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Chemical engineers use their knowledge of chemicals to create new substances and products and improve the quality and production of existing ones.

Did you spend your childhood making things explode? Were science fairs your favorite school activity? As a chemical engineer, you’ll spend your days mixing chemicals and designing various gaseous, liquid, and solid products and the manufacturing processes they go through. Most of the time you’ll work in a team with other engineers, creating products and systems that fit the customer’s needs. You’ll use computer software, mathematical formulas, and chemical engineering principles on a daily basis.

As a chemical engineer, you’ll focus on creating products that are safe and easy to use. You might design the best processes for mixing, heating, or separating chemicals to create new substances. Your position could focus more on testing and verifying the safety and function of the gases and liquids you create. Regardless of your specific tasks, you’ll be required to have a deep understanding of safety codes and regulations, both for the manufacturing process and for the products you sell to customers.

Engineers act as leaders on projects, so you’ll need to be able to give instructions in various forms, like technical drawings and formulas, to technicians and machine operators. You’ll oversee some work on the production floor, making sure that your employees adhere to safety procedures and that the product meets quality standards at every stage of the production line.

Chemical engineers are required to have a bachelor’s degree and most employers will prefer a master’s degree or some years of previous experience. If you’ve got a good head for numbers and love chemistry, this job is perfect for you.

Also Known As:

Engineer - Biochemical Engineer

Engineer Chemical Engineer

Critical Skills

Required

  • Chemical Processes
  • Computers
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Production Systems

Preferred

  • Active Listening
  • Advanced Computer Skills
  • Complex Problem Solving Skills
  • Comunication - Reading, Writing, Listening and Speech/Oral
  • Critical Thinking Skills
  • Environmental Regulations
  • Health and Safety
  • Problem Solving
  • Project Management
  • Systems Analysis

Key Responsibilities

  • Develop safety procedures for work with chemicals
  • Troubleshoot problems with chemical manufacturing processes
  • Evaluate chemical equipment to optimize performance
  • Ensure compliance with safety and environmental regulations
  • Develop chemical production systems
  • Determine best arrangement of operations like mixing, crushing, heat transfer, distillation, and drying
  • Test chemical processes throughout production to determine degree of control over variables
  • Create designs for chemical equipment layout
  • Develop processes to separate components of materials or generate electrical currents using controlled chemical processes

Interests

  • Energy
  • Math
  • Process
  • Science

How to get this job

Master's degree, get special certifications in chemical area.

Next Steps for this job

Chemical engineering internships in engineering fields.



Specific job titles and duties vary by employer so check for details.