Where do Chemical Engineers work?

Where Chemical Engineers work

Just like I’ve always usually been doing it, am again here with some other piece of info that is  valuable especially to the ones with questions as regards to Where and In which Industries chemical Engineers  work. In the Chemical Engineering discussion series, i always share with you what i found to be much of interest especially whenever i come across a piece that will seem to help you here and there.

In our previous Article we looked at What Chemical Engineers do. where we feature an Article discussed and posted by AIChem. Am quite sure though that  a bit was left uncovered as regards to Where Chemical Engineers work.

Here once again is another account about the subject as per Rice University  web discussion about the question of “Where  Chemical Engineers work”?

Chemical engineers are employed in many industries representing a diverse range of products, employers, and services:

Industries in the category of advanced materials use chemical engineers to help develop materials with different properties such as weight, strength, heat transfer, reflectivity, and purity. Industries that employ chemical engineers for these purposes include: Aerospace Automotive Glass Ceramics Electronics Metals Nanotechnology Photographic Products Biotechnology The biotechnology industry uses living cells and materials produced by cells, and biological techniques developed through research, to create products for use in other industries.Work in the field of biotechnology has produced antibiotics, insulin, interferon, artificial organs, recombinant DNA, techniques for waste reduction and recycling, and hybrid plants that are insect-resistant. Chemical engineers in the biotechnology industry develop and design the processes to grow, handle, and harvest living organisms and their byproducts. 

Chemical Process Industries (CPI)

The CPI’s focus is on the development, extraction, isolation, combination, and use of chemicals and chemical byproducts. Chemical engineers in the CPI design and operate the processes and systems to transform, transport, separate, handle, recycle, and store chemicals and their byproducts. Specialty areas include: Agricultural Chemicals Catalysts Specialty Chemicals Industrial Gases Paints, Varnishes, Lacquers, Pigments, and Inks Petrochemicals Petroleum Products Plastics, Synthetic Resins, and Composites Polymers Pulp and Paper Rubber and Rubber Products Soaps, Detergents, Perfumes, Fats, Oils, and Cosmetics Synthetic Fibers, Textiles, and Films.

Design & Construction

The design and construction industry works with all other industry sectors to design and build the facilities, specify the machinery, and design and troubleshoot processes that will allow companies to operate safe and efficient plants. Chemical engineers in the design & construction industry are involved with process design and project management, and work closely with other engineering disciplines.


Chemical engineers in the electronics industry are involved with material development and production, and process control equipment design. Knowing how process equipment in a chemical plant, for example, is supposed to function gives the chemical engineer an advantage in designing control equipment to monitor each process. Chemical engineers are also involved in the manufacturing of microchips and intricate circuitry, using their training to develop the materials and processes that allow such circuits to be properly assembled. Chemical engineers’ contributions to the field include producing components that better dissipate heat, and operate faster.

Energy & Fuels

Those industries that fall under the category of fuels include petroleum and petroleum products production, and refining, as well as nuclear and synthetic fuels. Typically known for their work in refineries, chemical engineers are also involved in developing alternative energy sources, e.g. fuel cells. Chemical engineers in the fuels industries work on production processes, environmental monitoring, research and development, and process safety. 

Environmental, Safety & Health

In almost every industry, chemical engineers are involved in areas that concern the environment, waste minimization, and personal health and safety. With every process that involves the use and manipulation of raw materials, some byproducts are produced. The chemical engineer is employed to minimize the production of byproducts, if they are of no use, or find an appropriate use for them. Chemical engineers help minimize waste through process monitoring and control, and by designing new processes that are more efficient. This category also includes those chemical engineers who are involved in waste treatment and disposal, and process safety and loss prevention. Process safety involves how people safely work with and handle certain materials.

Food and Beverages Industry

The food and beverage industry includes the handling, processing, preparation, packaging, and preservation of food and beverages. Chemical engineers in the food and beverages industry formulate new products to meet consumer demand, change ingredients for better flavor, change handling processes for more consistent texture, and freeze dry products or design aseptic packaging to ensure a longer shelf life. 


