Chemical Engineering – Job Descriptions, Education, Salaries

Chemical engineering.
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Chemical engineering is a very important and one of the most common engineering fields in the World. There are lots of them that are working in various sectors and fields. Here, we will give some necessary information about this topic and you can find this information about this area in this article; 

  • Definition and job description of it, 
  • Sub-disciplines and fields of this engineering area, 
  • Working fields, 
  • Education and the best schools of chemical engineering in the world, 
  • Advantages of chemical engineering around other fields,
  • Salaries in the world and top countries where they have the highest salaries,
  • Frequently asked questions. 

Check: Best Laptops for Engineers!

What is Chemical Engineering?  

Like other engineering fields, this is an engineering field that provides safer and cheaper solutions with optimization. So, this engineering use the chemistry mathematics, physics, biology biochemistry, and economics to obtain useful systems for human society. Also, this is the application area of these scientific topics. 

Who is the Chemical Engineer?

In a more technical explanation, a chemical engineer is a person who graduated from accredited faculties of bachelor’s degree schools. Furthermore, they are responsible for the optimization of industrial chemical processes and products into a financially more efficient state. They are very valuable to companies and companies pay very well to them because of this. 

What do Chemical Engineers Do?

There are various kinds of sectors and companies hire them as professionals. So, there is a wide variety of job types for them. 

The biggest employment type of them is the process engineer. In the production processes of manufacturing sites, companies are hiring them in the chemical production processes. For example in a galvanic coating process, companies hire them to be responsible for this process and the development of this coating process.

Also in research and development sections of companies, they hire chemical engineers. In the development of chemical equipment and substances, they are hired. For example, in the development of a new cleaning detergent, they are taking a very big place. 

Sub-Disciplines of Chemical Engineering

A female chemical engineer.
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This engineering is one of the 4 main engineering branches. Because of this reason, chemical engineering has lots of sub-disciplines and branches. 

Also, the biggest sub-discipline of chemical engineering in materials science and engineering. In this branch of this engineering, ceramic engineering, crystal engineering, and polymer engineering are the main engineering fields. 

Process engineering is the other important discipline of this engineering. In the chemical process engineering, design, operation, and control of the chemical processes are made. The most important sub-branches of chemical process engineering are; petrol engineering, polymer engineering, and paper engineering. 

Molecular engineering is another important branch of this engineering. Molecular engineers are dealing with the production of different chemical molecules. 

These are the general sub-disciplines and branches of this area. 

What is the Working Fields of Them?

Because this branch is one of the biggest branches of engineering, there are various working fields that companies are hiring them.

Energy Sector

The production and transfer of natural gas and oil is a very big sector in which companies are hiring them. Also, companies that are supplying fuels are an important sector for them. 

In the distillation platforms of oil, companies hire them as process engineers because there are lots of chemical processes taking place. 


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Pharmacy is another important sector that which they are extensively hired. In pharmacy companies, chemical engineers are at the stage of the development of pharmacy products and the development of the production of pharmacy products. Furthermore, the pharmacy sector is one of the biggest sectors around the globe in which companies are hiring them. 

Manufacturing Companies

In a typical manufacturing company such as an automotive body manufacturing company, there is a certain chemical process that they apply to produce products. For example, in the automotive body production line, there is a coating and painting process for the produced products. In the development and operation of this coating or painting process, chemical engineers are at the stage. 

Food and Beverage Production and Factories

There is a sub-discipline of this branch, which is called food engineering, which is hired in the production and development of commercial foods. Food production is also a very big sector in the world, and lots of chemical engineers are required in these sectors. 

Cosmetic Sector

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In our daily life, we are using lots of cosmetic products such as perfumes, shampoos and soaps, toothpaste, and other kinds. In the development and production of these cosmetic products, chemical engineers are at the first stage. So, you can improve yourself to take part in the cosmetic sector. 

Other Chemical Products Developments and Production

There are lots of chemical products that people use extensively, such as concrete, cleaning chemicals, paints and dyes, glues, etc. In the production and development of all these products, chemical engineers take responsibility. 

How is the Chemical Engineering Education?

Like other engineering educations, chemical engineering education is very hard. Also, there are lots of fundamental scientific lessons and professional lessons which are dependent on numbers and calculations. 

Before starting the education, you can take a preparation class in which you are learning a foreign language which will be very vital for this branch.

The first year starts with the first semester in this education where fundamentals of maths, calculus, physics, chemistry, and computer skills that you will require in this branch. The second semester of chemical engineering goes on with the advanced topics of these fundamental lessons. 

In this second year of education, the third semester starts with advanced calculus lessons such as differential equations, organic chemistry which is a very hard and verbal lesson, lessons about chemical processes in the industry, etc. The fourth semester of this education continues with thermodynamics, other advanced calculus topics, and advanced organic chemistry lessons. 

Third and Fourth Years

The third year of this education is the year that you are taking the most important lessons that will make you a chemical engineer. In the fifth semester of the third year, you will take advanced thermodynamics, heat transfer, and physical chemistry. 

With the change from school to school, you will be responsible for a summer practice in which you make your summer intern in an engineering company for 2-3 months. Also, some schools provide this internship, and sometimes you need to find it yourself. 

In the sixth semester of the third year of this education, you will take laboratory lessons and applications and advanced lessons about chemical engineering such as mass transfer, chemical reaction engineering, etc. 

The fourth year of this engineering comes with the selective lessons of chemical engineering in which area you want to improve yourself. Also, you will have a final thesis on this education assignment which should be related to the optional lessons that you took. We recommend you to complete this final thesis in a professional company that will be a very great asset to your CV. 

