The salary of a chemical engineer can vary depending on the company and the industry. The highest paying jobs are in the petroleum production and refining industry, with a median annual wage of $113,380.
The salaries of entry level chemical engineers range from $60k-70k. Currently the 3 largest employers that hire at this experience level are PROAMPAC, Intel, and Samsung Electronics.
Salaries for mid-range positions in chemical engineering are typically $75k-90k a year. This is the most common level for chemical engineering jobs, but there are a few exceptions. Generally speaking, most of these positions are located in Houston, Austin, Phoenix, Rochester, or Hillsboro, which have a very high cost of living.
The most advanced chemical engineers are often hired for leadership positions or to work on research and development projects. These positions usually require a graduate degree, and may be accompanied by professional engineering licenses.
Over the next ten years, the U.S. Department of Labor predicts an 8 percent increase in the number of chemical engineers employed nationwide. The job outlook is promising, particularly in the oil and gas industries, where there is a demand for increased energy efficiency.
The first step to becoming a chemical engineer is earning a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, physics or a related field. Most chemical engineering programs include coursework, laboratory work and project work. These courses focus on the principles of chemistry, including chemical reactions and stoichiometry. You’ll also learn about the various industries that employ chemical engineers.