Chemical engineers are not limited to those industries that produce products made by combining, refining, or processing chemicals. The technical training that chemical engineers receive also makes them well suited for work in the following areas: Business, Finance and Insurance: Chemical engineers can use their training to manage, analyze, and insure businesses in the chemical process industries. Law: Chemical engineers can work as patent attorneys, applying their knowledge to intellectual property. Education: Chemical engineers who hold Ph.D. degrees can work as university professors to teach and do research in a variety of exciting areas. Government: Within the government, the US Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, US Navy, NASA, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Department of Agriculture, to name a few, all employ chemical engineers.

The final interesting  account was one given by

Samantha Tyson  a communications officer for the Institution of Chemical Engineers  to The Guardian still about What Chemical Engineers really do and Where they work here it is…

Generally, Chemical Engineering is all about turning raw materials into useful, everyday products. The clothes we wear, the food and drink we consume and the energy we use all depend upon chemical engineering. Chemical engineers work out the processes to make all these products, while also helping to manage the world’s resources, protect the environment and ensure health and safety standards are met. Most jobs in the sector fall into one of two groups: the design, manufacture, and operation of plants and machinery, or the development of new or adapted substances and materials. The number of students studying chemical engineering at university is rising. Intake figures are up 4% this year, despite an overall decline in university applications in recent years across all subjects . Starting out and career progression Opting to study chemical engineering can open up a range of employment avenues. There is no typical first job for a graduate, although careers in the energy, water, food and pharmaceutical sectors are all commonplace. The transferable skills taught at university, such as project management and understanding process flow, also make students highly sought after among employers beyond the world of engineering and it’s not uncommon to find chemical engineering graduates in the finance sector.

Graduates who stay in the industry usually start their career as a junior/ graduate process engineer. Day-to- day duties for graduates include product development, plant design, risk analysis, and using simulation tools. With some experience, you can progress to roles in areas such as project management, risk assessment or consultancy and many become specialists in a particular area, such as safety or environmental regulation. Most chemical engineers work towards attaining chartered status. To get this qualification, you must demonstrate experience and expertise, but it’s a registration worth having. Most senior posts in industry consider chartered status to be a prerequisite and it’s an internationally recognised qualification. What’s more, a chartered chemical engineer in their 30s typically out-earns a non- chartered counterpart by £10,000 a year. A career that pays The average annual starting salary for a UK chemical engineering graduate is £28,000.

With students now needing to make difficult decisions about which university courses represent the best return on investment and career prospects, a degree in chemical engineering scores highly in both areas.

With a shortage of skilled people and the potential for career growth, the sector is highly attractive for graduates. The median chemical engineering salary was £53,000 last year, with the best-paid chemical engineers found working in the oil and gas production sector where salaries are typically in excess of £70,000. Formal graduate training schemes are a great route into the sector – look out for those accredited by IChemE as this guarantees quality and highlights which employers are committed to helping their employees become chartered chemical engineers. How to get started If you’re thinking about a career in chemical engineering, you’ll need to be good at maths. Don’t be misled by the chemical bit of the title – maths and science are actually more important. The most common A- levels studied by chemical engineering students are maths, physics and chemistry. So if you’re analytical and enjoy solving problems, chemical engineering could be the career for you. Most universities offer a choice of either a bachelor of engineering (BEng) or a master of engineering (MEng) degree course. Some universities offer a foundation course if you don’t have the required grades or subjects needed for entry, and it’s possible (but less common) to enter chemical engineering via the BTec route. Some universities offer a broad range of additional options such as energy, biotechnology, business management and foreign languages, in conjunction with the core compulsory subjects. Work experience Getting work experience either before you start studying chemical engineering or during your studies is recommended. You’ll get a better understanding of what the industry is all about and it’s not uncommon for students who make a good impression on placements to be offered a full-time job at the same company upon graduation. Some universities include a work placement as part of the course and those that don’t will support work experience and try to assist students in finding a position. 


About Mutagaya Solomon

I a Blogger, Tech Enthusiast and Freelance Programmer/Software Developer. I find pleasure in sharing Info that will in some way add somewhat Impact to the society and whoever crosses path with it in a way that Educative and Interractive. Gives pleasure if the info reaches my readers with simplicity and humility but yet with clarity that they make the best out of it all. Feel free to Comment and write back to me in cases of any ques and clarifications. Blog: engsolomon.wordpress.com Email: msolomon788@gmail.com
This entry was posted in Industry, Innovation and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s