Career Options after Chemical Engineering


The scope of Chemical Engineering is expected to boom in the near future and one can easily find great career opportunities in Chemical Engineering. As the world is battling issues like climate change, global warming, and a severe threat from fossil fuels, scientists all around the globe are advocating for the shift to more eco-friendly and renewable sources of energy. And this is where chemical engineering sees its bright future.

Chemical engineering is nothing but the study of the different branches of science, physics, chemistry, and biology, coupled with mathematical ideas to efficiently and economically use, design, and transform energy into its meaningful counterparts.

Chemical engineering has been beneficial to the progress of humanity ever since the Roman empire used it in order to make cement. From there on, this field of engineering is responsible for countless contributions in the study of pharmaceuticals, generating electricity using different energy sources like gas and oil, and even has provided immense understanding and knowledge in the science of nuclear reactors.

Nowadays, as more and more people are raising concerns over the fair use of natural resources, chemical engineering has seen a new growth of opportunities. So, if you are looking for a career in chemical engineering or even if you are contemplating if chemical engineering is a good career or not, in this article I will provide you with the various types of jobs for chemical engineers they can pursue after finishing their studies.

chemical engineering jobs
February 5, 2021
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Table of Contents


But before that a word for the students who are still thinking whether they should even study chemical engineering.

Why Chemical Engineering?
Chemical engineering is a study that allows you to solve world problems and helps you become a part of the overall progress of the human race. There are many reasons why one should look for a career in chemical engineering:

1. Wide Variety of Skills
While chemical engineers have a strong foundation in the three different sciences, physics, chemistry, and biology, they also generally are well-versed with concepts in economics, mathematics, management, and about the environment.
2. Highly recruitable
Surveys have shown that a large number of chemical engineering graduates secure stable jobs after their education. More so, they are better paid than most of the other forms of engineering.
3. Opens many career options
The types of jobs for chemical engineers are not limited to the world of chemical engineering. Because of their superior skills in logical thinking, they are eligible for a wide array of job opportunities that exceed the realm of chemical engineering. It can be marketing, management, business, etc.

A career in chemical engineering

The above point on why one should do studies in chemical engineering does in no prospect indicate that the field of chemical engineering is not lucrative. There are many respectable job opportunities in this field. In this article, I will take you over five of the most sought after types of jobs for chemical engineers.

Chemical Engineer

Though this one is the most obvious career in chemical engineering, this is also one of the most sought after. Being a chemical engineer, you are tasked with converting raw materials into their usable counterparts.
You will be leading the charge in the designing and development phases of the products and focus on harnessing raw material (like oil) and alter its chemical state in order to make products for the general public’s use (like plastic).

Types of jobs for chemical engineers:

As a chemical engineer, you will be developing skills to work in the following sectors:

1. Energy
2. Pharmaceuticals
3. Food and Beverage
4. Water Treatment
5. Oil and Gas

Apart from this, new and emerging fields like nanotechnology and biotechnology are also opening up many career opportunities for a career in chemical engineering.

Salary Prospects:

As mentioned above, chemical engineers are entitled to a good pay package. Their monthly salaries can range anywhere between 50,000 rupees to 89,000 rupees. While their annual salaries can be 9-10 lakhs.

Energy Engineer

As I mentioned above, the problem of fossil fuels is plaguing the world right now. This is where there is an increasing need for energy engineers. As an energy engineer, your main task will be the production and management of energy from the extraction to the processing level of natural resources like oil and gas. Along with this owing to the global demand, you will also be required to use your expertise in the production of renewable or clean forms of energy like hydro-powered energy, wind energy, and even solar energy, which currently is on the rise in India.

Types of jobs for energy engineers:

While being in charge of finding ways to extract new, clean, and efficient energy out of natural resources, you will be able to work in the following areas:

1. Machine designing and testing
2. Energy manipulation to meet electricity needs
3. Research on clean and renewable sources of energy
4. Constructing an improved process of extracting energy

Salary Prospects:

While an energy engineer starts off at around 18,000 rupees a month, this salary is expected to rise quickly as you progress into deeper roles within the organization. This salary can go up to a much as 6 lakhs per year, as is in accordance with the average salaries of energy engineers in India.

Petroleum Engineers

Petrol is the life and blood of the world’s economy. So, naturally, the engineers who are behind the extraction and manufacturing of this precious commodity in a sense become the backbone of this process. A petroleum engineer may be responsible for all the stages in the extraction of oil- from evaluation to development, and all the way to the production of petrol. They are also tasked with finding newer and cleaner drilling methods and resolve issues with the operations of the petroleum plant.

Types of jobs for petroleum engineers:

At a petroleum plant, as mentioned above, petroleum engineers are involved with all stages from analysis to production. Thus, there are different areas you can work in:

1. Petroleum geologist
2. Production engineers
3. Reservoir experts
4. Drilling experts

Salary Prospects:

As petroleum is the bread and butter of the global economy, those managing the extraction of this commodity are well paid. The average annual salary of a petroleum engineer can range from 7 lakhs and can go up as much as 23 lakhs. However, these numbers are average and salary amounts can differ according to the different jobs you decide to pick up at a petroleum plant.

