What do Chemical Engineers Do?
While you might not think that you use the skills of a chemical engineer very often, chances are you use their creations every day. Chemical engineers are responsible for the production of many household or other common items including:•Gasoline•Artificial rubber•Detergent•Cement•Pulp•PaperBy applying their knowledge of chemistry and physics principles, those employed in this profession are able to bring about new products and concoctions for the benefit of others. Jobs in this line of work are in demand nationwide and, according to recent statistics, are projected to have a 5% increase in open positions between the years 2012 and 2022.
Chemical Engineers Skills and Abilities
As a chemical engineer, you need to have many different abilities and an intensive knowledge of scientific processes. In addition to the concrete application of engineering and technological skills, you need to have a comprehensive background in chemistry principles. Other areas that you must have education and skill in include:
- Physics and other scientific theories
- Various forms of mathematics
- The ability to solve problems quickly and think critically
- The processing and production of raw materials
- The analysis of different systems and environments
- Deductive and inductive reasoning
Chemical Engineers Duties
The duties of a chemical engineer vary greatly depending upon your employer and field of work. When it comes to your general obligations in this career path, you can plan on being responsible for:
- Designing various systems, including those involving industrial processing, mechanical controls, equipment measurement and layouts
- Developing technical methods and processes involving the separation of liquids and gasses
- Evaluating the safety procedures regarding equipment handled by yourself and others
- Researching and performing studies in the laboratory regarding the manufacturing of new products
- Estimating production costs and preparing reports for upper management
- Analyzing production to determine the effect of different variables on the process
In addition to your individual tasks, you will often be in charge of making sure that those who are engaged in the operation of equipment or in the manufacturing process are performing their duties sufficiently.
Chemical Engineers Tools and Technology
Most chemical engineers in this field of work should have experience working with many laboratory-related tools as well as large equipment involved in the manufacturing of various products. Some of these include:
- Catalytic analyzers and reactors
- Powder mixing tools, agitators and various benchtop mixers
- Bi-distillation systems
- Chemical gas absorbers
Computer knowledge and software proficiency are also a must for chemical engineers. This profession spends a great deal of time in different scientific computer programs such as CAD, AFT and database software. These allow them to figure out chemical mixtures, simulate different processes and design numerous engineering feats.
Education and Training for Chemical Engineers
In order to become a chemical engineer, intensive schooling is required. Most chemical engineers in the United States have completed at the very least a bachelor’s degree with many going on to receive the master’s or doctorate degrees in this field of study. While in school, you can expect to study courses in biochemical and biomolecular engineering, chemistry and paper science. In addition to the formal education that you receive, this profession will often offer on-the-job training to give you the details for that particular job.
Chemical Engineers Salary
Chemical engineers’ salaries vary across the board due to the rigorous training and knowledge required for this occupation. Ranging from as low as $28.50 per hour to $75.50 per hour ($59,500 to $157,000 annually), the average salary in this field tends to hover around $46.60 per hour or $97,000 annually.
Chemical Engineers Jobs by Geography
Finding the best state to travel to on this career path, you should first start with Utah, North Dakota and Oregon as they have the highest percentage of growth in the chemical engineer field with Delaware, Alaska and Texas compensating the best in comparison to other states.