Are you dreaming of getting a Chemical Engineering job? Well, you’ve picked quite an exciting career! As a young and ambitious chemical engineer, you can play your part in finding new ways of improving everyday products, like the clothes we wear, the food we eat or the machines we use. But first, you’ll need to graduate with a Chemical Engineering diploma.
With a Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering, you can help reduce starvation, disease, and poverty worldwide. Or maybe you’d rather focus on the environment, finding ways to combat acid rain, lead pollution, and the greenhouse effect, or finding cleaner methods to conserve energy? Either way, you’ll have numerous opportunities to make the world a better place!
Here are a few universities we recommend for Chemical Engineering studies:
- Aarhus University, Denmark
- KU Leuven, Belgium
- University of Leeds, the UK
- Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands
- Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania
- LUT University, Finland
Now, let’s look at some of the most popular jobs for Chemical Engineering graduates. We’ve also included the average salaries in the US based on data from PayScale:
1. Chemical Engineer – 75,885 USD/year
- Develop new chemical substances or compounds
- Improve existing substances or products: fertilisers, fuels, lubricants, synthetic fibres, petroleum products
- Explore new ways to reduce environmental problems, such as pollution
- Provide on-site assistance at industrial plants or refineries
2. Biotechnologist – 50,870 USD/year
- Study the genetic and physical qualities of organisms and organic substances
- Use research data to help develop safer and more effective medicine
- Make breakthroughs in areas like genetic modifications or stem cell research
- Prepare, operate, and clean equipment in chemical laboratories
3. Food Scientist – 66,035 USD/year
- Research new ways to maintain food products safe and fresh
- Evaluate the safety and quality of food: levels of nutrients, presence or absence of microbes or harmful bacteria
- Collaborate with other experts like microbiologists or packaging specialists to determine the safety standards for food products
- Create new food products or manufacturing methods
4. Petroleum Engineer – 100,970 USD/year
- Come up with new ways to extract oil and gas from the earth
- Travel to drilling sites to solve problems and offer support
- Decrease the costs and increase the safety and efficiency of drilling processes
- Test drilling samples and choose the best extraction methods
5. Nuclear Engineer – 88,560 USD/year
- Maintain safety by measuring and monitoring radiation levels present in various locations
- Stay up to date with the latest regulations and ensure the nuclear plant meets all safety standards
- Discover safe and efficient ways to get rid of nuclear waste
What type of Chemical Engineering Master’s to choose?
Master’s degrees in Chemical Engineering are usually provided by engineering schools abroad and offered either as 1 or 2-year Masters of Science (M.Sc.) or as 4 to 5-year Masters of Engineering (M.Eng.).
Because M.Eng. degrees take more time to complete, they usually start with the same introductory courses as B.Eng. but offer a higher level of specialisation and a graduate degree after two additional years of study. In addition, some academic institutions offer B.Eng. students the option to transfer to an M.Eng. degree if they meet the requirements.
Masters in Chemical Engineering focus more on project work in interdisciplinary teams. A graduate degree might be required for managerial or high-level engineering positions.
Some universities offer a broad range of additional options such as energy, biotechnology, business management and foreign languages, combined with core subjects.
The typical life of a Chemical Engineering student
Typically, Chemical Engineering courses are taught through lectures, tutorials, seminars, computer practice, and laboratory or project work. Before graduation, the final assessment is typically a research project, but you may also be tested through a written examination, coursework performance, laboratory reports, or interviews.
Not sure what to expect from your Chemical Engineering degree? Here’s what you should prepare for:
- You’ll do a lot of project work in groups, so good communication is key
- Get ready to be part of a community, as Chemical Engineering quickly becomes a lifestyle
- Chemical Engineering is not chemistry, so you will always need to consider practicality while finding solutions to problems
- Courses rely on practice and logical thinking, so you can likely forget about multiple-choice questions
- To solve complex issues, you’ll need to make assumptions and test them out. So be ready for a lot of trial and error!
Admission requirements for Chemical Engineering Masters
- To get the best work options in the field of Chemical Engineering, try to keep your GPA score over 3.0. It is possible to find jobs with a lower GPA, but not the best ones.
- Minimum 6.5 IELTS or 90-95 TOEFL (iBT) English language scores
- Bachelor’s diploma in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, or closely related subject
- Usually, at least one letter of recommendation
- Depending on your destination, you may have to apply on an online platform and upload all (or some) of the required documents digitally