Nuclear Engineer

As a nuclear engineer, you will be tasked with working alongside a team of highly trained chemical engineers who will together manage, run, and design the functioning of a nuclear power station. The role varies but is generally categorized into either developing completely new systems, running the existing ones, or making the existing systems more efficient to improve the sustainability of the nuclear power station.

Types of jobs as a nuclear engineer:

One can work in the following posts within the nuclear power plant:

1. Operator of reactors
2. Quality Engineer of the plant
3. Project Manager at the plant
4. Safety and health manager

Salary Prospects:

Nuclear engineers are expected to take some great risks within their job descriptions. As managing nuclear reactors is not an easy task, they are well compensated for it. The average monthly salary of a nuclear engineer ranges from 85,000 rupees to 86,000 rupees in India.

Product and Process Development Engineers

Did you know that it was Henry Ford that made the dream of a car for the masses a possibility? It was not his design or his charisma that forced millions of Americans to get out and buy the cars. It was because he had invented a new process of efficiently completing the task of manufacturing the car. This process was known as Assembly Line manufacturing and completely changed the industry.

Product and Process Development scientists are tasked to bring a similar level of input in their workings. Their job description entails them to streamline the production or the process of a product in order to make it more efficient and more economical.

Types of jobs as a product development scientist:

While the number of industries you can join are innumerable (everything from healthcare to aviation requires product and process scientists), the two different paths you can take are:

1. Product Scientist:
One who deals with product development and work alongside a team for new scientific breakthroughs
2. Process Scientist:
One who manages the streamlining of activities that lead to product innovation or creation, along with straightening the process of innovation which demands a high-quality product that can be mass-produced.

Salary Prospects:

The salary of a product/process development engineer depends on the type of product or process you are managing. However, the average salary of a product development engineer 3 lakhs to 13 lakhs per year.

Other types of jobs for chemical engineers:

If none of the above careers for chemical engineers excite you, do not worry. The vast area of chemical engineering allows for the possibility of many other types of jobs for chemical engineers:

1. Analytical Chemist
An analytical chemist is expected to study and analyze the chemical composition of elements and substances thereby conducting studies and experiments of them understanding their different states and behaviors. This form of chemical engineering is extremely technical and one must have a tremendous eye for detail in order to engage in this field of chemical engineering.

2. Mining Engineer
Become in charge of the mining operations of a mine’s field. Taking an assessment of safety standards and having the technical knowledge of digging sites, the mining engineer is expected to assess the viability and manage the planning of the mine.

3. Environmental Engineer
As mentioned above, the world is seriously thinking of shifting to renewable resources. However, the biggest hurdle in making that shift, from non-renewable sources (like fossil fuels) to renewable sources (like wind, water), is the economics of it. Currently, it is cheaper to mass produce energy through oil and natural gas rather than spending a huge investment in renewable infrastructure. Environmental engineers, which develop renewable infrastructure, also think about how to make it more efficient while trying to make it more economical.

If you still think none of these options are where your interests lie, you can always turn to education as a career option. The world will never be in shortage of good teachers who are willing to educate the next generation of engineers. And for this endeavor, you have different platforms:

1. Online classes:
Online classes as a career for chemical engineers is a great opportunity to pass on their knowledge to the next generation. One can start small, by just contacting your local friends and family for private tuitions. And before you know it, the word spreads and you attract more students.

2. Chegg Subject Expert
If you do not want to make teaching a primary career option, but want to teach nonetheless, Chegg has a solution for you. By registering yourself as a Chegg Subject Expert, you are offered the ability to work from home to answer the various questions that students put up on our website. For every question answered, Chegg pays you with a pre-decided amount. The more you help other students clear their problems, the more money you earn. The top experts at Chegg can earn up to 1 lakh rupees per month.

The benefit of working as a Chegg Subject Expert:

1. Flexible Schedule
As being a Chegg Subject Expert entails you for a work-from-home opportunity, you have the ability to slot your own work timings. Therefore, it becomes one of the best online earning sites as you can work on your primary job and still earn a little on the side, balancing both as per your convenience.
2. Expand your subject knowledge
As you are aware, the more time you spend on a problem or a topic, the more you learn about it. It’s the same as being a Chegg Subject Expert. As you answer more and more questions posed by students, you get an opportunity to learn more about the subject you are teaching, and as someone had said, “It’s what you learn after you think you know it all that counts the most”.
3. Expert Meet-ups:
After you enter as a Chegg Subject Expert, you become part of the larger Chegg community. You are then allowed to attend expert meetups organized by us thereby allowing you to network and make connections within the peer-group of your subject. This not only allows you to build relationships and discuss ideas, but it can also help you build contacts that can lead to opportunities to excel in your chosen careers.

Final Thoughts

All in all, as you see with the list above, the answer to the question ‘is chemical engineering a good career, is a resounding yes. Because after completing a degree, there are numerous types of jobs for chemical engineers that are available to your liking. All you have to do is research a little and decide which is the path you want to take.

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