What Does A Chemical Research Engineer Do?

Here are examples of responsibilities from real chemical research engineer resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Lead inhalation drug delivery part of Pearl/Astrazeneca MDI preclinical inhalation GLP studies.
  • Modify FTIR optics for study of combusting flame.
  • Support projects with detail analysis including SEM, spectroscopy, etc.
  • Observe modified surfaces of nanofibrils cellulose with scanning electron microscope (SEM).
  • Synthesize and characterize colloidal room-temperature ferromagnetic CoFe2O4 nanoparticles.
  • Help develop new products, produce data and run experiments.
  • Process NMR data both manually and electronically to find coupling constants and other information relevant to elucidation of the chemical structure.
Chemical Research Engineer Traits
Analytical skills have to do with gathering information from various sources and then interpreting the data in order to reach a logical conclusion that benefits the business.
Ingenuity involves coming up with clever, original ideas and thoughts.
Interpersonal skills involves being able to communicate efficiently with multiple people regarding your thoughts, ideas and feedback.

Chemical Research Engineer Overview

When it comes to understanding what a chemical research engineer does, you may be wondering, "should I become a chemical research engineer?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, chemical research engineers have a growth rate described as "as fast as average" at 6% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of chemical research engineer opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 2,100.

On average, the chemical research engineer annual salary is $91,512 per year, which translates to $44.0 an hour. Generally speaking, chemical research engineers earn anywhere from $68,000 to $122,000 a year, which means that the top-earning chemical research engineers make $54,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

It's hard work to become a chemical research engineer, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a process development associate, monomer recovery supervisor, associate project engineer, and engineer.

Chemical Research Engineer Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 37% of Chemical Research Engineers are proficient in Chemical Engineering, Synthesis, and Analytical Methods. They’re also known for soft skills such as Analytical skills, Ingenuity, and Interpersonal skills.

We break down the percentage of Chemical Research Engineers that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Chemical Engineering, 37%

    Worked as a Chemical Engineering intern for the Chemicals Development Division in the Specialty Chemicals Process Improvement Department.

  • Synthesis, 16%

    Managed Phase II SBIR Fischer-Tropsch synthesis membrane reactor for the U.S. Dep.

  • Analytical Methods, 6%

    Developed, improved and customized samples, equipment, processes and analytical methods.

  • Chemical Processes, 6%

    Worked with Aspen and Excel software to better analyze chemical processes and create data sheets for presentations.

  • Pilot Plant, 6%

    Supervised a pilot plant modification project including control upgrades and data acquisition.

  • Labview, 5%

    Contributed to and maintained an extensive library of LabVIEW virtual instruments for experimental automation, instrument control and data acquisition.

Some of the skills we found on chemical research engineer resumes included "chemical engineering," "synthesis," and "analytical methods." We have detailed the most important chemical research engineer responsibilities below.

  • The most important skills for a chemical research engineer to have in this position are analytical skills. In this excerpt that we gathered from a chemical research engineer resume, you'll understand why: "chemical engineers must troubleshoot designs that do not work as planned" According to resumes we found, analytical skills can be used by a chemical research engineer in order to "generated, analyzed, and quantified catalyst performance data and materials physical properties."
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform chemical research engineer duties is the following: ingenuity. According to a chemical research engineer resume, "chemical engineers learn the broad concepts of chemical engineering, but their work requires them to apply those concepts to specific production problems." Check out this example of how chemical research engineers use ingenuity: "analyzed microarray data using bioinformatics tool -ingenuity pathway analysis (ipa) to identify protein p53-mediated up-regulated and down-regulated genes."
  • Interpersonal skills is also an important skill for chemical research engineers to have. This example of how chemical research engineers use this skill comes from a chemical research engineer resume, "because their role is to put scientific principles into practice in manufacturing industries, chemical engineers must develop good working relationships with other workers involved in production processes." Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "assisted with the coordination of the existing interpersonal violence research projects."
  • A thorough review of lots of resumes revealed to us that "creativity" is important to completing chemical research engineer responsibilities. This resume example shows just one way chemical research engineers use this skill: "chemical engineers must explore new ways of applying engineering principles" Here's an example of how this skill is used from a resume that represents typical chemical research engineer tasks: "reported and dispositioned off-specification product into the plant inventory management system to support iso certification and improve waste reduction."
  • As part of the chemical research engineer description, you might find that one of the skills that might be helpful to the job is "math skills." A chemical research engineer resume included this snippet: "chemical engineers use the principles of advanced math topics such as calculus for analysis, design, and troubleshooting in their work." This skill could be useful in this scenario: "designed mathematical models to describe the permeation of liquids through polymeric barrier materials."
  • Lastly, this career requires you to be skillful in "problem-solving skills." According to chemical research engineer resumes, "in designing equipment and processes for manufacturing, these engineers must be able to anticipate and identify problems, including such issues as workers’ safety and problems related to manufacturing and environmental protection." This resume example highlights how chemical research engineer responsibilities rely on this skill: "formulated chemical solutions, maintained laboratory equipment and supplies."
  • See the full list of chemical research engineer skills.

