Chemical engineers apply the principles of chemistry, biology, mathematics, and physics to transform raw materials into valuable products. They create fuel, food, drugs, and many other substances used as ingredients for commodities.

As a chemical engineer, you will be responsible for developing and carrying out various chemical processes. You will design chemical machinery and test procedures, contribute to the construction of process plants, and plan production methods.

You might be employed in various industries, such as pharmaceutical production, consumer goods, plastics, paints, or synthetics. You can work for food manufacturers, oil companies, or water treatment. The possibilities are numerous, and the demand for the profession is increasing along with the average growth through all occupations.

What Does a Chemical Engineer Do

Chemical engineers apply the principles of chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics to solve problems that involve the production or use of chemicals, fuel, drugs, food, and many other products. They design processes and equipment for large-scale manufacturing, plan and test production methods and byproducts treatment, and direct facility operations.

Learn more about what a Chemical Engineer does

How To Become a Chemical Engineer

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

Learn More About How To Become a Chemical Engineer

Chemical Engineer Career Paths

Average Salary for a Chemical Engineer

Chemical Engineers in America make an average salary of $89,449 per year or $43 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $119,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $67,000 per year.
Average Chemical Engineer Salary
$89,449 Yearly
$43.00 hourly
$67,000
10%
$89,000
Median
$119,000
90%

What Am I Worth?

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How To Become a Chemical Engineer
How To Become a Chemical Engineer Career Overview

States With The Most Chemical Engineer Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active chemical engineer jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where chemical engineers earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Chemical Engineer Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
1California4,706$90,079
2Texas1,513$112,047
3Massachusetts1,201$91,611
4Florida1,096$83,615
5Virginia1,084$95,065
6Illinois977$75,255
7New York949$78,942
8Michigan912$76,578
9Ohio864$76,044
10North Carolina863$85,729
11Washington831$88,310
12Pennsylvania818$76,755
13Georgia795$76,323
14Maryland753$96,747
15Minnesota723$89,205
16Colorado681$74,305
17Arizona658$82,511
18Indiana628$76,815
19Wisconsin508$71,664
20Oregon468$78,972
21New Jersey453$91,381
22Alabama440$85,023
23Missouri392$85,671
24South Carolina384$83,050
25Tennessee363$84,652
26Utah352$67,863
27Connecticut326$66,906
28Iowa312$79,276
29Kentucky274$74,666
30Kansas211$58,768
31Arkansas188$72,894
32New Hampshire169$73,495
33Nebraska169$73,672
34Mississippi158$73,287
35Delaware158$72,192
36Idaho157$77,166
37New Mexico154$108,353
38Louisiana134$100,566
39Oklahoma133$101,222
40Nevada133$76,179
41West Virginia85$73,821
42Maine82$83,634
43Rhode Island76$72,971
44Montana75$73,569
45North Dakota69$79,966
46Vermont62$88,055
47Alaska49$72,944
48Hawaii48$94,153
49Wyoming41$60,501
50South Dakota40$66,185

Chemical Engineer Education

Chemical Engineer Majors

10.4 %

Chemical Engineer Degrees

Bachelors

77.7 %

Masters

12.8 %

Associate

3.1 %

Top Colleges for Chemical Engineers

1. Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA • Private

In-State Tuition
$12,424
Enrollment
15,201

2. Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$52,930
Enrollment
5,030

3. Villanova University

Villanova, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,308
Enrollment
6,819

4. Case Western Reserve University

Cleveland, OH • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,042
Enrollment
5,131

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

6. University of Washington

Seattle, WA • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,207
Enrollment
30,905

7. Clemson University

Clemson, SC • Private

In-State Tuition
$15,374
Enrollment
19,564

8. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

9. Stevens Institute of Technology

Hoboken, NJ • Private

In-State Tuition
$52,202
Enrollment
3,420

10. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Blacksburg, VA • Private

In-State Tuition
$13,620
Enrollment
27,730

Top Skills For a Chemical Engineer

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 10.4% of chemical engineers listed chemistry on their resume, but soft skills such as analytical skills and interpersonal skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Chemical Engineer Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Chemical Engineer templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Chemical Engineer resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

Chemical Engineer Resume
Chemical Engineer Resume
Chemical Engineer Resume
Chemical Engineer Resume
Chemical Engineer Resume
Chemical Engineer Resume
Chemical Engineer Resume
Chemical Engineer Resume
Chemical Engineer Resume
Chemical Engineer Resume
Chemical Engineer Resume
Chemical Engineer Resume
Chemical Engineer Resume
Chemical Engineer Resume
Chemical Engineer Resume
Chemical Engineer Resume

Chemical Engineer Demographics

Chemical Engineer Gender Distribution

Male
Male
74%
Female
Female
26%

After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among chemical engineers, 25.9% of them are women, while 74.1% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among chemical engineers is White, which makes up 65.9% of all chemical engineers.

