dcsimg
Table of Contents

Chemicals engineers play a role in designing everything from safer, more effective medications to creamier ice creams. They use their math and science savvy to solve chemical problems, often with a mind for safety and cost-effectiveness. This can take years of training, especially for those who hope to eventually lead cutting-edge research. For many professionals in this field, training starts with a chemical engineering degree program.

Chemical Engineering Degrees at a Glance

Chemical engineering majors learn how to study, use and evaluate chemicals, both theoretically and in practice. Programs vary, but tend to be heavy on math and science. The following are just a few of the courses chemical engineering majors might take:

  • Biochemistry
  • Chemical kinetics
  • Organic chemistry
  • Physical chemistry
  • Thermodynamics
  • Physics
  • Calculus

Chemical engineering majors tend to do a lot of hands-on lab work, and according to the College Board, may be required to hone even more practical experience through co-ops and internships. Most chemical engineering degree programs result in bachelor's or master's degrees, but doctoral programs are also fairly common. These high-level engineering programs are ideal for those who want to work in research and development, or teach at the collegiate level.

General Engineering

Looking Ahead: Jobs for Chemical Engineering Majors

One might expect those with chemical engineering degrees to eventually become chemical engineers, and many do -- but not all. According to the College Board and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are actually a number of careers suitable for these grads. Here are a few of them, along with key employment trends from the BLS:

  • Chemical engineers - Chemical engineers use math and scientific principles to solve chemical problems, often in the course of producing fuels, drugs, food and other products. Some work in large-scale factory settings, while others chug away in private, national or university labs. Though a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering is usually sufficient for entry-level positions, those who want to teach or conduct research should consider earning master's degrees or Ph.Ds. Work experience is a major plus. The BLS projects demand for chemical engineers to grow four percent nationwide between 2012 and 2022. Prospects may be best for those working in manufacturing, or in emerging fields like nanotechnology and alternative energies.
  • Chemists - Chemists research chemicals at the atomic and molecular levels, examining their properties and how they interact with each other. They may apply what they learn to develop new or improved products, or in quality and safety testing. As with chemical engineers, chemists can usually enter the field with bachelor's degrees in chemistry or chemical engineering; research and collegiate teaching positions typically require master's degrees or Ph.Ds. The BLS expects employment of these professionals to increase six percent nationwide between 2012 and 2022. Prospects should be best for experienced professionals and those with advanced degrees.
  • Environmental scientists - Environmental scientists use their science know-how to protect the environment and human health. They might help clean up polluted areas, for instance, or advise corporations and policy makers on how to reduce waste or make processes safer. Most entry-level positions require at least a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as chemical engineering. The BLS projects demand for environmental scientists to rise 15 percent nationwide between 2012 and 2022.

In addition to the jobs listed above, chemical engineering majors might also consider pursuing careers as petroleum engineers, biochemists, or even college professors. Students can learn more about their options by visiting the College Board and Bureau of Labor Statistics online, or by contacting schools that offer chemical engineering degree programs. Professional organizations such as the American Institute of Chemical Engineers can also provide a wealth of information for students interested in entering the field.

Sources:
"Chemical Engineers," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/chemical-engineers.htm
"Major: Chemical Engineering," The College Board, https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/majors/engineering-chemical-engineering
"Chemists and Materials Scientists," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/chemists-and-materials-scientists.htm
"Environmental Engineers," Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2014-15 Edition, http://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/environmental-scientists-and-specialists.htm
American Institute of Chemical Engineers, https://www.aiche.org/

Pursue your General Engineering major today…

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
 
Matching School Ads
1 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
  • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
  • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
  • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
5 Program(s) Found
  • Ranked among the Best National Universities in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Faculty members include 38 Fulbright Scholars, 20 Guggenheim Fellows, and 30 National Endowment for the Humanities Fellows.
  • Received $115 million in funding for university research projects.
  • Student to faculty ratio of 18:1.
  • Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and College since 1956.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found
  • Study at a university accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.
  • Immediately apply what you’re learning to current workplace challenges
  • Experience the convenience and flexibility of online learning—access coursework 24/7
  • Take advantage of four start dates per year
  • Benefit from no required GRE/GMAT 
  • Enjoy small class sizes and students from diverse backgrounds
  • Earn your degree from a respected institution in as few as 18 months
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

About Education Corporation of America

Education Corporation of America's institutions broaden access to postsecondary educational opportunities.

5 Program(s) Found

The College of Engineering at Villanova University offers flexible, part-time, online and on campus graduate program options to meet your demanding schedule. Earn your graduate degree while successfully balancing work and family with the College’s award-winning E-Learning program. Decide whether to stream classes live, attend class on campus or view the archived lectures online. With 100+ graduate courses to choose from, you can custom tailor your degree path to align with your interests and advance your career.

  • Online Courses
2 Program(s) Found
Milan Institute , Bakersfield
  • Offers career programs in accounting, cosmetology, massage therapy, physical fitness training, and more.
  • Provides hands-on training led by instructors who have relevant, on-the-job experience.
  • Each campus features a public salon and spa for student practice.
  • Campuses are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET) and Council on Occupational Education (COE).
  • 11 campuses across California, Texas, Nevada and Idaho, as well as 8 additional Milan Institute of Cosmetology campuses.
Show more [+]
  • Accredited
  • Financial Aid
1 Program(s) Found
  • A part of the Select Education Group (SEG).
  • Offers several scholarship and financial aid opportunities for students who qualify.
  • California campuses accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC), and accreditation for the Salem campus from the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training (ACCET).
  • 4 Campuses located in Clovis, Modesto, and Redding in California, and Salem, Oregon.
Show more [+]
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits