Chemical Engineer Jobs
Although the areas in which a chemical engineer can specialize vary, the job generally consists of applying the principles of chemistry to solve problems relating to the production or use of chemicals and, in some cases, biochemicals.
More and more chemical engineers are entering fields in which new technology is being used. Fuel cells and hydrogen power are excellent examples where chemical engineering knowledge proves essential to figuring out how to turn raw materials into usable products. Chemical engineers working in the natural energy field - also known as process engineers - are responsible for the effective and efficient transformation of raw materials or chemicals into useful products, such as solar panels or safely manufacturing ethanol or methane. Most chemical engineers work in laboratories and may be employed by the government or independent companies.
Educational and Training Requirements
As with almost all engineering positions, entry-level positions will require at least a bachelor's degree in engineering, often with a focus on the particular branch of engineering you wish to pursue. In many cases, you will find that a master's in engineering or chemistry is actually required, not just preferred.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that from 2006 to 2016 an expected employment growth of eight percent will take place in the field of chemical engineering. This number reflects the average employment growth rate across all engineering jobs. In the future it is predicted that fewer jobs will be geared toward chemical manufacturing and more toward research and development of new energy production processes, which fall more generally in the area of science than production.
Chemical Engineer Salaries
Similar to environmental and electrical engineer, a chemical engineer is trained in other, more general areas, such as the basics of mechanical engineering. Thus, with more education or experience they may be able to apply for positions in other fields should they so desire.