand for chemical engineers’ needs depends largely on the needs of the manufacturing industry. The efficiency of these engineers will be maintained to increase employment, to be at the forefront of new engineering technologies.

Many chemical engineers work in industries whose products are sought by many manufacturing companies. For example, they work for organizations that produce plastic resin, which is used to increase fuel efficiency in automobiles. Increased availability of home-produced natural gas will increase the production potential of these engineers in the industries employed.

In addition, chemical engineering will be transferred to dynamic fields such as nanotechnology, alternative energy and biotechnology, and thus in many manufacturing industries, will help to maintain demand for engineering services.

However, the decline in employment in some manufacturing sectors will reduce overall employment growth.

Related: Creative ways to Find and Relate Passion in Career

Job Expectations

While maintaining environmental stability, the need to find alternate fuels to meet growing energy demand, the efficiency of chemical engineers in oil and gas related industries will continue. In addition, the rapid progress in consolidation and innovation of chemical and biological sciences will create new fields in biotechnology and in the fields of medicine and pharmaceuticals. Thus, those with a background in biology will have access to employment.

Industry hiring trends for chemical engineers

Industry hiring trends for chemical engineers

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