As soon as someone mentions the words "chemical engineer", what’s the first thing that pops up in your mind? Probably this:

A South Park character pouring a chemical into a beaker

Well, you're right to think that chemical engineers do work with chemicals, but that’s not the only thing they do.

What Do Chemical Engineers Do?

On any given day, a chemical engineer may be doing one or more of the following:

  • Innovating chemicals and chemical products, like making plastics from waste!

  • Designing industrial plants

  • Supervising plant operations

  • Troubleshooting issues during operations

  • Evaluating processes and suggesting improvements

  • Conducting risk analysis

  • Project management, including managing people, resources, and project deadlines

Yes! A chemical engineer does all that, so it's more than just working with chemicals.

A man in a suit saying,


Which of the following is (are) true about the job duties of chemical engineers?

How Do I Become A Chemical Engineer?

To get started as a chemical engineer, you're expected to have at least an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering. In addition to the degree, you need some skills too!

The following skills make you a good chemical engineer:

Flaticon Icon Maths skills

Flaticon Icon Design skills (to design plants, etc.)

Flaticon Icon IT skills, such as data analytics

Flaticon Icon Analytical & creative mind

Flaticon Icon Problem-solving ability

Flaticon Icon Commercial know-how of business


Apart from a degree in Chemical Engineering, what will help you stand out in the field?

Thinking About Potential Employers?

  • Pharmaceutical (such as, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson)

  • Oil & gas (such as, Shell, ExxonMobil)

  • Food processing (such as PepsiCo, Nestle)

  • Healthcare (such as, UHG, CignaCorp), and many more…

Once hired, you may be given an entry-level designation, such as Graduate Process Engineer, Process Engineer I, etc. As you progress in your role, you may be promoted to Process Engineer II, Lead Process Engineer, and so on.

A woman in an office saying,

And Would They Compensate Me Well?

Flaticon Icon The median annual wage for chemical engineers in the US was $108,540 (approx. USD $50 per hour) in May 2020.

Flaticon Icon The median annual Chemical Engineer I salary in Canada is CAD $78,881, as of January 27, 2022.

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A chemical engineer putting on lab glasses. She says,

If chemical engineering resonates with you:


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