Chemical Engineer Salary By Experience
|Experience Level||Low Hourly||High Hourly||Low Annual||High Annual|
|20 Years +||$32.84||$71.98||$68,310.00||$149,710.00|
Chemical engineers are professionals who are trained in the field of chemical engineering and are qualified to work within the chemical industry - from harvesting raw materials to converting them to a variety of products. Chemical engineers also design plants, equipment, and other industrial facilities and devices pertaining to the creation and production of chemicals for various purposes including commercial, industrial, cosmetic, healthcare, agricultural, pharmaceutical, and residential among many others.
Aside from designing, operating, and maintaining chemical plants and machinery, chemical engineers are also involved in developing chemicals and other materials needed to advance technology studies and research particularly nanotechnology, fuel cells, alternative energy sources, and biomechanical and polymer engineering.
Chemical engineers closely work with chemists due to the close proximity of their knowledge and expertise. While both professions are mainly involved in chemistry, chemical engineers are a whole lot different to chemists because the former are focused on fusing technology to develop raw chemicals and other materials to serviceable products such as medicine, petro chemicals, and cosmetics. Chemists, on the other hand, pay interest in studying chemical composition and how to synthesize products from chemicals.
It is important to note that most work done by chemical engineers is based on research studies and investigations done by chemists. Usually, chemical engineers make experiments with chemists on a small scale to determine specific issues such as pressure, temperature, environment and human safety, then use their knowledge in engineering, physical sciences, and mechanics to properly address these concerns once they start doing large scale projects.
When making plant and structure designs, chemical engineers typically work with other engineering professionals, mainly civil engineers, electrical engineers, computer engineers, and mechanical engineers. Other occupations that may be involved with chemical engineers consist of environmental scientists, physicists, biomechanical engineers, genetic engineers, food scientists, agriculturists, and pharmaceutical experts to mention a few.
There are about 27,860 chemical engineers in the United States today, according to a recent report by from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The national chemical engineers salary median is approximated at $92,930 a year. Engineers who are in the top 10% make $146,650 annual chemical engineering salary on or more. Those who are in the bottom 10% make under $59,380 per year.
Every industry has its own standards with regards to establishing a chemical engineer's pay grade. Each employer has its different set of specifications and qualifications which influences how much pay a chemical engineer gets. Other factors that are included in the equation are the positions available, the skills requirement for each vacancy, and the availability of qualified personnel. Employment rates within a particular industry also play a role in determining the chemical engineering salary.
In the United States, the highest concentration of employed chemical engineers is found in firms and companies engaged in architecture and engineering. An estimate of 5,100 chemical engineers are connected to architecture and engineering service providers and are making an average $107,050 chemical engineering salary, which is higher than the national figure. Chemical manufacturing plants come second place with 3,680 chemical engineers paid with an average yearly salary of $99,560, closely identical to the national standard. Institutions involved in scientific research employ the third largest concentration of about 3,360 engineers getting an average chemical engineer pay rate of $104,140 a year. Other industry that offers vast employment options are: resin, synthetic rubber, and artificial synthetic fibers and filaments manufacturers ($91,610) and petroleum and coal products manufacturers ($104,040).
Companies engaged in natural gas distribution shell out the highest chemical engineering salary rates at $157,940 per annum. Coming in next are mining support service firms, paying engineers with a payout rate of $141,320 on a yearly basis. While the income probability is very attractive, entry to both industries can be hard considering that opportunities are limited and the requirements are strict and the competition is tight.
It is imperative that one should learn and understand how companies determine salary rates. Not only will this help any budding chemical engineer choose which industry to enter, but also help him or her map out a career route and set long term goals.
A bachelor's degree in chemical engineering is required to qualify for almost all entry-level positions in the chemical engineering industry. Chemical engineering programs in the United States typically take four years to finish and consist of classroom and laboratory instruction as well as field and hands-on education. Some universities and colleges offer fiver year chemical engineering programs that lead to both a bachelor's and a master's degree. Chemical engineering candidates are obliged to take college courses accredited by the ABET (formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) as part of their academic requirement.
To become licensed, an aspiring chemical engineer is required to take and pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. To qualify for the exam, a candidate must be a graduate an accredited chemical engineering program. After passing the FE exam, a chemical engineer will be eligible to use the title "engineering intern" or "engineer in training" and must work for a specific number of years to gain experience and to be eligible for Professional Engineering (PE) exam. Upon passing the PE exam, one will automatically become a professional and licensed chemical engineer.
Membership in duly recognized organizations and societies is required in some states to stay licensed. Among the organizations acknowledged by several states are the American Chemical Society and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Benefits of memberships include wide network of contacts and potential clients, better access to important information, seminars, and conventions for continuing education, and better leverage in negotiating for higher and substantial chemical engineer salary.
Employment prospects of chemical engineers may seem to be on a low side, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The chemical engineer profession is expected to grow by only 6%, which is considered to be slower than average.
There will still be demand for chemical from several industries, including construction and engineering services, industrial plants, large scale manufactures of various products, and pharmaceutical companies. Chemical engineers will also figure in the development of technological advances like nanotechnology, alternative energies, and biomechanical technology. Because of these high income opportunities, many chemical engineers will opt to stay in the field even after they reach retirement age, leaving little room for new and fresh engineers to enter.
Most chemical engineers begin their careers as engineering assistants in laboratories and offices. As their experience and expertise grows, they become qualified to take enter positions in industrial plants, refineries, and in other locations that may require the skills of chemical engineers. Companies that look for chemical engineers to fill vacancies in research and development departments typically want engineers with a master's degree at the very least.
Chemical engineers who are planning to become plant managers will find it helpful to take an MBA as well. Teaching chemical engineering or doing research at a university will require a doctorate degree for one to qualify. Continuing education is important for chemical engineers to advance in their careers.
Chemical engineers with exceptional skills and knowledge can easily cross over from industry to another. Several chemical engineers find success in various industries such as food and beverage, water treatment and sanitation, petroleum and coal manufacturing, mining, cosmetics, electronics, and pharmaceutics.
Occupations closely related to the chemical engineering profession are:
The role of chemical engineers in today's world has become more significant than ever. They may work in various industries ranging from making chemical and electronic products to designing and operating industrial plants and facilities. The chemical engineer must develop several core skills for success on the job; analytical, deductive reasoning, math, and problem solving are foremost in their day-to-day work, while good interpersonal and teamwork skills are generally an added requirement. Another crucial ability for the chemical engineer to develop is problem sensitivity; they have the unique responsibility of needing to predict and avoid risks to their employers, fellow workers, and the users of the products they make. These requirements, along with the high level of education needed for chemical engineering, make this career a demanding path. Nonetheless, a well suited individual should not be put off by these requirements, as they will find it a stimulating and financially rewarding career.