Which are the Best Schools for Chemical Engineering?

According to the, the current best chemical engineering universities are like this; 

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology(98,5/100) 
  • Stanford University(95,9)
  • National University of Singapore (NUS)(93.7/100)
  • The University of California, Berkeley (UCB)(93.2/100)
  • University of Cambridge(92.6/100)
  • Nanyang Technological University, Singapore(91.2/100)
  • ETH Zurich(90,3)
  • The University of Oxford, the UK(89,5/100)
  • California Institute of Technology(89,3/100)
  • Imperial College London(88,3/100)

In general, the best universities are in the US and the UK to study this branch in the world. Also, the best companies to work as chemical engineers are in these countries. 

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Chemical Engineering?


There are some important advantages of the chemical engineering;

  • Importance of Engineering: The most important advantage of this branch is being an engineering branch. The fundamentals of engineering do not change around the world. You can be an engineer if you have an engineering degree from an accredited school. 
  • Finding Jobs Easily: You can find a job easily in chemical engineering because the sectors that which they must be hired are very big compared to others. This is also an advantageous place among other engineering disciplines because it is one of four main engineering branches. 
  • Salaries are High: In general, the salaries of chemical engineers are high if we compare them with other job sections. Because responsibilities of them are very high in the companies. 
  • Respected by People: This is a very important engineering field because it requires special skills to accomplish this education and professional chemical engineering. 


There are also disadvantages of chemical engineering that should be considered; 

  • Exposal of Chemicals: Maybe they are not directly in touch with the chemical in the workplace, but chemicals in the air can be inhaled which can cause long-term health effects. But lots of occupational safety equipment are developed to make minimum these effects. And implementing these occupational safety rules is mandatory in most companies. 
  • Lots of Brain Work: In this field, you will feel mentally exhausted because of lots of calculations and predictions on the job. Lots of people may find it joyful but if you deal 9 hours a day, you will feel exhausted. To minimize this mental exhaustion, do some physical activities out of the office. 
  • Less Physical Activity: In most of the time, chemical engineering is a desk job. You will probably sit long hours at the office. So, doing exercises and sporting activities are very important out of the office. 

But this branch is a fulfilling and joyful section of engineering. All of these downsides of chemical engineering can be compensated.

Top Paying Countries to Chemical Engineers

In general, some of the same countries are paying the highest salaries to engineers which are also valid for them. Check the list that countries paying the most salary to chemical engineers. 

  • The US

In the US, they are earning very good. On average, they are earning around $115.000. The most important states are Texas, Delaware, and Louisiana to work in as a chemical engineer. 

  • Switzerland

Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world. The average yearly salary of chemical engineers in Switzerland is around CHF 100.000 which roughly equals $85.000.

  • Japan

According to the work experience, Japanese chemistry companies are paying up to $100.000 to chemical engineers annually. 

  • Norway

Baltic countries are the best places to work in. The working hours are the lowest compared to the world. And average salaries for them in Norway are very high. The average salary in Norway is around $80.000 annually for them. 

Other Important Countries

  • Germany

There are lots of chemistry companies in Germany where they can find jobs easily. The average starting salary of them in Germany is around 55.000 EUR. 

  • Australia

Australia is a very good choice to live in for engineers. Chemical engineers who are freshly graduated can start average salaries of $40.000-50.000 in Australia. 

  • Denmark

The average chemical engineer’s salary in Denmark is around $75.000. 

  • Canada

Canada is one of the first countries that engineers are moved to work in. This is because Canada taking lots of foreign engineers and the working conditions are very good in Canada. The average salary in Canada is $89.000 for them. 

  • Ireland

Ireland can be a small country but the average salaries for chemical engineers are very high. According to the experience, they can earn between 26.000-70.000 EUR annually in Ireland.

  • Finland

Maybe Finland is cold but it is a very good country to live in for them. A freshly graduated people can start with a salary of 40.000 EUR yearly. 

As you understand, they are earning very good all around the world.

Conclusion on Chemical Engineering

As you understand that this field is a very widespread engineering branch. Various engineering areas originated from chemical engineering. And also, there are various sectors where they are hired extensively which shows chemical 

engineers will not be jobless anytime. 

All the best schools and institutions have these departments also shows the importance of this area around the world. 

There are various advantages and disadvantages of this engineering area but the advantages of it outweigh them. Disadvantages can of chemical engineering be eliminated with the basic measures.

Nearly in all countries, this job is one of the best-paid jobs because of the lots of important occupational responsibilities.

We tried to give the most general information from the widest viewpoint about it. 

Do not forget to leave your comments and questions below about this topic and topics related to chemical engineering! If you are a chemical engineer or a student, your precious feedback will be very valuable for us and the other visitors reading this article! 


Is chemical engineering a good job?

As we stated above, there are very good advantages of it. It is a good job because it is among the highest-paid careers and it is commonly hired by lots of companies and sectors.

What does a chemical engineer do?

They are responsible for the development and maintenance of the production and development of chemical products in general. They are hired in the petroleum, cleaning, energy, cosmetics, chemistry, and food sectors. 

Which field is best for a chemical engineer?

In general, engineering fields are very good but for them, the energy sector may be the most paid because the energy market is very high and the energy demand is very big around the world. 

What is the future of chemical engineering?

This is because this field is one of the four main engineering branches, and their future of them is very bright. According to the different resoırces, the employment of them will grow around 10% in the 10 years ahead. 

Is chemical engineering education hard?

Like other main engineering branches such as mechanical, civil, and electrical engineering, the subjects of this engineering education are very hard. It requires special care and the ability to finish this education with a good GPA.


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