    Before becoming a chemical research engineer, 55.4% earned their bachelor's degree. When it comes down to graduating with a master's degree, 20.8% chemical research engineers went for the extra education. If you're wanting to pursue this career, it may be impossible to be successful with a high school degree. In fact, most chemical research engineers have a college degree. But about one out of every ten chemical research engineers didn't attend college at all.

    Those chemical research engineers who do attend college, typically earn either chemical engineering degrees or chemistry degrees. Less commonly earned degrees for chemical research engineers include environmental engineering degrees or business degrees.

    If you're interested in companies where chemical research engineers make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at BP America, Eastman Chemical Company, and BASF. We found that at BP America, the average chemical research engineer salary is $112,346. Whereas at Eastman Chemical Company, chemical research engineers earn roughly $107,178. And at BASF, they make an average salary of $91,951. While BP America has 0 job listings for chemical research engineers, Eastman Chemical Company and BASF have 0 and 0 job listings respectively.

    View more details on chemical research engineer salaries across the United States.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious chemical research engineers are:

      What Process Development Associates Do

      A process development associate conceptualizes, creates, and develops processes used in various research facilities and laboratories. The main focus is to obtain information on various experiments and develop processes that take advantage of those discoveries. The process development associate is typically hired by a laboratory or any research lab geared toward research and discovering new concepts and ideas to further the study. The process development associate is vital in fine-tuning actual processes existing in a company and creating new ones.

      In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take process development associate for example. On average, the process development associates annual salary is $29,812 lower than what chemical research engineers make on average every year.

      Even though chemical research engineers and process development associates have vast differences in their careers, a few of the skills required to do both jobs are similar. For example, both careers require analytical methods, pilot plant, and technical reports in the day-to-day roles.

      As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a chemical research engineer responsibility requires skills such as "chemical engineering," "synthesis," "chemical processes," and "labview." Whereas a process development associate is skilled in "protein," "troubleshoot," "bioreactors," and "process characterization." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

      Process development associates tend to make the most money in the pharmaceutical industry by averaging a salary of $65,018. In contrast, chemical research engineers make the biggest average salary of $95,835 in the manufacturing industry.

      Process development associates tend to reach higher levels of education than chemical research engineers. In fact, process development associates are 11.2% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 8.4% less likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Monomer Recovery Supervisor?

      Now we're going to look at the monomer recovery supervisor profession. On average, monomer recovery supervisors earn a $51,364 lower salary than chemical research engineers a year.

      In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, chemical research engineer responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "chemical engineering," "synthesis," "analytical methods," and "chemical processes." Meanwhile, a monomer recovery supervisor might be skilled in areas such as "safety procedures," "daily activities," "ensure compliance," and "medicaid." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

      On the topic of education, monomer recovery supervisors earn similar levels of education than chemical research engineers. In general, they're 4.8% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 8.4% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How an Associate Project Engineer Compares

      An associate project engineer specializes in assisting engineers by providing technical specifications on projects, ensuring smooth workflow and efficiency. It is their duty to coordinate activities, identify the needs of projects, prepare illustrations and diagrams, manage budgets and timelines, create and enforce quality assurance procedures, and develop strategies to optimize operations. Furthermore, as an associate project engineer, it is essential to maintain an active communication line with staff, all while implementing the company's safety policies and regulations.

      Let's now take a look at the associate project engineer profession. On average, these workers make lower salaries than chemical research engineers with a $14,167 difference per year.

      Using chemical research engineers and associate project engineers resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "technical reports," "r," and "gmp," but the other skills required are very different.

      As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from chemical research engineers resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "chemical engineering," "synthesis," "analytical methods," and "chemical processes." But a associate project engineer might have skills like "project management," "facility," "customer service," and "project completion."

      Additionally, associate project engineers earn a higher salary in the utilities industry compared to other industries. In this industry, they receive an average salary of $82,523. Additionally, chemical research engineers earn an average salary of $95,835 in the manufacturing industry.

      When it comes to education, associate project engineers tend to earn higher education levels than chemical research engineers. In fact, they're 9.5% more likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 17.2% more likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of an Engineer

      Engineers are highly trained professionals who determine the feasibility of various projects, usually related to the construction industry. They are considered experts in mathematics and science, two disciplines that they need to use in designing and coming up with plans for projects. They should also be well-versed in different construction or industrial materials, and they ensure that appropriate materials are used for the project. They also ensure that the projects meet the requirements of the groups that hired them. They create spaces that would both address the needs of the end-users and the industry standards. They also ensure that the projects they make would stand the test of time.

      Now, we'll look at engineers, who generally average a lower pay when compared to chemical research engineers annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $9,969 per year.

      While both chemical research engineers and engineers complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like data analysis, r, and aspen, the two careers also vary in other skills.

      Each job requires different skills like "chemical engineering," "synthesis," "analytical methods," and "chemical processes," which might show up on a chemical research engineer resume. Whereas engineer might include skills like "python," "cloud," "c++," and "aws."

      Engineers earn a higher salary in the technology industry with an average of $94,633. Whereas, chemical research engineers earn the highest salary in the manufacturing industry.

      In general, engineers reach higher levels of education when compared to chemical research engineers resumes. Engineers are 8.1% more likely to earn their Master's Degree and 15.4% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.