What Factors Influence a Chemical Engineer Salary?

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  • Written By: D. Jeffress
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 23 November 2019
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Chemical engineers design the machines and processes used to manufacture various types of products, chemicals, and fuels. Professionals are employed in a number of different industries and job settings, including biotechnology firms, pharmaceutical companies, large-scale manufacturing plants, private research institutions, government laboratories, and universities. Most chemical engineers work long hours and are compensated very well for their accomplishments. Many different factors can influence a chemical engineer salary; however, such as a scientist's experience, level of education, productivity, and specialty.

A chemical engineer salary largely depends on the same factors that affect workers in other jobs. Perhaps the biggest determining factor is a professional's education level. Many individuals are able to obtain chemical engineer jobs at manufacturing plants and other settings by obtaining bachelor's degrees, which allow them to participate in the research, design, and construction of various pieces of equipment and consumer products. Sometimes known as junior engineers or engineer interns, bachelor's degree holders usually work in teams to build, test, and maintain equipment.

An individual with a master's degree or higher in chemical engineering is generally awarded more prestigious job opportunities along with the potential for a higher salary. Many scientists with advanced degrees are designated senior engineers and lead teams of other professionals on independent research projects. Senior engineers assume the responsibilities of coming up with new concepts, creating initial blueprints, and overseeing the assembly and testing of machines.


Other factors that influence a chemical engineer's salary include productivity levels and the amount of time an individual has been on the job. As with most professions, a chemical engineer who has expert skills, finishes tasks on time, and demonstrates a strong work ethic becomes eligible for promotions and pay raises. A successful scientist who works at a facility for several years may be able to obtain a higher paying position even without an advanced degree.

Scientists often specialize within chemical engineering positions, focusing on the construction of specific types of equipment or the implementation of certain chemical processes. A chemical engineer salary is often influenced by the nature of the work an individual performs. Scientists who perform very delicate or dangerous tasks, such as those who conduct experiments with radioactive material, are usually compensated more for their work than other engineers. In addition, there is a strong demand for experienced, knowledgeable engineers who specialize in pharmaceuticals, energy-efficient fuel production, and nanotechnology. Skilled professionals in such developing fields are typically awarded a higher-than-average chemical engineer salary.



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