  • The most common foreign language among chemical engineers is Spanish at 25.8%.

Work Experience Programs For Chemical Engineers

Virtual work experience programs replicate work at top companies and help you gain the skills to be successful when applying and working there. In only a few hours, learn the relevant tools necessary to complete a typical work day at that company. Virtual work experience programs are 100% free, open-access, and self-paced. No experience or application is required!

Globally Responsible Engineering Program

Company: Engineers Without Borders UK

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Corporate Analyst Development Program (CADP) Program

Company: JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Cost: Free

Duration: 4.25-5.75 hours

Civil Engineering Program

Company: John Holland Australia

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Software Engineering Program

Company: Standard Bank

Cost: Free

Duration: 4-4.5 hours

Software Engineering Program

Company: Blackbird Australia

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-10 hours

Career Catalyst: Audit Program

Company: KPMG U.S.

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Advanced Software Engineering Program

Company: Walmart India

Cost: Free

Duration: 3.5-4 hours

Process Design Program

Company: Accenture North America

Cost: Free

Duration: 5-6 hours

Product Design Program

Company: Accenture North America

Cost: Free

Duration: 4 hours

Engineering Program

Company: General Electric

Cost: Free

Duration: 3-4.5 hours

Online Courses For Chemical Engineer That You May Like

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Chemical Biology
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Chemical biology is a burgeoning field that has rapidly risen to prominence. This surge of interest has been fuelled by chemical biology’s applicability to understanding critical processes in live cells or model organisms in real time. This success has arisen because chemical biology straddles a nexus between chemistry, biology, and physics. Thus, chemical biology can harness rapid chemistry to observe or perturb biological processes, that are in turn reported using physical assays, all in an...

Process/Chemical Engineering - BOOTCAMP 2021
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The only course with over 10 hours practical knowledge about main process equipment Design, Control and Safety...

Advanced Process Control & Safety Instrumented Systems SIS
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4.4
(547)

Learn how the main process equipment such as chemical reactors, pumps, compressors & heat exchangers are controlled...

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Best States For a Chemical Engineer

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a chemical engineer. The best states for people in this position are Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Louisiana. Chemical engineers make the most in Texas with an average salary of $112,047. Whereas in New Mexico and Oklahoma, they would average $108,353 and $101,222, respectively. While chemical engineers would only make an average of $100,566 in Louisiana, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Virginia

Total Chemical Engineer Jobs: 1,084
Highest 10% Earn:
$133,000
Location Quotient:
1.22

2. Texas

Total Chemical Engineer Jobs: 1,513
Highest 10% Earn:
$155,000
Location Quotient:
0.79

3. New Mexico

Total Chemical Engineer Jobs: 154
Highest 10% Earn:
$152,000
Location Quotient:
0.83
Full List Of Best States For Chemical Engineers

How Do Chemical Engineer Rate Their Jobs?

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Top Chemical Engineer Employers

Most Common Employers For Chemical Engineer

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
1Chevron$115,968$55.7515
2Genentech$112,514$54.0912
3Exxon Mobil$110,118$52.9413
4Air Products$103,843$49.9215
5Merck$102,384$49.2234
6General Electric$102,305$49.1929
7The Dow Chemical Company$101,854$48.9721
8Fluor Corporation$100,379$48.2622
9Eastman$99,952$48.0532
10Ecolab$98,186$47.2011

Chemical Engineer Videos

Becoming a Chemical Engineer FAQs

Chemist Vs. Chemical Engineer

A chemist creates and develops new and original materials and devises related processes, while a chemical engineer uses these materials and processes.

A chemist investigates the background of science and focuses on developing materials and processes, analyzing substances, and measuring the physical properties of substances. They also tend to theories and focus on finding new concepts and ideas through this testing.

Do Chemical Engineers Get Paid Well?

Yes, chemical engineers get paid well. The average salary of a chemical engineer is $89,000 a year ($42.81 an hour). Some chemical engineers make upwards of $150,000 a year. Factors such as location and company impact how much a chemical or engineer can make.

How Many Years Does It Take To Become A Chemical Engineer?

It takes four years to become a chemical engineer. This includes the time it takes to earn your bachelor's degree in chemical engineering. It is recommended to begin applying for chemical engineering internships during this time.

Is Chemical Engineering A Good Career?

Yes, chemical engineering is a good career. Chemical engineering is an exciting and rewarding career path that is well-paying and needed in many different manufacturing industries. Chemical engineers, for example, working in oil and petroleum, can earn upward of $150,000 a year.

Is It Hard To Become A Chemical Engineer?

Yes, it's hard to be a chemical engineer. In terms of education, only a bachelor's degree is needed, but the material covered is very STEM (i.e., science, technology, engineering, mathematics) focused and is best suited for someone who performs well in these areas.

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