Chemical Engineers

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What do they do?

Design chemical plant equipment and devise processes for manufacturing chemicals and products, such as gasoline, synthetic rubber, plastics, detergents, cement, paper, and pulp, by applying principles and technology of chemistry, physics, and engineering.

Also known as:

Chemical Engineer, Development Engineer, Engineer, Engineering Scientist, Process Control Engineer, Process Engineer, Project Engineer, Refinery Process Engineer, Research Chemical Engineer, Scientist

Typical Wages

Annual wages for Chemical Engineers in United States

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Projected Growth Rate

Employment of Chemical Engineers is projected to grow 6 percent from 2018 to 2028, about as fast as average compared to all occupations.

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Projected Employment

No Data Available

Projected Employment Rankings For All United States:

  • 6.2%

    Percent Change

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  • 2,400

    Annual Projected Job Openings

    Select a state to see its net job growth ranking

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Typical College Majors

Majors that prepare Chemical Engineers:

Indicates your preferred majors

★ Number of granted degrees for degree type, Bachelors degree, is listed after the major.

Education Level

  • Doctorate or Professional Degree (8.8%)
  • Master's degree (21.9%)
  • Bachelor's degree (54.8%)
  • Associate's degree (3.5%)
  • Some college, no degree (5%)
  • High school diploma equivalent (4.7%)
  • Less than high school diploma (1.2%)

Percent of workers in this field

Colleges that Prepare

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Skills

People in this career often have these skills:

  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
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Knowledge

People in this career often know a lot about:

  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
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Abilities

People in this career often have talent in:

  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
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Activities: what you might do in a day

People in this career often do these activities:

  • Research engineering aspects of biological or chemical processes.
  • Develop technical methods or processes.
  • Determine causes of operational problems or failures.
  • Evaluate characteristics of equipment or systems.
  • Research industrial processes or operations.
  • Conduct validation tests of equipment or processes.
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This page includes data from:

O*NET OnLine Career data: O*NET 25.1 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (“USDOL/ETA”). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA

Occupation statistics: USDOL U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics

careeronestop logo Videos: CareerOneStop, USDOL/ETA and the Minnesota Department of Employment & Economic Development

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