How do I Prepare for a Chemical Engineer Career?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 January 2019
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A chemical engineer engages in applied research, using his or her extensive knowledge of chemistry to create new products and medicines or improve manufacturing processes. Chemical engineering is an exciting, quickly expanding field that attracts many job applicants. An individual who wants to obtain a chemical engineer career can prepare by taking advanced science and math college classes, pursuing a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree in the subject, and holding internship or assistant positions. A well-prepared person can find a rewarding chemical engineer career in a biotechnology firm, pharmaceutical company, industrial manufacturing plant, food science institution, or a number of other settings.

To obtain a chemical engineer career, an individual must usually hold at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Undergraduate programs in chemical engineering entail detailed lecture and laboratory classes. A student generally takes several courses in biology, chemistry, and other biological sciences, as well as math, physics, and statistics. Many hopeful chemical engineers become involved in university research projects as interns or assistants to learn more about the field and gain essential experience.


Upon the completion of bachelor's degree studies, many individuals enter the workforce as industrial chemical engineers. Those who wish to conduct advanced research or teach, however, generally enroll in master's or doctoral programs. Advanced degree programs entail extensive laboratory work, where students learn about different types of testing equipment, designing and setting up experiments, and writing research papers. An individual often works with a team of other students to conduct important research studies, improving his or her resume for finding a chemical engineer career.

A graduate from a master's or doctoral program is often presented with many chemical engineer career options. An individual might choose to work at a research institution that focuses drugs, biotechnology, or agricultural studies. Experienced engineers generally supervise a new worker to help him or her prepare for an independent career, explaining company policies and how to operate complex equipment. Once an engineer has gained sufficient experience, he or she can begin designing new, independent research projects.

As science and technology advance, the field of chemical engineering is growing quickly, creating many job opportunities for qualified people. Individuals with the best chances of finding engineering careers are those with extensive college research experience, proven skills with computers and laboratory testing equipment, and creative ideas for potential projects. Men and women who establish themselves in the field are generally awarded many opportunities for advancement to lead positions within industries and research organizations.



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